Each year, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera opens the new season with our Annual International Vocal Competition. The 2017-2018 season marks the company’s 29th Annual International Vocal Competition.

The extensive process allows us to select a range of finalists and nurture them through extensive personal coaching on language, style and presentation, preparing them for their private performance for our elite team of judges. All finalists also receive an opportunity to perform in our fully staged productions.

Special Features

In 2017, vocalists may take advantage of these special offers in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 29th Annual International Vocal Competition! A free master class will be offered to all applicants accepted to sing in the preliminary auditions. Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition will be invited to attend three four-hour free master classes.

Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara and the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Stage Director and Canadian soprano, Evelyn La Quaif, will present the master classes and provide instruction in several areas, including deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions.

Finalists will be given feedback; extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation; and the opportunity to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions.  If requested, the judges’ comments will be sent to the preliminary auditions’ participants and finalists.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 26th Annual International Vocal Competition's first prize winner, tenor José Heredia, performed in the company's productions of Rigoletto, Carmen and La Bohème.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 26th Annual International Vocal Competition’s first prize winner, tenor José Heredia, performed in the company’s productions of Rigoletto, Carmen and La Bohème. Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

Preliminary & Final Auditions

The preliminary and final  auditions will be held at The Liederkranz Foundation, located at 6 East 87 Street in New York City, New York in the United States.

  • Preliminary auditions will take place on November 1, 3, 6, and 8, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Final auditions will be held on December 6, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

A professional accompanist will be provided to all participants at the preliminary and final auditions. The preliminary auditions will be adjudicated by a panel of luminary judges, including Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara, Maestra Lucy Arner, and Evelyn La Quaif.

Vocal Competition Application and Deadlines

Vocalists must submit a completed application by the deadline.  Download an application here.

Application Deadline: October 31, 2017
Early Bird Registration Fee: $55 through July 31, 2017
Application Fee: $75 beginning August 1, 2017

Payment may be made securely online or by check payable to “Verismo Opera” and mailed to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, NJ 07024-9024.

2016-2017  Winners & Finalists Announced

On April 23, 2017  at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey, the winners of the 2016-2017 vocal competition were presented with a cash prize to aid in continuing the singer’s growth.

Finalists in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2016-2017 Annual International Vocal Competition

Some of the finalists in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 2016-2017 Annual International Vocal Competition

First place – Soprano Zhanna Alkhazova $2,000
Second place – Baritone SeokJong Baek $1,000
Third place – Tenor Fanyong Du $500

The finalists were: soprano Zhanna Alkhazova, baritone SeokJong Baek, soprano Megan Brunning, tenor Fangyong Du, soprano Magda Gartner, soprano Shana Grossman, mezzo-soprano Viktoriya Koreneva, soprano Nicole Levesque, soprano Yulan Piao, and bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum.

Read more about the 2016-2017 winners and finalists.

An illustrious panel of judges adjudicated the final round of the competition comprised of Met Opera luminaries Martina Arroyo and Nedda Casei, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Principal Conductor/Music Director Lucy Arner, and the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Emeritus Music Director/Principal Conductor Anthony Morss.

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