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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Singers, Apply to NJ Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition

Artistic Director Lucine Amara invites vocalists of all ages worldwide to apply now to the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition. The application deadline is October 31, 2016.

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) is the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey. The nonprofit opera company is recognized for providing opportunities for artists to learn and perform in a professional environment with a live orchestra.

The company is offering a free master class to vocalists accepted to audition in the preliminary round. Amara, a Met Opera legend, and Verismo Opera's General Manager, Evelyn La Quaif, will teach the master classes. "Our free master class will give young artists the opportunity to learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions. This was offered at the Metropolitan Opera many years ago and, unfortunately, has not been presented for some time. We encourage singers to apply to the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 28th Annual International Vocal Competition, take advantage of this opportunity, and attend the master class. This information and participation 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.

"It was a great experience with the competition. Especially, the master classes were very helpful to figure what I do more or less because you have a lot of experience singing on stage," said Sol Jin, first prize winner in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera's 27th Annual International Vocal Competition.

Preliminary auditions will take place in 2016 on November 7 from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., November 9 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., November 12 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., November 14 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and November 19 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Yeoryia Megremis Studios in New York City at the Epic Building located at 2067 Broadway, 5th floor, Otello Room. Final auditions will be held at The Liederkranz Foundation, 6 East 87 Street in New York City, on January 4, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Luminary Judges

At the preliminary auditions, a luminary panel of judges will officiate, including Metropolitan Opera legend Lucine Amara; Maestra Lucy Arner, Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; Maestro Anthony Morss, Emeritus 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.

A professional accompanist will be provided to all participants at the preliminary and final auditions. Finalists selected to perform in the vocal competition will be invited to attend three four-hour free master classes. During the master classes led by Amara and La Quaif, artists will learn deportment, language, style and presentation at auditions.

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

Vocal competition winners and finalists performed in several of Verismo Opera's productions. On April 19, 2016, Nathan Resika, a finalist in the 27th Annual International Vocal Competition, performed in the company's premiere of Amilcare Ponchielli's La Gioconda. The 26th Annual International Vocal Competition's first prizewinner, tenor José Heredia, performed in Verismo Opera's productions of Carmen and La Bohème at bergenPAC and will return on October 23, 2016 to sing in Rigoletto. Baritone Youngjoo An, the 2013 Verismo Opera Vocal Competition's second prize winner, performed in the company's productions of La Bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor and La Gioconda.

The registration fee is $75. Payment may be made securely online at located at the bottom of the pageor by check made out and sent to Verismo Opera, P.O. Box 3024, Fort Lee, New Jersey 07024-9024.

All applicants are required to send a resume, bio, a MP3 file or a CD containing 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. An application may be downloaded at For further information or to schedule an audition appointment, contact info@verismopera.orgor call (201) 886-0561.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera

For 28 years, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

As the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company, Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the theatre and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers.

An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook,, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.

Photo caption: 27th Vocal Competition winners received their awards from Lucine Amara Left to right: Vocalists Janani Sridhar, third place winner, and Sol Jin, first place winner.  Photo Credit: Marilyn Monsanto

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