Artistic Director Lucine Amara invites vocalists of all ages worldwide to apply to the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s  30th Annual International Vocal Competition.

Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, invites singers globally to apply to the 30th Annual International Vocal Competition.

Lucine Amara announces the launch of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Annual International Vocal Competition.

“As unbelievable as it is, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera celebrates our 30th anniversary in November. Though it certainly does not seem that long, we have come a long way. Our productions are bigger and grander. The audiences have grown to new heights. The caliber of our artists is top draw, and we are very proud our vocal competition has helped many young artists experience the ‘big stage’ with us. Furthermore, the free masterclasses we offer for the finalists have given many participants a chance to grow and move on to a great career,” said Amara, who performed for over 40 years at the Metropolitan Opera in 882 on stage performances in 56 roles.

Vocal Competition: Preliminary Auditions

Preliminary auditions occur on November 1, 3, 6, and 8, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Afterward, final auditions are held on December 6, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. All auditions take place at Shetler Studios, located at 244 West 54th Street in New York City in the United States of America. The application deadline is October 18, 2018. A professional accompanist is provided to all vocalists participating in the preliminary and final auditions. In addition, vocalists may bring their own accompanist.

At the preliminary auditions, a luminary panel of judges officiates.  The judges include Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara; Maestra Lucy Arner, Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; and Evelyn La Quaif, General Manager and Stage Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera. Also, upon request, preliminary participants and finalists receive the judges’ comments.

Free Master Class

A free master class is offered to all applicants accepted to sing in the preliminary auditions, and finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition will be invited to attend three four-hour free master classes. During the master classes led by Amara and La Quaif, artists learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions.

In addition, finalists are given feedback; extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation; and the opportunity to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions. Also, winners receive cash awards totaling $3,500 ($2,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize and $500 third prize).


All applicants send an application, a resume, a bio, a MP3 file or a CD containing an aria recording, an 8 x 10 black and white photo, and the application fee. An application may be easily downloaded here. Furthermore, applicants accepted into the competition receive notification.

The early bird registration fee, $55, is in effect through July 31, 2018, changing to $75 on August 1, 2018. Make a payment securely online located at the bottom of the page or by check made out and sent to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

Soprano Yulan Piao received the first prize in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 29th Annual International Vocal Competition Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

Lucine Amara presented soprano Yulan Piao the first place award in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 29th Annual International Vocal Competition. Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

Verismo Opera, the Bergen Performing Arts Center’s (bergenPAC) house opera company, provides opportunities for artists to learn and perform in a professional environment with a live orchestra. Furthermore, the vocal competition’s winners and finalists perform in several of Verismo Opera’s productions. For example, the 28th and 29th Annual International Vocal Competition’s first prize winners, sopranos Zhanna Alkhazova and Yulan Piao, performed in Verismo Opera’s debut of Turandot.

Applicants should contact or call (201) 886-0561 to schedule an audition appointment.