Laffont Competition – The Metropolitan Opera

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The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition – Kentucky District

The Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, formerly known as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, cultivates young opera singers and assists in the development of their careers. The competition is held annually in 37 districts and 11 regions of the United States, Canada and Mexico – all administered by dedicated National Council members and volunteers. Winners of the Region competition advance to compete in the National Semi-Finals. National finalists are then selected to compete in the Grand Finals Concert on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Over $400,000 in prize money was awarded to singers in the 2020-2021 season. This prize money allows young singers to invest in further training, travel and career development for their budding careers in opera.

Since November 2000 the Kentucky District auditions have been held in Lexington, Kentucky. Sponsored by OperaLex, these prestigious auditions have awarded over $4,000 in prize money annually and have sent singers on to the Central Regions in Chicago, the National Semi-Finals and the Grand Finals at the Met in New York. The Kentucky District, along with OperaLex, is so proud to host and produce this important artistic event that helps and encourages young singers as they pursue careers in opera. From Lexington to Lincoln Center!

2021-2022 Competition

The Kentucky District Competition will be held on
November 13, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. EST
Transylvania University
Haggin Auditorium, Mitchell Fine Arts Center
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508

Our distinguished panel of judges this year:
Kristin Cowdin, Sempre Artists, President and Artist Manager
Kathleen Kelly, Coach, Conductor Cincinnati Conservatory of Music
Karen Slack, soprano, Portland Opera, Artistic Advisor

COVID-19 mitigation

Per the Metropolitan Opera Guidelines, along with Transylvania University’s campus-wide policy, all persons who attend the competition must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. For admittance to the venue, all attendees must present:

  1. proof of vaccination with a vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or by the World Health Organization (WHO). Valid CDC vaccination cards (original, hard copy, or digital copy) will be checked upon entry to the Mitchell Fine Arts Building
  2. photo ID.

You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving a second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

All persons attending must wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times. Competitors will be permitted to remove masks while performing.

Facility staff and Laffont Competition volunteers reserve the right to require visitors who do not follow our guidelines to leave the event immediately. Any attendees who are disrespectful or discourteous to other guests, staff, or volunteers may also be asked to leave.


  1. Jessica Bayne, UKOT alumna
  2. Savannah Etter, UKOT alumna
  3. Kendra Beasley, encouragement award 2019, 2020, UKOT alumna
  4. 2019 winners and judges
  5. 2018 participants
  6. Photo of grand finals at the Met
Sally Horowitz Photography
Sally Horowitz Photography
Sally Horowitz Photography
Sally Horowitz Photography
Sally Horowitz Photography
Photographer: Fay Fox