TCO NEXT – A Virtual Vocal Competition

We’re excited to announce our first national vocal competition, coming Fall 2020! TCO NEXT seeks to encourage emerging professional singers by promoting new voices and new music. We hope you’ll join us in looking forward to the future through this virtual competition.

Applications due August 15, 2020


  • The competition is open to all opera singers eligible to work in the United States.
  • There is no age limit.
  • Applicants may not have sung more than one non-Young Artist Program role with an OPERA America Budget Level 1 company.


  • Application fee: $50
  • A small number of need-based scholarships are available. Please contact John Cockerill at for more information.

*Please note that all application fees are non-refundable.


  • Complete the online YAP Tracker application form. (You can register for a free YAP Tracker account by clicking here.)
  • Attach three (3) audio recordings (no video accepted).
    • Repertoire:
      • Selections should demonstrate stylistic variety and must be in three different languages, one of which must be English.
      • One selection must be either:
        • a musical theatre/cabaret piece, or
        • a piece written since 2000.
      • While pieces from the opera/musical theatre canon are preferred, applicants may choose to submit an art song. No more than one art song should be submitted.
      • Selections should be sung in their original keys and languages. (Standard transpositions or translations are also permitted.)
    • Recordings should be of a clear quality and include only the pieces being submitted. Each piece should be submitted as a separate upload, and include piano accompaniment.
    • No repertoire changes are allowed after submission materials are sent.
  • Pay application fee.

*Please note that all applications must be submitted online through YAP Tracker. Mailed applications will not be considered.


  • The first round will be audio-only: the judges will receive only the audio selections provided by the applicants and will not receive the applicants’ names or personal information.
  • Audio recordings will not be shared outside of the competition.
  • The judges for the first and semi-final rounds will be:
    • Jenni Bank – Mezzo-soprano & Artistic Advisor
    • Tesia Kwarteng – Mezzo-soprano & former Tri-Cities Opera Resident Artist
    • John Rozzoni – General Director, Tri-Cities Opera


  • Semi-finalists will be announced on social media and in a press release.
  • Each semi-finalist will asked to submit:
    • 3 video recordings adhering to the repertoire requirements for the prescreening round listed above (which may be the same pieces as the audio recordings submitted with the application),
    • Repertoire list of submitted pieces,
    • Headshot,
    • A 250-300 word bio (which may include website, social media handles, and other relevant promotional details),
    • Tax documents, and
    • A short Q&A video for promotion and publicity.
  • Semi-finalists must agree that TCO may use their videos for promotion of the competition.


  • Finalists will be announced on social media and in a press release, and will be featured on TCO’s social media pages leading up to the final round.
  • The final round, held October 18, 2020, will be a streamed concert of select videos submitted for the semi-final round. Finalists will not need to submit new materials, but are encouraged to attend the online concert so they can engage on social media and support their colleagues.
  • The judges for the final round will be:
  • The winners will be announced at the end of the concert.


  • Grand Prize: $3,000 plus a role with Tri-Cities Opera
  • 2nd Prize: $2,000
  • 3rd Prize: $1,000
  • Audience Choice/Social Media Award: $250 (see below)
  • Encouragement Prizes of $100 will go to the remaining finalists.
    • Encouragement prize winners will not need to pay an application fee if they choose to apply the following year.
    • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners are not eligible to compete again.
  • All semi-finalists will be eligible to compete for the Social Media Award, which carries a $250 prize.
  • Semi-finalists will be asked to select a 30-second clip from one of their videos that they feel best captures them as a performer and artist.
  • The videos will be available on TCO’s social media for the semi-finalists to share and promote.
  • The singer whose video receives the most cumulative “likes” or other reactions will be the winner.
  • Please follow/like TCO on social media, and use #TCONEXT for competition-related posts.


Email: John Cockerill at

*No phones calls please.

Tri-Cities Opera reserves the right to modify the rules and regulations of the competition as necessary.