Tuesday, January 12, 2016




The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, the house opera company of the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), opens the 2016 season and invites singers to audition for the Verismo Opera Chorus and the Verismo Opera Children's Chorus. Artistic Director Lucine Amara announces professional, amateur, and retired male and female singers may audition.

WHEN: Wednesdays, January 27 and February 3 and 10, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Auditions will also be held on Saturday, January 23 at the organization's annual New Year Open House after the program. The Open House will be held at 2:00 p.m. at the same location. An audition appointment is required and must be made in advance.
WHERE: 44 Armory Street in Englewood, New Jersey.


Amara, who began her career in the San Francisco Opera Chorus and performed for over four decades with The Metropolitan Opera in 56 roles, encouraged singers of all ages to audition for the Verismo Opera Chorus. "Performing with the chorus provides a vocalist with the opportunity to gain experience and develop a career by singing in other languages, appearing on a professional stage, and assuming the appearance of someone else. Members of the Verismo Opera Chorus make new friends, wear beautiful costumes, and perform great music," she said.

During the company’s 2016 season, choristers will perform in the company’s premiere of Amilcare Ponchielli’s La Gioconda on April 17 and a new performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto on October 16. Both operas will be presented at 3 p.m. at bergenPAC, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey.

Audition Process

  • Male choristers, representing all vocal ranges and ages, are especially needed. Adult applicants should have a rudimentary working ability to read music and experience singing. Teenagers, ages 17 to 19, may also audition for the Verismo Opera Chorus.
  • Children, ages 10 to 16, are invited to audition for the Verismo Opera Children's Chorus. Applicants must read music and have some prior vocal experience performing with a school, choir, or other performing group or organization. Previous stage experience and foreign language study are desirable. Applicants who have these skills and experiences will be given preference.
  • An application may be downloaded at
  • For information or to schedule an appointment to audition for the chorus, call (201) 886-0561 or contact

The audition consists of singing five note scales. During the audition process, Chorus Director and Associate Conductor Mara Waldman will determine each singer's range and vocal category. Applicants do not need to bring a song or music to the audition.

"Singing in the Verismo Opera Chorus or the Verismo Opera Children's Chorus is a great experience for singers of all ages and abilities.  The chorus performs the world's best-loved music in a fully professional setting with first-class soloists.  Our production team provides beautiful scenery and costumes to bring these operas to life," explained Waldman.

Under her direction, vocalists will sing in Italian and perform live at bergenPAC. Preparation includes instruction in the pronunciation of the text in Italian, vocal warm-ups, learning the music and detailed staging. The operas will be fully staged and performed in costume accompanied by an orchestra led by the company's new Principal Conductor/Music Director, Maestra Lucy Arner.

The audition site is handicapped accessible and designated handicapped parking is available in the adjacent lot. The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera is committed to ensuring that its programs and services are accessible. Vocalists requiring a special accommodation or with specific questions about the physical features of a facility where Verismo Opera performs may call (201) 886-0561 at least two weeks prior to the audition.

The 2016 season is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. Other supporters include the Children’s Aid Foundation, Robert J. Campbell, MD, Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., and Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund.

About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera
For over a quarter century, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera has been an integral part of the region’s classical music culture. Led by Metropolitan Opera luminary Lucine Amara, Verismo Opera delivers a rich, grand opera experience for performers and viewers.

As the Bergen Performing Arts Center's house opera company, Verismo Opera provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists through its semi-annual productions at the theatre and concerts held in community settings. Community members are invited to get involved as supernumeraries and volunteers.

An annual international vocal competition is conducted in November with finals generally drawing artists throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Verismo Opera also organizes opera workshops, master classes and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional productions.

For more information, visit Verismo Opera's web site,; follow the company on Facebook, or Twitter @NJVerismoOpera; or call (201) 886-0561.