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NOA Dissertation Competition - 2022-24 Cycle

Call for Nominations

The National Opera Association announces its biennial competition for the outstanding dissertation on operatic subjects.

Submission Procedure

  • The competition is open to all doctoral candidates whose degrees were/will be conferred between September 1, 2022 and August 31, 2024.
  • Each entry should include:
    • A PDF version of the dissertation (author- or institution-identifying information, including cover pages, etc., should be redacted)
    • A 100-word abstract (no identifying information of the author should be included)
    • Two letters of nomination: one from the dissertation committee chair and one from the department head of the degree-granting institution
    • A 150-word biography of the author
  • Self-nominations are acceptable.
  • Committee members reviewing submissions do not see identifying information; bios are held for use in the conference program if the dissertation is selected as a winner.
  • Judges reserve the right not to award a winner at their sole discretion.
  • Deadline for submission is October 15, 2024. The winner will be notified by November 16, 2024.

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The author of the winning dissertation will be recognized and will receive a certificate of recognition at the annual National Conference of the National Opera Association. Winners are invited to submit an article emanating from the dissertation for consideration for inclusion in The Opera Journal (see submission guidelines for further information).

Application Information

There is no application fee for the competition, but entrants must be members of the National Opera Association. Non-members wishing to submit a paper can become members by applying online.

Note: Please submit your dissertation with the author's name, university information, cover page, and acknowledgements page redacted or omitted; this will be the copy that is passed along to the committee. Please check and redact any specific information identifying your university affiliation prior to submission.

Submit dissertations and letters of nomination using the online form. Questions may be addressed to: Caroline Schiller, Research Committee Chair at .

Recent Winners

Valentine Baron
Valentine Baron
2020-2022 Winner

Dr. Valentine Baron is a native of France, after a Bachelor and a Master in Musicology received in Montpellier, France, she moves to New York to pursue a Master in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at New York University in the studio of the tenor Dr. Scott Murphree. While studying at NYU she teaches voice as an adjunct in the same institution. In 2018, she opens her own voice studio in Paris where she teaches voice to more than 40 students (Classical, Musical Theater, CCM). A passionate about writing, vocal science and vocal pedagogy she moves back to the United States to complete her Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) at the University of Nevada Las Vegas in the studio of the soprano Dr. Linda Lister. Her doctoral document entitled “Developing Vocal Agility of Light Lyric Coloratura Soprano Voices Through the Neglected Repertoire of French Opéra Comique” is a pedagogical guide encouraging light soprano voices reconnecting with the opéra comique repertoire for technical development of vocal agility. Valentine is a member of the National Opera Association, Pan American Vocology Association, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. As a performer Valentine performed with the New York Lyric Opera Theatre, Regina Opera Company, FAVA Opera, Opera Las Vegas, and Vegas City Opera. In 2021, she placed third at the Regional NATSAA (NATS Artist Award) competition in Provo, UT. Currently living in Las Vegas, Valentine teaches voice remotely for the French Conservatory of Music located in Beverly Hills.

Tania Arazi Coambs
Tania Arazi Coambs
2018-2020 Winner

With diverse musical interests in opera, musical theatre, jazz, and art song, Tania Arazi Coambs is a passionate and versatile performer, stage director, scholar, and writer. Recognized for her “searing and intense acting and singing,” Tania made her début at Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall as the winner of the American Prize Chicago Music Theater Award. Role highlights include: Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Gretel (Hansel und Gretel), Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi), Aldonza (The Man of La Mancha), and Dr. Vivian Watson in a tour of the play Preemptive. An award-winning stage director, she most recently directed Farinelli and the King. Forthcoming in 2021, she will direct “Banned” Stories, a digital theatre project generously supported by the Mellon Foundation. Tania holds a DMA in Vocal Performance and Literature with a concentration in Stage Direction from the University of Illinois.