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    Duquesne Countertenor Wins Met’s 2012 National Council Auditions

    Andrey Nemzer, a countertenor in Duquesne's Mary Pappert School of Music, was selected as one of five winners in the Metropolitan Opera's 2012 National Council Auditions, considered to be one of the most prestigious competitions in North America.

    A Moscow, Russia native, Nemzer was selected from nine finalists who performed arias with the Metropolitan Opera's Orchestra in front of an audience that included influential opera executives, artist managers and music critics. He received a $15,000 cash prize as the Great Lakes Region representative in the competition, which has launched the careers of several major opera stars.

    "It's like having your star player win the M.V.P. award in the NCAA Tournament," said Duquesne Music School Dean Dr. Edward Kocher. "We are thrilled that Andrey's talents were recognized by the distinguished Metropolitan Opera at this renowned competition."

    Nemzer, 29, is a teaching assistant and pursuing an artist diploma degree in music performance at Duquesne's School of Music. A resident artist of the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, he studied piano and clarinet as a child and is an alumnus of the Moscow Choir College, through which he toured as a soloist under the direction of Viktor Popov, the People's Artist of Russia. At the Moscow Academy of Choral Art, Nemzer studied solo singing and choral conducting. He also sang at Russian premieres of Lulu and Peter the Great staged at the Helikon Opera Theatre.

    No stranger to competition, Nemzer was the winner at the X All-Russian Vocal Student Competition Bella Voce in 2002 and was the Best Competition Soloist at the V International Choral Competition The Singing World in 2009. In addition, he was awarded a prize at The Pittsburgh Baroque Competition in 2010 and won The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition in 2011, for which he was awarded his residency at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.

    According to the Metropolitan Opera, the National Council Auditions are designed to discover exceptional young talent; to provide a venue for young opera singers at all different levels to be heard and to assist with their development; and to search for new talent for the Metropolitan Opera and the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

    Duquesne University

    Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in 10 schools of study for 10,000-plus graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.