The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera announces three winners and five finalists were selected in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 27th Annual International Vocal Competition. Baritone Sol Jin from Fort Lee, New Jersey received first place and a $2,000 award. Baritone Emmett O’Hanlon from Manhasset, New York, was awarded second place and a $1,000 prize. Soprano Janani Sridhar from New London, Connecticut received third place and a $500 prize. The finalists were: soprano Nita Baxani from Bronx, New York; baritone Elijah Blaisdell from Roslindale, Massachusetts; soprano Dr. Jody Doktor from Milltown, New Jersey; bass Nathan Resika from Valhalla, New York; and bass baritone Geeseop Kim from Fort Lee.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 27th Annual International Vocal Competition winner is Sol Jin.

Baritone Sol Jin was awarded first prize in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s 27th Annual International Vocal Competition.

Vocal Competition Awards to be Presented at Bergen Performing Arts Center

The winners will be recognized and receive their awards and prizes at the organization’s debut of Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda on April 17 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.

All finalists are given the opportunity to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions. Finalist Nathan Resika will perform the role of Alvise Badoero, a leader of the Inquisition, in La Gioconda.

Free Master Classes Provided

Earlier this year, finalists attended free master classes taught by Amara and La Quaif, culminating with finals conducted at Liederkranz Hall in New York City. They received critical feedback; extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation; and the prospect to perform in Verismo Opera’s fully staged upcoming productions. An illustrious panel of judges adjudicated the final round of the competition made up of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s Principal Conductor/Music Director Lucy Arner, Ken Benson from Ken Benson Artists, tenor Cesare Santeramo and conductor Joseph Rescigno.

The annual international vocal competition offered these rising opera stars an opportunity to develop their careers, participate in master classes, receive essential feedback, and perform in a professional setting. During the preliminary auditions, all applicants were offered the opportunity to attend a free master class.

Verismo Opera launched the vocal competition with preliminary auditions held in November 2015 at bergenPAC’s Drapkin Cabaret & Lounge. A panel comprised of Ms. Amara, Ms. La Quaif, and Anthony Morss, Emeritus Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera judged the preliminary auditions.