2019 Alexandra Razskazoff, soprano. 2018 Emmett O'Hanlon, baritone. 2017 Alexandra Nowakowski, soprano
2016 Andre Courville, bass-baritone. 2015 Alasdair Kent, tenor
Soon after the founding of Opera at Florham in 1982, its flagship activity, the Opera at Florham Vocal Competition Honoring Violetta DuPont was established in 1987 in honor of OaF’s benefactor and co-founder, Violetta DuPont, for her vision and tireless commitment over a span of 25 years. Viewed in the music industry as an important competition in North America, OaF’s vocal competition offers a selection of prizes totaling $10,000 to qualified entrants who demonstrate exceptional talent in the operatic art form.
In the final round, the public is invited to watch 8-12 finalists perform arias before a celebrated collection of jurists.
The Vocal Competition was designed to project the mission of OaF by creating opportunities, growth, development, and support for young professional singers on the threshold of promising operatic careers. This support is manifested in three ways:
Prize awards: Three Grand Prizes are awarded: 1st $5,000, 2nd $3,000, and 3rd $1,500. Encouragement Awards are given to the other finalists.
Exposure to industry professionals: During the day-long process, industry professionals and consultants are invited to the proceedings, both as adjudicators, invited agent artists, managers, and VIP’S. Participants both sing and interact with these professionals and often develop ongoing relationships beyond the event.
Awarding of future roles: OaF attempts to continue the relationship with selected winners of the competition by offering those artists roles to perform in public in future musicales produced by the company, thus making the relationship both immediate and ongoing. Many previous finalists are now on the rosters of the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and other companies here and abroad.
The competition audition process is two-fold: preliminary live listening, and the final selection at the Vocal Competition musicale. Entrants, age 21-35, submit an application which includes the applicant’s resume and recommendations. The preliminary round can attract over 100 entrants and is overseen by the Gerda Lissner Foundation in New York City the week prior to the Vocal Competition musicale. The preliminary selection jury identifies 8-12 finalists who are invited to compete in a public forum before a celebrated collection of jurists which have included, in the past, famed opera singers Licia Albanese and Jerome Hines.
The public is invited to attend the final round of the Competition held in the Spring at the FDU Mansion in Madison, NJ, and witness extraordinary young singers from around the United States and abroad who are pursuing careers as operatic vocalists, and vying for the prizes.