Preview This Behind-the-scenes Documentary

Award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke looks at the intense pressures young opera singers face as they struggle to succeed in one of the difficult professions in the performing arts in The Audition. The feature-length documentary takes you behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, where each year thousands of hopefuls compete for a cash prize, the chance to sing on the Met stage–and the opportunity to launch a major operatic career.

The Audition will air during primetime on THIRTEEN’S Great Performances at the Met in HD on Wednesday, January 20 at 9 p.m. EST on PBS (check local listings).

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Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers.

Great Performances at the Met: The Audition is the second of 10 productions airing this season during the 2009-2010 series. The film covers the dramatic week leading up to the finals of the 2007 auditions, focusing on three very different tenor contestants: Michael Fabiano, a fiery 22-year-old grappling with his inner demons; Alek Shrader, a 25-year-old with movie-star looks who attempts to sing nine high Cs in the fiendishly difficult aria that made Pavarotti a star; and Ryan Smith, who at the age of 30, and with little formal training, is pursuing his dream of an operatic career. The Audition is both a suspenseful competition narrative and a revealing backstage look at what it takes to make it as an opera singer.

The Audition is made possible by the generous support of Frayda B. Lindemann. Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers and PBS. Corporate support for Great Performances at the Met is provided by Toll Brothers, America’s luxury home-builder®.

For the Met,Mia Bongiovanni and Elena Park are Supervising Producers, and Louisa Briccetti and Victoria Warivonchik are Producers. Peter Gelb is Executive Producer. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is Series Producer; David Horn is Executive Producer.