When will the application to audition be available for the 2018 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition?
The online application will be available via Yaptracker.com on Friday, January 5, 2018.

When is the 2018 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition?
Preliminary round auditions are scheduled May 21-24, 2018. Finals are Saturday, May 26, 2018.

How frequently is the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition held?
The Jensen Vocal Competition is held annually.

Where is the competition held?
The Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition is held in New York City in the Engelman Recital Hall at Baruch Performing Arts Center.

What are the competition qualification requirements?
An eligible applicant:

  • has never been a first-, second-, or third-place award winner of the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition;
  • is between the ages of 25 and 35 on May 21, 2018;
  • has been a permanent legal resident of the US for at least one year on May 21, 2018; 
  • provides proof of residency in the form of a valid US passport, valid permanent resident (green) card or a U.S. birth certificate. A driver's license is not acceptable as proof of residency, nor are work or study visas;
  • is actively pursuing a career in opera;
  • is not a past or current recipient of a contract for a principal role with an OPERA America Budget Level I company or its international equivalent. Cover, chorus, and comprimario roles are acceptable.

Which opera companies are Level 1 companies?
According to OPERA America, the following companies are Level I:   

  • Dallas Opera
  • Houston Grand Opera
  • Los Angeles Opera
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Metropolitan Opera
  • San Francisco Opera
  • Santa Fe Opera
  • Seattle Opera
  • Washington National Opera

How do I apply to participate in the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition?
If you meet the eligibility requirements above, apply to audition via Yaptracker.com when the application goes live on Friday, January 5, 2018. To receive news of the application, please sign-up for our newsletter. If you have questions about your eligibility, email Competition Director Lisa V. Gray before you apply, as your application fee is non-refundable!

What is the application fee?
The application fee is $25 and is not refundable. The fee covers the administrative costs associated with processing the application, as well as credit card and registration-tool costs.

How many audition spaces are available, and how are audition spaces filled?
The competition offers 100 singers the opportunity to audition. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, as applications are processed on a first-in basis. 

Is there a waitlist for the competition?
The 2018 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition will offer preliminary auditions to 100 singers. If there are additional qualified applicants, the Competition Director will create a waitlist. Frequently, singers on the waitlist are offered an audition slot. Any singer who has been offered a slot but is unsure of his/her availability is encouraged to release the audition time as soon as possible, as there are many qualified applicants waiting in the wings. Each applicant offered a position on the waitlist will receive confirmation of the waitlist status and the waitlist procedures after the initial audition schedule is released on Friday, April 13, 2018.

Is a professional accompanist provided?
Yes, the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition offers all singers a professional accompanist free-of-charge. Singers may opt to bring their own accompanists as well. 

Who can attend the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition Finals?
The Finals are free and open to the public. Singers who are not chosen to compete are encouraged to attend the final competition and awards ceremony.

Who are the judges?
Preliminary rounds (Monday-Thursday) are judged by a panel of three judges - all of whom are active in professional opera production and/or higher education. The Finals are judged by a roster of three guest judges, chosen from opera professionals experienced in adjudication. Our slate of 2017 Finals Judges was F. Paul Driscoll, Rosalind Elias, and Michael Heaston. The 2018 Finals Judges will be announced in Spring 2018. Finals judges do not attend the preliminary rounds and have no communication with the preliminary judges until after the finalists have been chosen. The judges for the Finals are given a specific set of instructions to follow, and decisions are based on that day's performance only.

How are auditions scheduled?
The preliminary auditions take place over four days, and the preliminary judges hear approximately 25 singers per day. Singers are scheduled in 10-minute slots. When a singer's audition is complete, s/he is free to leave the Competition location. Only finalist singers are required to return to the Competition on Saturday, May 26, 2018 (although all are welcome to attend and listen!).

The Jensen Foundation makes every effort to schedule locally-based singers at the beginning of the week.  We try to schedule those traveling from out of town at the end of the week, so they are not required to stay longer than necessary in New York. While we try to be accommodating in scheduling, specific audition times are approximate and cannot be guaranteed. 

When do singers find out if granted an audition?
All singers who are granted auditions will be notified by email by Friday, April 13, 2018. Audition slots do open up later, due to performance conflicts, travel, illness, and more. Should new audition opportunities emerge, waitlisted applicants are contacted at the earliest possible time. See the Important Dates for more specific 2018 Competition information.