Artistic Director Lucine Amara invites vocalists of all ages worldwide to apply to the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s (Verismo Opera) 29th Annual International Vocal Competition. The early bird registration deadline is July 31, 2017.

Vocal Competition’s Auditions

Preliminary auditions take place on November 1, 3, 6, and 8, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Final auditions occur on December 6, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The preliminary and final auditions take place at The Liederkranz Foundation, 6 East 87 Street in New York City in the United States of America. The application deadline is October 31, 2017.

At the preliminary auditions, a luminary panel of judges officiate. Judges include Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera’s Music Director/Principal Conductor Maestra Lucy Arner and Evelyn La Quaif, General Manager and Stage Director, Verismo Opera. Upon request, the judges’ comments are sent to all preliminary participants and finalists.

A professional accompanist is provided to all vocalists participating in the preliminary and final auditions. A free master class is  offered to all applicants accepted to sing in the preliminary auditions. Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition are 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.

            “Singers should do as many auditions as they can. This helps get rid of nerves, allows them to work through any difficulties. Most importantly, this gives them much needed feedback. Our competition provides the artist all three and affords them the opportunity to participate in a free masterclass,” said Amara, who performed for over 40 years at the Metropolitan Opera in 882 on stage performances in 56 roles.



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

Soprano Zhanna Alkhazova received the first place award and prize in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 2016 Annual International Vocal Competition.. Photo Credit: Barrie Proctor Bonacci

Lucine Amara presented the prize and award to New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 2016 Annual International Vocal Competition’s first place winner, vocalist Zhanna Alkhazova. Photo Credit: Barrie Proctor Bonacci

Verismo Opera is the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey. The nonprofit 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. The 26th Annual International Vocal Competition’s first prize winner, tenor José Heredia, performed in several of Verismo Opera’s productions.  These include Rigoletto, Carmen and La Bohème. Baritone Youngjoo An, the 2013 Verismo Opera Vocal Competition’s second prize winner, appeared in the company’s productions of La Bohème and Lucia di Lammermoor. In 2016, An and Nathan Resika, a finalist in the 27th Annual International Vocal Competition, performed in the company’s premiere of Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda.

Deadline & Application

The early bird registration fee, $55, is in effect through July 31, 2017. Afterward, this fee changes to $75 on August 1, 2017. Payment may be made securely online at the bottom of the page. Make out checks and send them to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

All applicants submit resume, bio, a MP3 file or a CD containing at least three arias. Also, an 8 x 10 black and white photo and the application fee are required. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted into the competition. An application may be downloaded. For further information or to schedule an audition appointment, contact or call (201) 886-0561.