When soprano Julie Roset heard her name over the Metropolitan Opera’s PA system this May, her heart thumped below her bright yellow dress. The long march from dressing room to stage loomed, and she felt adrenaline mounting with each step through the MET’s infamous underground corridors. Roset was about to appear in the final round of the Metropolitan Opera’s Laffont Competition, and for the first time that day, she was truly nervous.
“I wanted to cry. I was breathing so hard,” she recalled. “This is the moment.”
Six months prior, Roset, along with more than 1200 other young hopefuls, had submitted her audition video. Now, after rounds local, regional, and national, she and her fellow finalists, ten of the brightest beacons for opera’s future, would take their turns in front of The MET Orchestra.
Roset sat down on the dusty backstage floor as her blood pressure climbed. She has a routine to combat nerves, a holdover from high school theater club: “Sit and breathe, and imagine that a light is traveling on your brain, and you’re seeing the light with your eyes closed.” When she opened her eyes, Nadine Sierra, one of the competition’s co-hosts, was looking down on her.
“She just told me: ‘You got this. You are made for this. You worked so hard for this.’ She’s one of my idols,” Roset said.“And then I entered, and all my friends were screaming. And I was just so happy, singing on the MET stage, with The MET Orchestra.”
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