The William Matheus Sullivan Foundation supports exceptionally talented young professional opera singers who are still taking early steps and show promise for significant careers. More than 1,000 singers have earned funding from the Foundation since 1957.  Prizes are awarded through live auditions; singers are selected for auditions through an online application process. Sullivan Award winners receive $10,000 and are eligible for continuing role preparation grants, a unique aspect of the Foundation's commitment to early career singers.  

2022 auditions will be held on Sunday, November 6 and Monday, November 7 in New York. Singers must be available on at least one of these dates; there are no callbacks or finals. Singers invited for live auditions may be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Limited travel reimbursement assistance is available for singers coming from outside the New York metro area.

Applicants must have completed their academic training and should have already sung at least one professional engagement with an opera company, orchestra, or other organization using full orchestral accompaniment.  Singers coming to the end of full-year young artist programs may be chosen to audition; if they are Sullivan Award winners, their eligibility for additional grants may be deferred upon request. There is no age limit for applicants, but the Foundation is not seeking singers who already have well-established solo careers. 

2022 Application Requirements

1. Submittable Form

2. One-Page Resume

3. Photo

4. Endorsement Letter – Letter of endorsement written specifically for the Sullivan application by a music professional (not a current or former personal teacher, coach, or manager, or a Sullivan trustee) who is well acquainted with the singer’s qualifications and, ideally, has engaged them as a performer. Endorsers will receive a link to upload their confidential letter during the application process. Please contact us with any questions about who qualifies as an endorser.

5. Professional Contract or Letter of Intent – For a paid, professional solo engagement (no covers) with full orchestral accompaniment that opens after the audition dates or in the six months prior to the auditions (after May 5, 2022). Given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the time for qualifying professional engagements has been extended again this year.

6. Video Samples Two arias in contrasting styles and languages performed with piano accompaniment and recorded within 12 months of the application deadline. Recordings should be made without acoustical enhancement or amplification. Each selection should be filmed in a single take. Videos should show the singer in full view from the audience’s perspective, and the singer’s face should be completely visible. The name of the singer and the title and composer of each aria should be included as a caption, title, or announcement. The combined length of the two arias must be no more than 10 minutes.

For more information, visit sullivanfoundation.org or contact us at info@sullivanfoundation.org.

Thank you for your interest in the Sullivan Foundation. Please complete the application form to be considered for an audition.

It is your responsibility to ensure the application is complete, including the attached files, the video samples, and the reference letter from your endorser. We recommend submitting your application as early as possible and notifying your endorser of the deadline well in advance. Endorsement letters cannot be written by current or former personal teachers, coaches, or managers, or by Sullivan trustees. Contact us if you have questions about whether your endorser fits the guidelines. 

Please read the video guidelines carefully and note that we require two arias in contrasting styles and languages with piano accompaniment. We will not accept recordings with orchestral accompaniment.

Applications will close on Monday, August 29 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, and all materials you provide must be received by this deadline. Endorsement letters will be accepted until Wednesday, August 31.

You may save an incomplete application as a draft and finish it later, but your application will not be reviewed until you hit the submit button. If you wish to make changes or additions to your application after you have submitted it, you may request that the application be opened for editing through Submittable. The revised application must be received before the deadline.  Incomplete applications cannot be considered.  

If your application is accepted, you will be invited to a live audition in New York on November 6 or 7. You must be available at least one of these days; there are no callbacks or finals. We plan to send audition invitations by October 6. We will update singers on any COVID protocols then and may require proof of vaccination. Limited travel reimbursement assistance is available for singers coming from outside the New York metro area.

We are here to help — if you have any questions, please contact us at info@sullivanfoundation.org or (646) 883-2742.

Sullivan Foundation