Jonah Hoskins is one of five singers to share the top spot in the Metropolitan Opera’s 2020 National Council Auditions. The win gave him $20,000 and major exposure in the opera world.
The Deseret News reported: “The biggest opera houses in the country heard Hoskins sing the famous French aria “Ah! Mes Amis” [during the competition]. The challenging piece—once a signature aria for Luciano Pavarotti—comes with a string of nine high C’s. But Hoskins went well beyond that number and even threw in a trill to a high D—an especially rare move for that piece.
- “That’s kind of my thing,” Hoskins said with a laugh, adding that his voice teacher, Juilliard School instructor Darrell Babidge (a former BYU teacher), encouraged him to use that technique during the performance.
Hoskins grew up singing in the Salt Lake Children’s Choir but was 16 years old before he began seriously thinking about music as a career. He then entered a high school music competition called Classical Singer. He did not win but he was awarded a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York.
He made his professional debut in Utah Opera’s “Romeo et Juliette” in October 2018.
Hoskins, a tenor, plans to graduate from Brigham Young University in 2020. He auditioned for the Juilliard School the same time he was competing in for the National Council Auditions in New York. By April 1 he will decide which music school he will attend.
Jonah’s sister, Mary Hoskins, is also seeking a career in opera. As teenagers, they were taught by Isaac Hurtado, a voice professor and opera director at Utah Vally University.
Jonah is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a Mandarin-speaking mission in New York.
- Jonah enjoyed singing at zone conferences and even sang at an interfaith gathering during the Muslim observance of Ramadan.
- Some of Jonah’s fellow opera performers thought he was crazy to interrupt vocal training for missionary service. “But I don’t think serving a mission was ever really a question for me.”