The National Council Auditions program is designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers.
The auditions are held annually in 12 Regions of the United States and Canada. There are 41 Districts within these Regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the auditions at the local level. The auditions are administered by MONC volunteers in each area.
Many of the world’s foremost singers, among them Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt and Dolora Zajick, have received awards from the MONC, and approximately 100 former auditioners appear in Metropolitan Opera productions each season.
The MONC Florida District holds auditions for up to 40 singers in the Orlando, Florida area each year on a Saturday in January, at Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park.
Winners of the District Auditions advance to their Region Finals (with Florida winners advancing to New Orleans’ Gulf Coast Region), where they compete to win a trip to New York to participate in the National Semi-Finals, a competition held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
Approximately 8 to 10 of the Semi-Finalists are selected as National Finalists, and compete the following Sunday in a public concert, the Grand Finals Concert, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The judges award approximately 4 to 6 Winners awards of $15,000 each. The concert is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network. The remaining National Finalists receive $5,000 each, and those singers who were Semi-Finalists, but did not advance to the National Finals, receive $2,500 each.
The purpose of the National Council Auditions Program is:
To discover exceptional young talent and provide a venue for young opera singers across North America at all levels of development, to be heard by representatives of the Metropolitan Opera and to assist those with the greatest potential for operatic careers.
Met Auditions Florida District