Collegiate Vocal Competition


Opera Grand Rapids is proud to announce its 2020/21 Collegiate Vocal Competition!

The 17th annual Collegiate Vocal Competition is an opportunity for college-level voice students to compete for cash prizes and receive feedback from adjudicators who themselves are acclaimed opera artists. Opera Grand Rapids brings world-class professionals into its adjudication process in order to give contestants meaningful instruction and critique.

The competition enters its second year in a new format: first-round applications are now submitted online, and 10 finalists will perform in the final-round concert at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on April 3, 2021. This competition boasts the second-largest purse in the nation at nearly $25,000, awarded as follows:


First Place
Second Place
Third Place

Friends of the Opera Award

chosen by audience members during the final-round concert

10 Finalists will receive $500 to be used as a travel stipend


October 1, 2020

Application opens

February 1, 2021

Application deadline

February 2–19, 2021

Independent review by panel of judges

February 26, 2021

Finalists notified

April 3, 2021

Final-round concert in Grand Rapids, Michigan


  • Entrants must be enrolled as an undergraduate at a higher-education institution in the United States as of February 1, 2021.
  • Entrants must be under the age of 25 as of February 1, 2021.

First-Round Application

Contestants must submit several materials for the first round:

1. Video recordings of two arias

    • At least one piece must be in a language other than English.
    • At least one piece must have been composed in 1950 or later.

2. Written response to the given prompt

    • 2020 has forced artists—especially singers—to face unprecedented challenges, from the COVID-19 pandemic to a racial reckoning. What have you done to make your art relevant and accessible, and how are you using your art to better the lives of others?

3. Application fee, payable online through Acceptd

4. Résumé
5. Headshot
6. Photocopy of an ID with date of birth clearly displayed

2020 Collegiate Vocal Competition

Thank you to everyone who watched, voted, and cheered on these talented singers! If you missed the livestream, you can watch the recording of the Final Round Concert.

And the winners are…

1st—David Young, Tenor, DePauw University
2nd: Shannon Crowley, Soprano, Michigan State University
3rd and Friends of the Opera Award: Lily Belle Czartorski, Mezzo, Oakland University


The Secchia Family Charitable TrustFriends of the OperaKarl & Jean VanderLaanKBO GroupAria Show Technology