30th Vocal Competition: Winners and Finalists Announced
Artistic Director Lucine Amara announces the winners and finalists of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 30th Annual International Vocal Competition held in November and December of 2018. Congratulations to these winners:
- First place (tied) – Baritone Gerardo de la Torre and soprano Joowon Chae. Share $3,000 award
- Third place – Tenor Tianchi Zhang $500
These are the finalists: soprano Samarie Alicea, soprano Joowon Chae, tenor Hyunho Cho, baritone Gerardo de la Torre, soprano Holly Flack, baritone Joseph Gansert, soprano Hayan Kim, bass Seunghee Lee, soprano Hyeree Shin, and tenor Tianchi Zhang. Read more about the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 30th Annual International Vocal Competition’s winners and finalists.
An illustrious panel of judges adjudicated the final round of the competition. The judges were Tamie Laurence, Dillon McCartney, and Lucy Arner.
Each year, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera launches the new season with the Annual International Vocal Competition. The 2018-2019 season kicked off in November 2018, marking the company’s 30th Annual International Vocal Competition. The competition’s process allowed Verismo Opera to select a range of finalists and nurture them through extensive personal coaching on language, style and presentation. This prepared them for their private performance for the company’s elite team of judges.
The competition was open to vocalists of all ages and vocal fachs worldwide. Applicants were able to sing in any style — verismo or another. Furthermore, vocalists, who had performed in Verismo Opera’s productions or applied previously to the vocal competition, could apply.
In 2018, vocalists took advantage of these opportunities in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 30th Annual International Vocal Competition. A free master class was offered to all applicants accepted to sing in the preliminary auditions. In addition, finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition could attend two four-hour free master classes.
The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Stage Director/General Manager, Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif, taught the master classes. Instruction was provided in several areas, including deportment, language, style and presentation.
Verismo Opera announced in the fall the dates of the free master classes for participants in the preliminary auditions. Afterward, master classes for finalists were announced.
The opera company is known for presenting grand productions as the composer intended. Finalists may be invited to perform in the company’s fully staged operas.
Preliminary & Final Auditions
In the fall of 2018, the preliminary and final auditions took place at Shetler Studios, located at 244 West 54th Street in in New York City, New York in the United States. A panel of luminary judges included Verismo Opera’s Music Director/Principal Conductor Maestra Lucy Arner, Verismo Opera’s General Manager/Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif, director/coach Simon Saad, and voice teacher/audition coach Dillon McCartney. A professional accompanist was provided to all participants at the preliminary and final auditions. Upon request, the judges’ comments were sent to all preliminary participants and finalists.
Vocal Competition: Application
The application consisted of the following:
- A completed application form with a list of five arias, including the opera, composer, and language. Download an application HERE.
- Audio File (MP3 file or a CD) containing an aria recording;
- Headshot (8 x 10 black and white photo); and
- Application Fee. The early bird application fee was $55 through July 31, 2018. Afterward, the fee is $75. Payment was made 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.
Last, applicants scheduled a mandatory audition appointment in advance. Applicants accepted to the vocal competition were notified.
• Applications were due October 18, 2018.
• Early Bird Registration Deadline: July 31, 2018. The fee was $55.
• August 1 through October 18, 2018: The application fee was $75.