The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera announces a new location and audition dates for the organization’s thirtieth Annual International Vocal Competition. Artistic Director Lucine Amara reminds vocalists of all ages and vocal fachs worldwide to apply to the vocal competition and take advantage of the early bird registration deadline of July 31, 2018. Afterward, the final application deadline is October 18, 2018.

“Our thirtieth Annual International Vocal Competition is open to singers of all ages and vocal styles. Applicants may sing in any vocal fachs — verismo or another,” said Amara, who performed at the Metropolitan Opera for 41 years with opera houses and symphonies throughout the world.

Vocal Competition Auditions

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. In 2018, the preliminary audition dates and times are scheduled for 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. 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 feature 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. Finally, upon request, the preliminary participants and finalists receive the judges’ comments.

Vocal Competition

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 29th Annual Vocal Competition

Free Master Class

A free master class is offered to all applicants accepted to participate in the preliminary auditions. Furthermore, finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition may 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.

The master classes occur on November 19 and November 21 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. These free master 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.

The vocal competition provides several perquisites to the finalists.  First, they receive feedback on their application.  Second, the applicants receive extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation.  Third, finalists get an opportunity to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions. Furthermore, winners receive cash awards totaling $3,500 ($2,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize and $500 third prize).


The complete application consists of several components.  All applicants send an application, a resume, a bio, and an MP3 file or a CD containing an aria recording.  They also submit an 8 x 10 black and white photo, along with the application fee. An application may be downloaded.  Furthermore, upon acceptance into the competition, applicants receive notification.

The early bird registration fee, $55, is in effect through July 31, 2018.  Afterward, the fee changes to $75 on August 1, 2018. Payment may be made securely online at the bottom of the page.  Another option is to submit and send a check made out to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

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. Vocal competition winners and finalists perform in several of Verismo Opera’s productions. Notably, 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.

For further information or to schedule an audition appointment, contact or call (201) 886-0561.