Sullivan Foundation

There are presently no open calls for applications.

ABOUT THE FOUNDATION

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.  

2021 auditions will be held on Sunday, November 14 and Monday, November 15 in New York. Singers must be available at least one of these dates; there are no callbacks. Singers invited for live auditions must provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate; documentation will also be checked by the venue.

COVID-19 Note: The Foundation is monitoring CDC guidance, local public health advisories, and venue protocols, and will share any updates to plans.

Applicants must have completed their academic training and should have already sung at least one professional engagement with a known 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. 

2021 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 teacher, coach or manager) 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 only after the online application is submitted. If you have questions about who qualifies as an endorser, please contact us.

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 13, 2021). Given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the time for qualifying professional engagements  has been extended this year; applicants may also explain atypical performance circumstances for consideration; e.g. reduced orchestration or alternate accompaniment formats.

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 must be included in the video. The combined length of the two arias should be no more than 15 minutes.

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

Sullivan Foundation