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The Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition showcases the talents of young singers aspiring to professional careers in opera. The 2021 competition will honor the memories of Cecile Bonte and Connie Klemow, longtime supporters and Dallas Opera Volunteers.
The competition is open to residents of all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Competitors must be United States citizens or have the right to work in the U.S. There is no upper or lower age limit for the applicants, however the competition is intended to focus primarily on individuals of 18-34 years of age at the start day of the competition. Exceptions are made on case-by-case bases.
Participants compete for prestige and monetary prizes during the event held in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. The finalists also have the opportunity to sing with The Dallas Opera Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.
The competition will award $10,000 for the grand prize, $5,000 to 2nd place, $2,500 to 3rd place, and $1,000 to the People’s Choice winners.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Vocal Competition!
Meghan Kasanders, Soprano
1st Place and People’s Choice Winner
Reginald Smith, Jr., Baritone
Christopher Oglesby, Tenor
Read the full press release for the 2019 National Vocal Competition here.
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.
Today, the competition’s classically-trained U.S. singers will compete once a year for industry recognition, career encouragement, the chance to perform on a world-class stage with Maestro Emmanuel Villaume and The Dallas Opera Orchestra as well as significant cash awards—all before a live audience and a panel of judges representing some of the most prestigious opera companies in North America.
At the judges’ discretion (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.
The competition will be accepting applications from across the United States and its territories for the semi-final round; ultimately, up to six finalists will be chosen to sing with the full orchestra while competing for top prizes.