Mission Statement

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.


MONC Eastern Region

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.

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.

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.

You can read a more detailed history of the National Council here.


Metropolitan Opera National Council

President, Mitchell L. Lathrop
National Auditions Chairman, Camille LaBarre
Executive Director of Auditions, Gayletha Nichols
Associate Directors of Auditions, Melissa Wegner
National Adviser, Eric Owens

Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, Eastern Region Committee

Tom Cannon Jr.

Lara Marcon, Treasurer

Lisa Litwin

Peter Agnone Ruane

Stefanie Van Steelandt, Chair