Congratulations to the winners and finalists in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera 26th Annual International Vocal Competition!



First  José Heredia, tenor. New York, New York

$2,000 Prize

Second  Daniel Maimone, tenor. Kew Gardens, New York.

Chae Seon Kim, soprano. New York, New York

Share $1,000 Prize

Third Victoria Cannizzo, soprano.  Millburn, New Jersey

$500 Prize


Sophia Benedetti, soprano.  New York, New York

Taras Chmil, tenor.  Toronto, Ontario. Canada

Junhan Choi, baritone.  Brookline, Massachusetts

Danielle E. Davis, soprano.  Lindenhurst, New York

Bevin Hill, soprano.  Atlanta, Georgia

Meredith Mecun, soprano.  Bronx, New York

Shin-Yeong Noh, soprano.  Bloomington, Illinois


The 2014 annual international competition offered rising opera stars an opportunity to develop their careers, participate in master classes, receive essential feedback, and perform in a professional setting.  Verismo Opera launched the competition with preliminary auditions held in November 2014 at the Bergen Performing Arts Center’s Drapkin Cabaret & Lounge in Englewood, New Jersey.

The preliminary auditions featured a luminary panel of judges: Met Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Artistic Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; Gloria Gari, Chair, The Gulio Gari Foundation; Anthony Morss, Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; and Evelyn La Quaif, General Manager/Principal Stage Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera.

The competition held master classes in early 2015, culminating with finals conducted at Liederkranz Hall in New York City.  Finalists attended free master classes taught by Lucine Amara and Evelyn La Quaif.  They received critical feedback; extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation; and the prospect to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions.  An illustrious panel of judges adjudicated the final round of the competition made up of Met Opera tenor Francisco Casanova, conductor Anthony Morss and conductor Joseph Rescigno.