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.



The National Council Auditions are held annually in fourteen Regions of the United States and Canada. There are forty-two Districts within these Regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the Auditions Program at the local level. The auditions are administered by National Council members and volunteers in each region. The New York District forms one whole with the New York Region.


“I am so grateful for competitions like this that allow a singer to get exposure as well as provide assistance for voice lessons, travel expenses, and much more.”

— Amy Owens, 2nd Place Region Finalis 2015

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The Auditions

Winners of the District auditions advance to their Region Finals 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 ten 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 jury awards approximately five Grand Winner 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 National Semi-Finalists but did not advance to the National Finals will be given $1,500 to further their studies.





Rounds of Auditions


Awarded (2017 - 2018 Season)


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 National Council. Annually, approximately 100 former auditioners appear in Metropolitan Opera productions.



Get Involved

MONC Eastern Region is a volunteer based organization. As a district and a region, we are responsible for raising all the funds necessary to hold the District Auditions and the Region Finals; this includes rental of an audition space and pianist, as well as the prize money awarded to the winners. It is only at the Semi-Finals level that the MetOpera takes over and organizes and funds the last two rounds of the competition.

We want to give our singers the best possible chances when competing, and this means holding the auditions at a concert hall like Merkin or Baruch College. We also like to provide our singers with great pianists and knowledgeable judges.

We keep our costs low so we can award as much money as possible to our winners. A voice lesson in New York City can easily cost $200/hour, so being an opera singer is an expensive profession with many hidden costs. MONC Eastern Region is a 501(c)3, so your donation is tax-deductible up to the extent allowed by law.