ORANGE — A 32-year-old Fountain Valley soprano, Yang-Hi Kim, won first prize Saturday in the Orange County district Metropolitan Opera auditions.
Finishing in order behind Kim were soprano Hope Briggs, 29, of Fullerton; soprano Megan Weston, 28, of Buena Park, and tenor David Taehun Kim, 25, of Laguna Hills. Ten contestants competed at Chapman University.
Yang-Hi Kim, Briggs and Weston will travel to the regional finals Nov. 5 at USC.
For their efforts, Yang-Hi Kim won $500, Briggs $300, Weston (who placed second in last year's district auditions) $250 and David Kim $200.
Soprano Sewell Griffith, 27, of Irvine, received an Encouragement Award.
The auditions, held each year, are the first step toward national auditions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Winners of those auditions receive contracts with the company.
The judges were Jeannine Wagner, a familiar Southland singer and soloist, and daughter of the late Roger Wagner; Lucas Richman, who served as assistant conductor of the Pacific Symphony from 1988 to 1991, and William Vendice, an eminent San Francisco conductor and vocal coach.