After a two-year pandemic pause, Opera at Florham will present its 32nd International Song Competition at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 at St. Margaret of Scotland’s Church, 6 Sussex Ave., Morristown.
Created in 1987 by Opera at Florham co-founder and benefactor Violetta DuPont, the competition showcases singers between the ages of 21 and 35 who are actively pursuing a career in opera. Previous winners and finalists have honored the New York Metropolitan Opera and other globally recognized performing stages.
More than 50 contestants were scheduled to audition in New York on April 21 and 22. Eight to ten finalists will then be selected to perform in front of the public at the May Day finale.
Opera at Florham Artistic director Mary Pinto organises, conducts and accompanies the two competition rounds on the piano. The MC for the finale is Mariana Karpatova, a board member of Opera at Florham and voice professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The judges for the auditions and the final competition are accomplished judges renowned in the world of opera: Scott Barnes, Ken Benson, Cynthia Munzer, James Thurmond Smithgall and Barbara Ann Testa.
Over $10,000 in prizes are awarded to contest winners. Sponsors of the event are Marty Jeiven, Joseph DuPont in honor of his mother Violetta, Joseph Lodato in honor of his singing teacher, Dr. Lorine Buffington-Summers, and several anonymous donors.
Admission is $25 or $10 for students. Tickets can be ordered online at operaatflorham.orgor by mailing a check to Opera at Florham Treasurer, 712 Ridge Drive, Union, NJ 07083. Tickets are also available at the performance.
Opera at Florham has been Northern New Jersey’s premier opera company since its founding in 1982.
In addition to the vocal competition, each season its professionally trained artists present four to five concerts where they perform opera arias and excerpts from American Broadway musical theatre. Singers and music teachers reach out to local communities with programs.
The band’s Opera Talk series premieres April 23 and May 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Mansion at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison. Topics include “The Operatic Voice” and “Mothers in Opera”.
Funding was made possible in part by Morris Arts Council funds through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.