The 26th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

honoring Cecile and Fred Bonte

Talented young singers with a Texas connection compete for prestige and financial support to pursue their operatic careers. Free and open to the public — join us in supporting these singers!

Plan to attend and support these talented young singers as they compete for monetary awards! Performing to a full auditorium in a first-class facility is surely a thrilling experience. You can make it memorable by being there to hear the future stars of the opera world — and vote for your favorite to receive The People’s Choice Award!

About the Vocal Competition

The mission of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition is to seek out, encourage, and provide financial support for talented young Texas singers pursuing a career in opera or the theater.

Over the past 24 years, the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition has helped launch the careers of singers including Clifton Forbis, Mary Dunleavy, Latonia Moore, Jesus Garcia, Scott Scully, Jennifer Black, Weston Hurt, Takesha Meshé Kizart, Steven Labrie, Valerie Vinzant, Juan José Deleon, and John Holiday, Jr.

Past winners have built on the encouragement and financial support received from the Vocal Competition to propel them toward

  • advanced study at leading vocal institutes,
  • acceptance into young artists’ programs,
  • solid careers in opera,
  • acclaimed Metropolitan Opera débuts,
  • stellar international careers,
  • award-winning roles on Broadway, and
  • music faculty positions with leading universities.

All acknowledge the impact that the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition had on their musical lives at an early or pivotal stage in their careers — sometimes making the difference between having a meal to eat or money to pay their lodging. Through their achievements, winners draw recognition to the quality of the vocal arts in Texas and/or the Texas universities at which they studied.


Founded in 1957, the non-profit Dallas Opera Guild first established a formal program to support young singers in 1987, originally known as The Career Development Grant for Singers. That program evolved into the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition.

Each year in Dallas, classically-trained Texas singers between the ages of 18 and 30 compete for recognition and cash awards by performing on the stage of a major opera house, in front of a live audience, for a panel of judges representing some of the most prestigious opera companies in North America.


The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition is unique in its exclusive focus on Texas talent. The annual Call for Entries, launched across the State of Texas, helps build awareness of the Competition, of the Dallas Opera, and of the acclaimed Winspear Opera House.

The Competition is open to classically-trained singers between the ages of 18 and 30 who either reside or are studying in Texas. Applicants must not have had a leading role with a major opera company.

Applicants audition by submitting a compact disc recording of operatic arias, accompanied by two professional recommendations. Contestants are selected by pre-competition judges from a double-blind listening of the recorded arias. Those who pass the audition are invited to compete in the semi-final event, held in Dallas.


At the judges’ discretion and contingent on available funding, cash awards may be given to First, Second, and Third place winners; Encouragement Awards may also be given. The annual People’s Choice Award is bestowed on the audience favorite, determined by a Secret Ballot vote following the final contestant’s performance.

Each year, funding must be raised anew to cover operating expenses and cash awards. Preparing for the annual event is a year-long process, organized and managed by Guild volunteers who donate hundreds of hours of their time, their talents, and their financial resources to help offset the costs. Loyal individuals and businesses in the community also underwrite many of the services, thereby increasing the amount of funding available to directly support these young singers.

Community Impact

By offering free admission to the event, the Competition enriches the greater Dallas-Fort Worth community through enhanced cultural opportunity, awareness, and access: to a live performance in the acclaimed opera house, to the art of the aria and the un-amplified voice, and to an exceptionally high level of musical and artistic achievement. Through the increased exposure the Competition provides, the Guild endeavors to build future audiences for the opera, as well as performance opportunities for the contestants.

Cynthia Wildridge

When and Where

March 15, 2014

at the Winspear Opera House

Semifinals 11:30am
Finals 7:30pm

Free Admission!

Parking $5
in the Lexus Red Garage
under the Winspear


Congratulations to the following performers for being selected to participate in the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition!

Erin Alcorn, Soprano
Cristina Bakhoum, Mezzo-Soprano
Christopher Besch, Bass-Baritone
Nicholas Brownlee, Bass-Baritone
Bille Bruley, Tenor
Natalie Cummings, Soprano
Rebekah Howell, Soprano
Moretta Irchirl, Mezzo-Soprano
Youna Jang, Soprano
Sooyeon Kang, Soprano
Jeawook Lee, Tenor
Natalie Logan, Soprano
Trevor Martin, Baritone
Audra Methvin, Soprano
Sarah Clementine Mire, Soprano
Chaazi Munyanya, Mezzo-Soprano
Said Henry Pressley, Bass-Baritone
Coretta Smith, Soprano
Reginald Smith, Jr., Baritone
Matthew Stump, Baritone
Brent Turner, Baritone