2024 Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition Tempe, AZ
January 2024 Over $15,000 in cash prizes and awards, plus the Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship for Vocal Performance (up to $50,000 per year for graduate study)!
Application deadline: October 15, 2023
The Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition is conducted annually in two divisions: The Artist Division and the Scholarship Division. Preliminary screening and semi-final rounds are heard by audio recording. A maximum of ten finalists are selected in each division to compete in a live, final audition.
Continuing in 2024: we are pleased to provide $400 travel stipends to every finalist.
Note: we are pleased to award the Carolyn Bailey Argento Fellowship in Vocal Performance as part of this competition cycle. Applicants must indicate their interest in being considered for this fellowship, valued at up to $50,000 per year for graduate study, and complete the additional relevant section for the fellowship. Please read the full fellowship details carefully before applying. Note that fellowship applicants will be asked for additional information, including a biographical statement and a statement of career goals for the fellowship. Please have these materials ready when beginning the application form.
2024 Eligibility and Fees
- The Scholarship Division is open to singers aged 18-24, as of January 6, 2024 who are currently enrolled in or have completed undergraduate or graduate programs, or their equivalent. Entry fee for the Scholarship Division is $25 (twenty-five dollars).
- The Artist Division is open to singers aged 25-40, as of January 6, 2024. Entry fee for the Artist Division is $50 (fifty dollars).
- There are no residency or citizenship requirements. The competition is open to all singers who meet the criteria for the appropriate division.
Competition Guidelines and Requirements
- Applicants must submit two recent audio recordings, with piano or orchestral accompaniment, of two of the arias to be offered in the competition, including appropriate recitatives. A cappella recordings will not be accepted. Recordings from live performances are permissible. Do not submit video files. Contestants are strongly urged to use the best possible equipment and location for the recordings, and to verify that the audio files (MP3 or M4A format) play properly before submitting.
- In addition to the two audio recordings, singers in the Scholarship Division must present a list of four opera arias in contrasting styles and periods (the arias submitted as audio recordings will constitute two of these four), in three languages, including one originally in English, at a level appropriate to their vocal development. The competition committee reserves the right to reject unsuitable repertoire. One of the four may be an operetta, zarzuela, or musical theatre selection. Oratorio arias are not permitted.
- In addition to the two audio recordings, singers in the Artist Division must present a list of five opera arias in contrasting styles and periods (the arias submitted as audio recordings will constitute two of these five), in four languages, including one originally in English. The competition committee reserves the right to reject unsuitable repertoire. One of the five may be an operetta or zarzuela aria, but musical theatre selections are not permitted in the Artist Division. Oratorio arias are also not permitted.
- Note: because of the limited repertoire for countertenor voices, such applicants may submit repertoire with a minimum of two languages represented.
- Preliminary screening and semi-final rounds of adjudication in each division are heard by panels of two and three judges, respectively, based on recordings submitted.
- All applicants will be notified by November 25, 2023 regarding their status.
- The final round of the competition will be held in-person in Tempe, AZ, on January 6, 2024, on the campus of Arizona State University.
- Upon notification of advancement to the finals, finalists must confirm their participation in the final round by November 29, 2023.
- Each finalist will receive a $400 travel stipend at the time of their participation in the finals. All other hotel and travel expenses to the final round of the competition are the responsibility of the singer.
- Finalists may request to make changes to their repertoire lists before December 3, 2023. All requests must be approved and no changes may be made after that date. Both selections submitted for adjudication in the preliminary round must be included in the repertoire list for the Finals. Finalists will use accompanists provided by the competition; one rehearsal on Friday late afternoon/evening will be scheduled for each singer to rehearse with their assigned competition pianist.
- Prize winners will be announced immediately following the competition. The winners will receive their awards at the Awards Banquet the evening of Saturday, January 6, 2024, and the first-place winners of each division will perform a selection of their choosing. Finalists are invited to attend conference sessions and the final banquet as guests of NOA.
- By submitting their application to the competition, applicants grant NOA permission to use their submitted headshots and video/audio recordings or photographs of the competition or winners' recital for promotional purposes on the NOA website or other forms of publicity.
Application Procedure and Submission Information
- The deadline for submission of the online application, including payment of the entry fee, is October 15, 2023.
- Applications to the competition are submitted using the online application form. Before beginning application, please be prepared to provide or upload the following:
- Name, mailing address, and other contact information
- Repertoire list (aria, opera, and composer) of four (Scholarship Division) or five (Artist Division) selections to be offered for the competition
- Two audio recordings in MP3 or M4A format, with a maximum file size of 15,000kb (15MB). The recording should NOT include a verbal slate that reveals the name of the singer. (TIP: If your sound files exceed the file size limit, you can use a tool such as: https://cloudconvert.com/mp3-converter to reduce the file size without noticeable loss of sound quality). Note that audio files can be extracted from video recordings. Information here describes ways in which that can be done.
- Scanned legal proof of age showing date of birth (e.g. driver's license, passport, etc.). Social security numbers or other sensitive information should be obscured. Allowed formats: PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG
- Headshot for publicity purposes. Allowed formats: JPG, GIF, PNG
- Applicants must pay the entry fee online during the application process in order to submit. The application fee is non-refundable.
- Incomplete applications and applications with unplayable sound recordings or illegible proofs of age will not be processed nor judged.
- Notification of finalists will be made on or before November 25, 2023. Applicants not chosen as finalists will also be notified by November 25.
All finalists will receive a $400 travel stipend at the time of their participation in the finals to help subsidize their travel expenses to the competition.
Finalists in the Scholarship Division compete for three awards: the Nicholas Vrenios Memorial Award of $2000 to the first-place winner, the Constance Eberhardt Memorial Award for second place, and the Clifford Bair Memorial Award for third place, both ranging from $500 to $1250.
Finalists in the Artist Division compete for three awards: the Todd Duncan Legacy Award to the first-place winner, the Vrenios Family Award to the second place winner and the Marjorie Gordon Award to the third place winner. These and other possible prizes range from $500 to $2500.
In addition to the above, the Legacy Award of $500 is presented to an outstanding contestant representing a racial or ethnic minority, at the discretion of the judges.
Questions regarding the competition may be addressed to:
Lisa Sylvester, competition co-chair, at ,
Christopher Michel, competition co-chair, at , or to
Kirk Severtson, Executive Director, at or by calling 734.615.3784.