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Friday, October 6, 2017

Singers: Apply to NJ Association of Verismo Opera's 29th International Vocal Competition.

Deadline Oct. 31

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(Fort Lee, New Jersey; October 5, 2017) – Artistic Director Lucine Amara invites vocalists of all ages worldwide to apply now to the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 29th Annual International Vocal Competition. The application deadline is this month, October 31, 2017.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera), the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), provides opportunities for artists to learn and perform in a professional environment with a live orchestra. Support for the competition is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grant funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.

The company 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.

Ms. Amara, a Metropolitan Opera legend, and Verismo Opera's General Manager, Evelyn La Quaif, teach the master class. "Our free master classes provide artists the opportunity to learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions. This was offered at The Metropolitan Opera and, unfortunately, is no longer available. The experience is crucial to advancing a singer's audition abilities and professional career," said Amara, who performed for over 40 years at The Metropolitan Opera in 882 on stage performances in 56 roles.

"Through the master classes, I learned a great deal about preparing for a competition. Evelyn La Quaif and Lucine Amara care for the success of the competitors and work extremely hard to parlay all their knowledge and experience onto the younger generation. With Verismo Opera, I covered my first Aida.  They believed in me and gave me this incredible opportunity to immerse myself in the role and learn from my colleagues," said Zhanna Alkhazova, first prize winner in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition.

Auditions

This year, the preliminary and final auditions take place at a new venue, Nola Studios, located at 250 West 54th Street, 11th Floor-Studio B in New York City. In 2017, the preliminary auditions are on Wednesday, November 1; Saturday, November 4; Monday, November 6; and Wednesday, November 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The final auditions are held on Monday, December 11 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Luminary Judges

At the preliminary auditions, a luminary panel of judges officiate, including 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. If requested, the judges' comments will be sent to all preliminary participants and finalists.

Participants may use the professional accompanist provided or bring their own to the preliminary and final auditions. Finalistsselected to perform in the vocal competition may attend three four-hour free master classes. They receive feedback, extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation, and performing opportunities in Verismo Opera's fully staged upcoming productions with a live orchestra. Winners receive cash awards totaling $3,500 ($2,000 first prize, $1,000 second prize and $500 third prize).

The registration fee is $75. Payment may be made securely online at http://verismopera.org/donate-2/ located at the bottom of the page or by check made out and sent to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

Application Requirements

All applicants are required to send an application, a resume, a bio, an MP3 file or a CD with at least three arias, an 8 x 10 black and white photo, and the application fee. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted into the competition. Complete details and an application are available at http://verismopera.org/causes/vocal-competition/. For further information or to schedule an audition appointment, contact info@verismopera.org or call (201) 886-0561.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

For 28 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization in Fort Lee, New Jersey, has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. In November 2017, the company celebrates its 29th season, launching the annual international vocal competition that draws artists worldwide.

Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera is the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company. Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for artists through semi-annual productions and concerts and organizes opera workshops and master classes. For information, visit Verismo Opera's web site, www.verismopera.org; follow the company on Facebook, http://bit.ly/9JXTP8, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

PHOTO:

New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition winners received their awards from Lucine Amara at the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, New Jersey.

Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

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