Voice Competition

The Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera
National Voice Competition 

The Final Round of competition was held on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Ziff Ballet Opera House -Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Ten (10) of the best young singers in America performed on the main stage and graced the audience with their glorious music. The event was open to the public (tickets were sold through FGO). $45,000 was awarded in prizes. The audience was even able to vote for their favorite artist who received a $1000 prize.

 Funds for the competition are provided by the Young Patronesses of the Opera, with ongoing support from the Junior Opera Guild, Dr. and Mrs. Phillip George (the Judy George Award), Ms. Renée Fink (the Marvin A. Fink Memorial Award), the Irene Patti Swartz Hammond Memorial Award fund, and several individual donors.



This year’s Judges were:

  • Andrew Bisantz, conductor; music director of Eugene Opera
  • Gerald Martin Moore, voice teacher/pianist/coach and drop the conductor
  • Maria Zouves, soprano; founder and executive director, VOICExperience

 To see a list of this years and previous year’s winners, click HERE.


How the competition Began…

Our Voice Competition was founded in 1972 by one of our YPO founding members and retired soprano opera singer, the late (and greatly missed) Irene Patti (Mrs. Irene Patti Swartz Hammond) . Since that time, YPO has assisted many young opera singers as they pursue their careers by awarding thousands of dollars in prize monies. This financial assistance may be applied by singers to their undergraduate or graduate education or for other expenses incurred in the pursuit of an operatic vocal career, such as role preparation, continuing vocal study, language study, publicity photos, or other audition expenses.

In 1988 the Young Patronesses of the Opera, under its president, Renee Gross, joined forces with the Florida Grand Opera to create a truly prestigious national competition. The competition is advertised, and applications are available online and sent to opera young artist programs and major music schools. Due to the amount of funds available for awards, this has become a sought-after competition.

What are the qualifications and how can I apply?
Singers who are seriously studing opera may enter this competition in one of two categories:

  • Junior Young Artist (ages 20-25)
  • Senior Young Artist (ages 26-30)
    Note: In past seasons, there have been different age divisions.

The Voice Competition Committee, (chaired by Lucie Spieler, Renee Fink, and Charlette Seidel) is responsible for creating and reviewing applications and for reviewing recent CD’s or audiotapes from which the semi-finalists are selected. The committee is also responsible for selecting highly qualified and recognized judges for the auditions. The award winners are selected through two days of live auditions.

Auditions are held biennially, but scholarships may be awarded to previous winners during non-competition years depending on the progress of the winners in their opera careers and on their financial needs. Funds for the Voice Competition come from endowments, individual donations, and the YPO annual budget. YPO receives major support from the Junior Opera Guild and ongoing grants from Dr. and Mrs. Phillip George and the Marvin A. Fink Memorial, and is grateful for past grants from the Patricia Fuller Harrison Memorial and the Olsen Foundation. At present former Voice Competition winners are performing in major opera houses throughout the world.

For more information about the Voice Competition, contact us at: voicecompetition@ypo-miami.org

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