The North Shore Retirement Hotel
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To see Sherrill Milnes take such care with the young singers and then to hear how they absorb his guidance and use it when they repeat their songs— it’s an experience I’ll never forget."

Opera Idol at The North Shore

Mimicking several of the most popular shows in America, Opera Idol at The North Shore is a vocal competition underwritten and sponsored by The North Shore each spring since 2007. The contest is spearheaded by internationally renowned opera star and Downer’s Grove native Sherrill Milnes, who directs the final competition, structured to resemble the hit television series — without any offending criticisms or bickering contestants! At stake is a full scholarship ($2,750) and airfare to attend the nationally recognized workshop directed by Milnes and the non-profit V.O.I.C.Experience Foundation in Savannah, GA.

Aspiring performers between the ages of 20 to 34 years old interested in becoming the next Opera Idol must submit audition cds/tapes to be considered for the competition. Preliminary finalists are selected based on talent and performance and must also meet the following qualifications: contestants must be currently working with a voice coach or must be enrolled in a vocal music program and must complete an application form to be submitted with their audition tape/CD.

Opera Idol 2011 Winner, Elda Peralta

Opera Idol 2011 Winner, Elda Peralta

Qualified contestants perform at one of three Opera Idol at The North Shore Preliminary Contests before an audience of North Shore Hotel residents and a panel of qualified judges. The winners selected during the preliminary rounds advance to the Opera Idol at The North Shore Finals. This final contest is presented in a Master Class format, with Milnes providing guidance and coaching for these aspiring singers while they’re competing for the scholarship.

North Shore Residents and guests vote as the six final hopefuls take the stage in the Grand Ballroom of the hotel to compete for the scholarship and airfare to attend the two to three-week workshop sponsored by the V.O.I.C.Experience Foundation, The Sherrill Milnes V.O.I.C.E. Studio, as part of the Savannah Voice Festival. Milnes, a renowned American baritone, founded the non-profit V.O.I.C.Experience organization in 2001. As the foundation’s Artistic Director, Milnes works with Maria Zouves, Executive Director, “to provide performance and study opportunities for singers, while creating an outreach of opera and musical theatre to the communities of the world.” This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with Milnes, Zouves and other world-renowned coaches, theater and operatic personalities at V.O.I.C.Experience provides the Opera Idol winner with coaching, lessons, master classes, outreach programs and a special “Mission: Audition” project.

Junior Opera Idol at The North Shore

In 2009 a Junior Opera Idol Contest was added to the annual competition. Singers between the ages of 14 and 19 years old interested in competing in the Junior Opera Idol submit audition cds/tapes and are selected based on talent and performance. They must also meet the following qualifications: contestants must be currently working with a voice coach or must be enrolled in a vocal music program, and must complete an application form to be submitted with their audition tape/CD. One winner is announced at the end of the evening’s competition and is awarded a $500 scholarship which may be applied toward tuition at The V.O.I.C.E. workshop or toward continued vocal studies of the winner’s choice. The V.O.I.C.E. workshop is an intensive one-week program of the V.O.I.C.Experience Foundation, held at Disney World in Orlando, FL.

Additional information regarding V.O.I.C.Experience programs may be found at www.voicexperiencefoundation.com For further information the Opera Idol at The North Shore competition, please call the Opera Idol coordinator at The North Shore at 847.864.6400, ext. 622 or email manager@northshorehotel.com.

To obtain pictures or schedule interviews with Sherrill Milnes or other event participants, please call Falk Associates at 847.675.2580.