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 discovers promising young opera singers and assists in the development of their careers. Hundreds of volunteers from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico fundraise, operate, and support the efforts of the Competition and its singers. Some of today’s greatest opera stars got their start in the competition, including Jamie Barton, Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Emily D'Angelo, Michael Fabiano, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Ryan Speedo Green, Lisette Oropesa, Eric Owens, Nadine Sierra, and Christian Van Horn.

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 as the Laffont Competition, these 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 70 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 Volunteer Form.