Opera Australia Blog

Audition Opportunity: International auditions hosted by NYIOP and Opera Australia

In association with Opera Australia, NYIOP has announced it will hold auditions in Australia in February. It will be the first time the New York-based professional auditions service has travelled to Sydney, giving Australian artists the opportunity to sing for some of the world’s prestigious opera houses and sought-after agencies without leaving the country.

Opera Australia has partnered with NYIOP founder David Blackburn to bring the auditions service to Australia.

“We’re proud that we’re able to work with David Blackburn to give Australian singers the opportunity to demonstrate their individual talents to other major international opera companies,” said Lyndon Terracini, Opera Australia’s Artistic Director.

The auditions will be held in Sydney from February 13-16, 2014.

Representatives from the Metropolitan Opera New York, Los Angeles Opera and the Chinese National Opera Beijing will all attend the auditions, along with IMG Artists NYC.

The Artistic Director of Opera Australia, Lyndon Terracini, will also be present at the auditions, along with Australian artist managers Patrick Togher and Graham Pushee.

Each of the opera companies in attendance will be looking to offer contracts in current and future seasons, find young artists for their young artist studio programs and identify new talent to watch.

NYIOP is a professional auditions service that has been instrumental in launching the careers of many well-known opera singers around the world today. Giorgio Caoduro, who is singing Marcello in La bohème for Opera Australia at present made his US debut off the back of an NYIOP audition.

The auditions are open to anyone who wishes to be heard by the panel – professional singers and aspiring singers alike. There is an audition fee of AU$600, which will be used to help subsidise the cost of bringing panel members to Australia.

Singers can schedule their own appointments via the NYIOP online system at nyiop.appointy.com. Auditions will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Anyone who registers an audition slot prior to January 15, 2014 will receive a discount – paying an audition fee of $525.

The deadline for registration is February 5, 2014.

Artists prepare four or five arias for the panel. They will sing one of their choice, and then the panel may ask to hear any of the other prepared arias.

For more information, please visit the NYIOP website.


NYIOP founder David Blackburn has written a letter in response to some of the questions he has received. We reproduce it in full below.

Hello, I am David Blackburn, the founder of NYIOP and the person organizing these auditions coming up in Australia. I am sorry to not be able to send a more personal email but I wanted to address some of the questions I am already getting.

I founded NYIOP in 2002 and have been scouting talent and organizing auditions all over the world for over ten years. During that time, I have also served as an Artistic Consultant to the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Casting Director of the Palm Beach Opera and also spent two years as a Vice President at IMG Artists where I opened the Berlin office. I work now only as a freelance casting consultant and scout for artists all over the world via NYIOP.


The NYIOP Australia will work just like any other audition. You come and present a list of 3-5 arias that you feel represent you. You begin with the aria of your choice and after that the panel chooses any other arias they wish to hear. You will get a list of those attending and can follow up (or have your management follow up if you are managed) with the panel for feedback or impressions. For some NYIOP auditions around the world there is a preliminary round and a final round. In Australia, everyone who registers to sing will be heard by the entire panel – there is NO preliminary round.


Over the past years, there are consistently very good Australian artists in our auditions. Due to the many foundations in Australia that help finance audition tours and studying abroad, there seems to be many artists who come to Europe or the USA to be heard. Because of this, I have always been curious to know about all of the Australian artists that do NOT have the chance to go abroad to be heard. When I first organized the NYIOP auditions in NYC, the main focus was to allow theatres from all over the world to finally hear the large number of artists based in the USA that never have the chance to go internationally to audition.

Additionally, there is a wonderful reputation for singers coming out of Australia as being very reliable and solid artists and especially, there seems to be a larger number of artists that sing heavier repertoire from Down Under. Because of this, there is a real desire among casting directors to know about artists in the Australian market. This is why I decided to come there and organize this audition.

The fee is not small, but neither is the the cost associated with bringing casting people at this level to Australia. The fee exists to offset these costs.


Over the past years of auditions, there have always been contracts offered from every audition session. Additionally, there have inevitably been many artists heard by the the Panel whom they find interesting or want to follow in their development. I have known of people receiving contract offers several years after the NYIOP audition because the person hearing them had kept the person in mind and only came back to them after a period. This is how most theatres cast – it is not always an immediate answer from a successful audition.

For these auditions, the people coming are specially selected as those who: not only cast mainstage roles but also look for young artists for their studios. They sit on many international competition juries and recommend singers all over the world on a daily basis – quite literally, you could sing for this Panel and get job offers from completely different theatres that have been told about you from one of these Panellists!

The people coming as of now are Lenore Rosenberg of the Metropolitan Opera, Joshua Winograde of the LA Opera, Giuseppe Cuccia of the Chinese National Opera Beijing and a representative of IMG Artists NYC. My colleagues and I are actively seeking means by which the Panel can be expanded. Do stay tuned for developments in this area.


In addition to organizing the auditions themselves, NYIOP makes a high-definition video and audio recording of all NYIOP auditions that is searchable online by any of the over 100 theaters that we work with on a regular basis. (Don’t worry – if you have a bad day, we can remove the video upon request and it will not be searchable) This means that your good NYIOP Audition in Australia can continue to help you around the world in ways you can not even imagine – all from one audition in Sydney.

Every artist will have the opportunity to see a demo of their video and decide if they want to buy a copy of it for only AU$30 to use as a video demo or put it on YouTube etc. So your audition in Sydney can have very far-reaching possibilities actually.


Also, if there in interest, NYIOP will organize a panel Q&A session with the casting representatives to discuss the functioning of the world of opera outside Australia. This discussion would be open to the artists who sing in the auditions only.

NYIOP is dedicated to trying to help artists all over the world better manage their careers and get the information essential to building a solid career. We are not agents nor presenters so we are in a unique position to be able to offer unbiased and honest advice to both artists and theatres that helps bring together all sectors of our opera business.

We want to help you – this is our job. If you have questions – just ask and we will try to answer in any way possible. If you want to register, follow this link.

If you have any other questions or need any more info – just write me.

David Blackburn

6 Responses to “Audition Opportunity: International auditions hosted by NYIOP and Opera Australia”

  1. Dione baker

    Hi I have recently applied for the auditions in Sydney. I am not sure where in Sydney they are being held. I am assuming they will be help at the opera centre.

    Can someone please clarify this

    • Jennifer Williams

      Hi Dione,
      They will be held at The Opera Centre – 480 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, 2010. The room has not yet been confirmed, but will be clearly signposted on the day.

  2. Rumen Dobrev

    Hello, dear singers. I’d like to take contact with you, because I’m starting an official ANTI NYIOP CAMPAGNE. I paid the 315 EURO participation fee a month before the audition on 16.Nov.2013 in Vienna and a week before the audition I was very sick with laryngitis. Because of that I’ve canceled the audition 4 Days in advance. Mr. Blackburn has answered me, that if I send him an official diagnosis from doctor, he’ll refund me the money in full. I send to him a medical expertise. Until this moment I didn’t receive any money back. I’m not going to tolerate any way of steeling money from singers all over the world. I have some friends, who are very famous opera singers on my side. Now I’m searching for some other victims of Mr. Blackburn. He is a very clever SEO specialist in the Opera World, who writes only positive feedback about NYIOP and himself in the Web, but we can change this together.

    Hier another interesting Link to a frustrated singers about the audition continuos:

  3. florian Cerny

    do you manage Stage Directors?

    Please let me know who does if you don’t!

    Thanks. Florian

  4. Paulo

    This website is fattisnac! I live in the UK, do you think I could still submit my resume or do you know of any similar websites for people in the UK? Also, is there an age requirement on these auditions or not?Thank you


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