Met Opera National Council Auditions

Metropolitan Opera Kentucky District Auditions


Join us for the

Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 11 a.m.
at Singletary Center for the Arts

*** Please note that the starting time has been changed from 1 pm to 11 am.  ***

405 Rose St, Lexington, KY

The event is free and open to the public.

Parking is available next to UK’s Gatton Student Center.

Download printable flyer about the event.


  • Bruce Donnell, free lance stage director
  • Barbara Lynne Jamison, General Director of Kentucky Opera in Louisville
  • Roberto Kalb, Resident Conductor and Head of Music at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Cliff Jackson

$5,500 in Prize Money

Applications for the 2018-2019 season are now open!
Applicants must be within 20 to 30 years for all voice types.


Click here to apply to compete.

For additional information call Bonnie Mays, Auditions Chairman at 502-232-3868 or
Clifton Smith, District Director at 859-221-1049


The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are a nationwide vocal competition. In this season of auditions there are 42 District auditions sites and 13 Regional auditions sites throughout the continental United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Over 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 participate in the District audition of his or her choice. Winners at the District level advance to compete in their Region Finals.



 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 auditions are held annually in thirteen 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 at the local level. The auditions are administered by MONC volunteers in each area. Many of the world’s foremost singers have received awards from the MONC, and over 100 singers on the Metropolitan Opera roster during any given season have auditioned for the National Council auditions. While there are many routes to the stage of the Met, for North American singers the National Council Auditions create an introduction to the company that may otherwise have eluded them.  In this 63rd season, approximately 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 will participate in the District audition of his or her choice.

Approximately 20 Region first place winners will brought to New York for the Semifinal round on March 6, 2016, and approximately 8-10 Semifinalists will advance to the Final round on March 13, 2016, both at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Approximately 4-6 Finalists are selected as National Council Winners. Semifinalists receive $2,500, Finalists receive $5,000 and Winners receive $15,000. The experience for all of the singers is worth a great deal more than the cash prizes. Each of the region winners who comes to New York is eligible to return during the next three years and audition for the Met’s artistic staff for additional grant money up to $5,000. In this way, the National Council has the opportunity to track the singers’ progress and continue to be of assistance in their career development.

Former MONC participants represent a choice sample of important artists appearing on the Met stage. Frederica von Stade and Paul Plishka were auditions participants in the 1960’s; Samuel Ramey, Wendy  White and Delores Ziegler in the 1970s; Renee Fleming, Ben Heppner, Kei-Kyung Hong, Denyce Graves, Thomas Hampson, Deborah Voight and Susan Graham in the 1980s; and Paul Groves, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky and Eric Cutler were all winners during the 1990s. A who’s who of National Council participants from the 2000s includes Lawrence Brownlee, Simon O’Neill, Charles Taylor, Joseph Kaiser, Susanna Phillips, Angela Meade and Alek Shrader.

Previous Kentucky District Audition Winners and more information about the program can be found at