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UT Alumna Alexandria Shiner Beats The Odds And Wins Prestigious Metropolitan Opera Competition


University of TN alumna, Alexandria Shiner, has done nearly the impossible and was named a winner of the highly competitive Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The competition consists of numerous rounds and Shiner estimates that at least one-thousand young singers entered the competition this year. A total of five singers are awarded the title of Grand Finalist, which comes with a prize of $20,000 and of course, the priceless experience of performing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera with the Met Orchestra during the final round which this year, was on March 1st. Shiner, who was a student of Marjorie Bennett Stephens at the University of TN, is currently a young artist with the Cafritz Young Artist Program of the Washington National Opera. Since her life-changing win on March 1st, live performance and preparations for any sort of stage productions have completely ceased, due to COVID-19. What does life look like for a young musician who suddenly encounters such a roadblock?

Alexandria says that she and her fellow young artists are working on creating web content and live-streamed recitals to fill the void. Wolf Trap Opera, with whom Shiner has performed, has put some of their recorded productions online. You can watch Shiner's performance in Ariadne auf Naxos here https://allaccess.wolftrap.org/2017/10/01/wolf-trap-opera-streaming/. Keep up-to-date about Alexandria's future online performances via her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alexandriashinersoprano/ As for the future, Shiner says that she knows that the day will soon come when musicians will once again be able to take the stage and audience members will be able to gather together to enjoy a live performance. Opera has survived famine, disease, and war and will survive this pandemic as well. It may look a little different on the other side, but that's what art is all about, right?


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Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.