About the Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition
In recognition of a generous gift from the Laffont family, the Met’s nationwide vocal competition—known since its founding in 1954 as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions—begins a new chapter as the Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition. Mrs. Laffont, an Advisory Director on the Met Board, has spent many hours volunteering with the auditions over the last 20 years, and she and her late husband, Eric, have long been among the program’s most dedicated supporters.
The competition is designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers, and is sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council, including members and hundreds of volunteers from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Some of today’s greatest singers got their start in the auditions, including Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, Lawrence Brownlee, Lisette Oropesa, Jamie Barton, Michael Fabiano, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ryan Speedo Green, and Nadine Sierra.
To explore the rich history of the National Council, this short film was written and produced by Paul Gruber of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Starting with the Auditions of theAir in the 1930s and continuing today, the Auditions have been a defining step in the careers of our greatest opera stars.
The Audition, directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, examines the intense pressures young opera singers face as they struggle to succeed in one of the most difficult professions in the performing arts. The feature-length documentary takes you behind the scenes at the 2007 National Council Auditions, where each year thousands of hopefuls compete for a cash prize, the chance to sing on the Met stage - and the opportunity to launch a major operatic career. View the trailer above and visit Met Opera on Demand or the Met Opera Shop to see the whole film.
For over 60 years, these volunteers have generously given of their time, money and support to assist young singers throughout the country in making it to the next level in their careers. The Metropolitan Opera is grateful for their commitment.
If you would like to become involved with the auditions in your area and be a part of the Met family, please fill out the MONC volunteer form.