Debby Hirsch Wood and Donald W. Wood Sr.

Created by Debby Hirsch Wood with the New Orleans Opera Board of Directors in 2015, and later named in honor of her late husband, Donald W. Wood Sr.

The Wood family has granted funding for the competition to continue in perpetuity in his name. Donald W. Wood, Sr. loved opera and was supportive of NOOA’s educational endeavors.

2023 Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Winners

The Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition

This distinctive vocal competition aims to give Louisiana high school students an entry point into classical music and guided exposure to the professional world of singing. Past participants have succeeded regionally, nationally, and internationally as young artists, regional competition winners, and main-stage operatic stars.

  • 2024 deadline dates TBD.

This competition is a collaboration between the New Orleans Opera Association, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Tulane University, and Loyola University of New Orleans.

Photo: 2019 Honorable Mention, A’Farrah Wallace

Photo: Julia Ernst, 2019 1st Place Winner

The Wood Operatic Advancement Grant.

The Wood Operatic Advancement Grant (the “W.O.A.G.”), a branch of the New Orleans Opera Association’s Donald W. Wood Sr. Vocal Competition (the “Wood Competition”), provides financial assistance to the winners of the Wood Competition to help them in pursuit of their career in the performance area of opera while studying in college or post-graduate studies. The WOAG was the idea of Phyllis Treigle, the Vocal Music Chair at the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts, and was set in motion by Debby Hirsch Wood (the Founder and Director of the Wood Competition).

The Grant is open only to winners (first, second, third, or honorable mention) of the Donald W. Wood Sr. Vocal Competition.

The grant will be applied for expenses relating to the pursuit of the Wood Competition winners’ careers in opera performance, whether in college or post-graduate studies.

Expenses may include (but are not limited to) travel and related expenses for auditions, coaching, out-of-town studies, performances, college/post-college expenses, meals, or all expenses related to pursuing their degree or career in opera performance. 

  • The Spring/Summer W.O.A.G. application date is from January 8, 2024, through midnight on April 8, 2024.
  • The winner will be announced via New Orleans Opera Website & the Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Facebook page on April 22, 2024.

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