Rocky Mountain Region

The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition

Colorado, USA

Arts Organization


The Metropolitan Opera’s Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition is a nationwide program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in their artistic and professional development. Each season, more that 1,000 singers compete for cash prizes in a series of auditions leading up to the Laffont Grand Finals Concert, in which a small group of finalists have the opportunity to launch a major operatic career. Some of today’s greatest singers got their start in the auditions, including Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, Lawrence Brownlee, Lisette Oropesa, Jamie Barton, Michael Fabiano, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Ryan Speedo Green, and Nadine Sierra.

The Rocky Mountain Region competition includes finalists from the Arizona, Colorado-Wyoming, Idaho-Montana, and Utah districts.

How to Apply


Congratulations to 2023 Rocky Mountain Region winner Christian Simmons for being one of the winners of this year's Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition Grand Finals (see photo below)! He captured his victory with bravura performances of “Non più andrai” from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and “Ves’ tabar spit” from Rachmaninoff’s Aleko at the Laffont Grand Finals Concert, conducted by Michele Gamba, on April 23 at the Metropolitan Opera. The concert was broadcast on Met Opera Radio (SiriusXM channel 355). Bravo!!!

Christian is currently in his final season as a member of the Cafritz Young Artists of the Washington National Opera, where he has covers in Il trovatore (Ferrando) and La bohème (Colline), and sings in Blue (Policeman), the American Opera Initiative, and the young artist performance of La bohème (Colline). Christian makes his European debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin where Mr. Simmons sings in Carmen (Zuniga), Anna Bolena (Lord Rochefort), Tosca (Sciarrone), Gianni Schicchi (Betto di Signa), Nabucco (High Priest of Babylon), Die Zauberflöte (2nd Armored Man), Madama Butterfly (Commissioner), Lohengrin (3rd Noble), La traviata (Messenger), and La bohème (Sergeant). Also in the 2023/24 season, Mr. Simmons makes his Atlanta Opera debut in La bohème (Colline) and will be joining the Santa Fe Opera this summer as an Apprentice Artist, singing Apollo in Orfeo and covering Vodnik in Rusalka.


The Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition is designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. Many of today’s opera stars got their start in this Competition, including Renee Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, and Ryan Speedo Green. Donations to our organization provide prize monies for award winners and support the costs incurred in hosting both the Colorado-Wyoming District and Rocky Mountain Region rounds of the Competition. It is important to note that even though the Colorado-Wyoming District and Rocky Mountain Region are officially sanctioned by The Metropolitan Opera and feed the national competition finals, we do not receive any funding from the national office. All funds needed for the Colorado-based competitions must be raised locally through the generous donations of individual opera lovers like you. Our annual membership drive is now in progress. The bulk of the funds used to support the Colorado-Wyoming District and Rocky Mountain Region Competition are raised through our membership drive. For existing members, we would ask you to please renew your current membership or, if possible, consider moving your membership to a higher level. For new visitors to this site, we would love to add you to our membership roster. Your financial support is what makes this amazing opportunity possible for these talented young opera singers. If you wish to become a member, click here.

Several people and organizations have sponsored prizes at both the CO/WY District and Rocky Mountain Region levels. We call these “Named Prizes,” such as the $2000 Spencer Foundation Award and the Arthur and Miriam Bender Memorial Award. These can be for a wide range of amounts, as little as $150.

We would like you to consider honoring a loved one or having your organization sponsor one of our many prizes for the next Met Competition! If you wish to honor a loved one who loved opera, this is a way to enshrine their names and memories in a way that will help ensure the future of opera in America.

The Marcia Ragonetti award at last spring's district competition for the Met Opera went to Colin Mills. We still have named awards available for many of the auditioners. If interested in a named award for you, your business, or in memory of someone you love, please contact us. If you want the world to know that your organization supports young and talented singers, this is a beautiful way to do that. Here are the prizes awarded each year, many of which are still available for your sponsorship:

Colorado/Wyoming District Prizes

Four Winners’ Prizes at $1125 apiece

Two Encouragement Prizes at $150 apiece

Rocky Mountain Regional Awards

First Place ($5500 total): Spencer Foundation $2000

Mrs. Edgar Tobin Award from the Tobin Endowment $800

Available: $2700 Award to complete First Prize or $5500

Second Place ($2500 total): Arthur and Miriam Bender Memorial Award $200

Available: $2300 Award to complete Second Prize

Third Place ($2100 total): Erma D. Butler Award ($600)

Available: $1500

Special Awards ($600 each): Erna D. Butler Young singers’ Encouragement Award

Father Diamond Wendelboe Memorial Scholarship

Actual prizes awarded may vary from these amounts, depending on how the judges award them.

Contact if you are interested in this opportunity, and thank you for your support! If you are interested in sponsoring a named award, please email us at

Photos below: Karen Bruggenthies, Rocky Mountain Region Director; 2020 Region Winner Jonah Hoskins, who has now gone on to the Met's Lindemann Program and sang the starring role of Nemorino in Donizetti's Elixir of Love on April 19, 2023; presentation of the Marcia Ragonetti Award to Colin Miller; 2023 Region Finalists; Rocky Mountain Region Winner and Grand National Finals winner Christian Simmons, 2023.



Colorado, USA

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