Singers, apply now to the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 30th Annual International Vocal Competition.  Artistic Director Lucine Amara reminds vocalists of all ages worldwide to apply today.  The application deadline is October 18, 2018.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) is the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC).  In addition, the Verismo Opera provides opportunities for artists to learn and perform in a professional environment with a live orchestra. The company also offers a free master class to vocalists accepted to audition in the preliminary round. Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition may attend three free four-hour master classes.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 29th Annual International Vocal Competition's finalists and winners

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 29th Annual International Vocal Competition’s winners and finalists come together.

Ms. Amara, a Metropolitan Opera legend, and Evelyn La Quaif, an international soprano, teacher/coach and Stage Director/General of Verismo Opera, teach the master class.

“Our free master classes provide artists the opportunity to learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions. Furthermore, the experience is crucial to advancing a singer’s audition abilities and professional career,” said Amara, who performed for 41 years with The Metropolitan Opera in over 1,000 performances in 56 roles.

Vocal Competition: Audition Dates

This year, the preliminary auditions take place at Shetler Studios, located at 244 West 54th Street in New York City, New York in the United States of America. The preliminary audition dates and times are November 1, 9, and 16 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and November 3 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Furthermore, the final auditions occur on December 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. A professional pianist accompanies all vocalists participating in the preliminary and final auditions. Applicants may also bring their own accompanist.

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

Free Master Class

A free master class is offered to all applicants accepted to participate in the preliminary auditions. This free master class occurs on November 19 and again on November 21, 2018 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Furthermore, these classes take place at Yeoryia Studios in the Otello Room on the fifth floor, located at 2067 Broadway, between 71st and 72nd Streets, in New York, New York.

Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition may attend three four-hour free master classes. During the master classes, artists learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions.  Finalists also receive feedback and may be invited to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions. Ms. Amara and Ms. La Quaif lead the vocal competition’s classes. Winners also receive cash awards totaling $3,500.  The cash awards are: $2,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize and $500 third prize.


All applicants send an application, a resume, and a bio.  In addition, they submit an 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 downloaded HERE. Applicants accepted into the competition receive notification. For further information, contact