Opera Scenes Competition: Judging Procedures

Judging at both the preliminary and final rounds will be based on the following ranking and balloting model.


Panels of three qualified opera professionals will be selected to review the submissions in the preliminary round for both divisions.  Judges will rank and select their top five (5) scenes which they believe qualify to advance to the finals in each division. Comments on the submitted scenes in the preliminary round will be returned to the entrants along with notification of advancement status. The coordinator of each division will tabulate the qualifiers, and if there is majority agreement on the five finalists, then those five entrants become the finalists.  If there is no agreement on some of the finalists, the coordinator communicates with the judges which entrants received the most votes. For example, it may be noted that there is agreement that entrants 1, 2, and 3 have been chosen to advance by majority vote, but entrants 4, 5, 6, and 7 received equal votes. The judges will then choose their two top entrants from that group to complete the five finalists.  No scoring or tabulation of numbers is involved in the process, just a ranking of the top qualifiers to advance to the final round. 
The judges may select up to two (s) alternates who may be advanced to the finals with sufficient notification in the event one of the top five qualifiers is unable to attend the convention and participate in the finals.


A.      Winner – First Place
1.       Judges ballot for a single Winner without consultation. 
2.       Judges coordinator/time-keeper (a committee member) tabulates the ballots.  If there is a majority for one (1) entrant (two out of three first place votes), that entrant is declared the Winner and the procedure continues with item B below.  If there is no majority Winner (three different first-place votes), the coordinator informs the judges of the three entrants who have received first place votes on the ballots and the judges again ballot without consultation.
3.       Coordinator tabulates second set of ballots. If there is now a majority for one (1) entrant (and according to very experienced MTNA judges, there usually is on the second ballot for winner – someone will change their vote), that entrant is the winner.
B.      Second and Third Places – The same simple balloting procedure is used. If there is not a consensus on either second or third place, the re-balloting occurs as above. 
C.      Honorable Mention – Honorable Mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the judges. 
Ballots will be held on file by the COSC committee, and comments will be returned to the finalists.