Welcome to Opera Index
We offer you: The Opportunity to learn and share experiences with others in the fascinating world of opera while supporting young singers.
The Opera Index Vocal Competition for 2013 will be held October 8, 9, and 11 at the Lang Hall in Hunter College in New York City. Prizes of $45,000 will be given to the winners of the competition.
Please review our vocal competition materials.
Download our Application.
Our Mission Statement
Opera Index is a non-profit volunteer organization whose mission is to provide advocacy for opera and support for its artists. The elements of this mission are threefold
- Provide support for opera singers at the onset of their careers including such endeavors as financial gifts and Opera Index sponsored performances.
- Foster a community of opera lovers through activities created to promote shared relationships and to enhance socialization in the opera environment.
- Promote knowledge to its membership of opera, its history, singers, and organizations.
- Share in the excitement of seeing the future opera singers who will be singing worldwide at the onset of their careers.
- Share the joy of opera with other opera lovers.
- Experience the glamour of our winter galas with known celebrities and our major winners.
- Learn more about opera at our panel discussions, master classes, and interviews.
- Meet people with similar interests.
Opportunities we offer our young singers:
Opera index is one of the major vocal competitions in America. Since 1984 we have given awards valued at almost one million dollars to 323 singers. This year we plan on giving $42,500 in awards.
The auditions for the vocal competition are held in October. We award two categories of singers: Those who are on the cusp of a major career receive awards from $2,500 to $10,000 and those who demonstrate a potential for a major career recieve encouragement amounts of $1,000 each.
In early May we have our Spring Lunch where we hear additional Encouragement Winners and, sometimes, a major winner who was unable to attend the gala. We honor individuals who have made substantial contributions to Opera Index or have been associated with Opera Index activities and events.
Check here for more complete Competition information and an application.
Opera Index, an outgrowth of The New York Opera Club, was founded in the late 1950's by William Wells for the purpose of offering social interaction in the world of opera for his friends. The vehicle chosen to do this was a series of interviews with opera singers. In 1980 it was decided to expand the organization so as to provide awards to singers through a vocal competition. This required the creation of a non-profit organization.
Opera Index was incorporated in 1982 as a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. The name referred to an index kept by William Wells which had a listing of known opera singers at that time - a most unusual name that has persisted despite the fact that the index no longer exists.
The vocal competition began in 1984 with such winners as Susanne Mentzer and Jo-Ann Pickens. As of 2008, 282 singers have been given awards. A full list can be found here. This year Opera Index will be giving out a total of $42,500 in awards.
Opera Index winners singing at the Metropolitan Opera this season include: Paul Appleby (2011), Stephenie Blythe (1996), Eric Cutler (2000), Michael Fabiano (2007), Oren Gradus (2003), Susan Graham (1987), Wendy Bryn Harmer (2005) Kyle Ketelsen (1998), Takesha Kizart (2006), Kate Lindsey (2004),Angela Meade (2006), Lisette Oropessa (2006), Eric Owens (1993), Deborah Voigt (1988).
The winter gala, our major fund raiser, began in 1983 with soprano Zinka Milanov. Since 1985 major persons in the world of opera have been honored at these galas. Up to 1995 the gala was held in December. Beginning in 1997 the gala has been held in January as it is this year.
Opportunities we offer our members and others:
Our biggest event is the Winter Gala held at the beautiful Jumeirah Essex House in New York City. This is a formal affair attended by many opera and theater celebrities. Attendees hear Opera Index major winners and have the opportunity to toast the Honoree.
In November, we have our Membership Party, free to all paid-up members. This is where we hear Encouragement Winners. These are singers who demonstrate a special quality early in their career.
During the year, we offer an array of activities. These include:
Opera Plus is just that - an opera with a dinner, reception or both for the price of an opera ticket.
The list of honorees include: Leonie Rysenik (1985); Samuel Ramey (1986); Roberta Peters (1987); Licia Albanese (1988); Marilyn Horne (1988); Jamila Nvotna (1990); Alfredo Kraus (1991); Lucine Amara and Jerome Hines (1992); Birgit Nilsson (1993); Renato Scotto (1994); Rose Bampton and Theodor Uppman (1995); Anna Moffo (1997); Grace Bumbry (1998); Martina Arroyo (1999); George Jellinek (2000); Deborah Voigt (2001); Jon Vickers (2002); Regina Resnik (2003); Sherrill Milnes (2004); James Morris (2005); Catherine Malfitano (2006); Jessye Norman (2007); Aprile Millo (2008); Julius Rudel (2009); Patrice Munsel (2010); Shirley Verrett and George Shirley (2011), Eve Queler (2012) and Eric Owens (2013).