Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert, one of the longest-standing cultural institutions in the Coachella Valley, will host the 34th Annual Dorothy Nocita Memorial Palm Springs Vocal Competition on Sunday, December 3, 2017 from 3 – 6 PM. This annual free event will highlight eight emerging young opera singers as they compete for the opportunity to win more than $40,000 in prizes. The event will take place at the Helene Galen Performing Arts Center, located at 31001 Rattler Road in Rancho Mirage.

The event allows young singers to earn cash scholarships, community recognition of their achievements and the opportunity to advance their careers. Previously, more than 250 gifted young singers have participated in the annual event, and many – including Sondra Radvanovsky, Joshua Guerrero and Angela Meade – have gone on to achieve significant success in their field. The annual Palm Springs Vocal Competitions sponsored in part by a generous gift in memory of Dorothy Nocita, a long-time supporter
of the Opera Guild programs.

“We are thrilled to offer this competition for these very gifted young singers,“ said Bruce Johansen, Opera Guild President. “Vocal competitions like these enable emerging singers to perfect their craft and start to get recognition as they rise up in the ranks of operatic performance. Cultivating and encouraging emerging young opera singers has always been one of the core goals of the Opera Guild, and we are proud to continue this long-standing tradition.”

Prior to the Vocal Competition, applicants will converge at UCLA in Los Angeles to compete for the eight performance slots at the Palm Springs Vocal Competition. Audition candidates must be between the ages of 21 and 34 and must currently reside in the western United States (see web site for full list of eligible states). They will each be judged on voice quality, technique, interpretation, stage presence and language skills.
After these eight are selected, they will compete at the Vocal Competition for various prizes.

More than $40,000 in prizes will be awarded at the Vocal Competition, including $15,000 for First Place (sponsored by Ron Lavo), $7,500 for Second Place (sponsored by Peggy Cravens), $5,000 for Third Place (sponsored by William Galliker in memory of Mick
Cressey and Harvey W. Hoeppner & Robert A. Richards), and $2,000 each for five runner up positions. In addition, finalists will compete for a $2,000 Audience Choice award (sponsored by Terry Hendrix in memory of Gracia Alkema).

At the Palm Springs Vocal Competition on December 3, the eight finalists will have their performances judged by a distinguished panel of experts including Clare Burovac, Director of Artistic Operations at Portland Opera, Samuel Gelber, Artistic Administrator of LA Opera and Charles MacKay, General Director of Santa Fe Opera.

“We are honored that the Vocal Competition is sponsored in part by a generous gift in memory of Dorothy Nocita,” Johansen continued. “Dorothy, along with her husband John, was a long-time supporter of the Opera Guild programs. Dorothy and John have supported many charitable organizations in the Coachella Valley including Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert, Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs Art Museum, The Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, College of the Desert, ACT for MS,
Loving All Animals, and many others. Dorothy’s tremendous love and support for the Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert programs will never be forgotten.”

Palm Springs Opera Guild of the Desert is a 501©(3) cultural organization which works to encourage and support young singers with financial assistance and performance opportunities and to promote opera in the community through student and adult Outreach programs. Their significant community programming includes the annual Dorothy Nocita Memorial Vocal Competition, the Annual Gala, Opera in the Park, and the annual Opera in the Schools program. For more information about Palm Springs
Opera Guild, visit