The Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera
National Voice Competition
The YPO/FGO competition takes place every two years. It is open to opera singers between the ages of 20 and 30 who are residents of the United States. Singers compete in two divisions: Senior (ages 26 to 30) and Junior (ages 20 to 25). Approximately 30 singers are invited to participate in the semifinal round of the competition. Many of these singers are students or graduates of leading voice programs throughout the world and have significant performance experience as members of young artist programs. The judges select up to 12 singers to advance to the final round. All participants in the final round win at least $1,000, with top prizes of $8,000 for the Senior division and $7,500 for the Junior division.
Funds for the competition are provided by 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 fund, La Fenice, Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust, Opera Volunteers International and several individual donors.
For winners of previous competitions, please 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org