April 22, 2014
Music Alumnus Wins Prestigious Opera Competition
Catholic University alumnus Patrick Guetti (B.M. 2009, M.A. 2011) had the rare opportunity to perform on
|Music alumnus Patrick Guetti was recently named a winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, a highly prestigious opera competition.|
stage at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City last month, after he was named a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, considered one of the most elite vocal competitions in the opera world.
“The whole experience was completely overwhelming,” Guetti said. “There was nothing that could prepare me for walking on stage at the Met to a practically sold out crowd. I felt my stomach jump into my chest, but then because of rehearsal, practice and hours of working on this, I just had to let myself go and say, ‘Whatever’s going to happen will happen.’”
Guetti was one of nine finalists chosen from around the country to perform in the Grand Finals Concert March 30. Later, he was named one of the five grand prize winners and awarded $15,000.
Originally from Highland Park, N.J., Guetti had not always planned on singing opera. He first applied to the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music as a musical theatre major.
“I sent in a video of myself doing the auditions in my living room with my mother playing piano and me singing, doing monologues, and dancing,” Guetti said. “When they said yes, I felt like a humongous sigh of relief because I could do theatre and music and would have the opportunity to study classical theater in London. It seemed like it spoke to all aspects of my personality.”
Guetti dedicated himself to musical theatre for three years. Then, while he was studying abroad in London, a vocal coach encouraged him to buy a book of arias.
“She told me, ‘It’s wonderful that you studied musical theatre, but you’re an idiot if you don’t try to sing opera,’” Guetti said.
After earning his bachelor’s in musical theatre, Guetti studied the language and style of opera. He soon grew to love the music.
“I started to say, ‘I like this, I like doing it, and the music is incredible,’” he said.
Since earning his master’s in vocal performance at CUA, Guetti has been enrolled as one of 28 resident artists for the Philadelphia Academy of Vocal Arts, a highly prestigious training program for young opera soloists. In the months to come, he will perform at both the Dallas Opera and the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico.
|As one of five winners of the Met competition, Guetti (third from left) received $15,000.|
Guetti says one of the most important factors in his success as a singer has been the supportive friends he has made along the way. Several of the other students at the Academy of Vocal Arts have also had success at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. After getting to know them, Guetti began to feel confident enough to enter.
“You see people there every day and you begin to think, ‘Oh, I can do that,’” Guetti said. “Being in the right environment with the right people and getting the right guidance left me feeling confident that I have something I can communicate and vocally prepared enough to enter the competition.”
Looking back at his time at CUA, Guetti is grateful for the support of his professors, especially Rick Christman, his voice teacher and mentor.
“He was someone who really believed in me from the very beginning,” Guetti said. “Rick gave me countless hours of voice lessons and he is one of the first people I hear from after an audition, no matter what. It means the world to me to have people like that.”
Having worked so extensively with Guetti, Christman said he was not at all surprised by his win at the Met competition.
“No one is more deserving of these honors than Patrick,” Christman said. “As a vocal performance master’s student, Patrick was totally focused and dedicated to his singing. His natural voice was ‘one in ten million,’ but it was through painstakingly hard work while at CUA that he developed it into the world-class talent it remains today.”
For other musicians, Guetti said the best way to grow is to find supportive teachers and friends to give honest feedback along the way.
“Finding those tried and true people who will be on your team and offer guidance, especially as a young singer, is a huge thing.”