American professional audition service will make their first visit down under, in a quest for local talent.

Later this month Opera Australia will play host to the first ever visit to Australia by the professional audition service NYIOP. I spoke to founder David Blackburn, a former singer and artist manager, about his organisation, and also to several Australian and overseas based singers about their experiences and concerns regarding NYIOP.

Note: Opera is a small world. Most the singers who spoke with me did so on condition of anonymity. I thank them for their candour.

What is NYIOP?

NYIOP stands for New York International Opera Auditions. What it does is convene panels of casting directors and artist managers, with the aim of saving singers the time and costs of numerous individual auditions. NYIOP also offers consulting services, online seminars and professional workshops, but the audition panels are their bread and butter. Founded in 2002 NYIOP has until recently held these auditions in New York City, but in recent years they’ve travelled to the UK and Europe and, in a couple of weeks, Australia.

Who’s coming to Sydney?

As of late January, David Blackburn confirmed that his fellow panelists would be Lenore Rosenberg (Associate Artistic...