Meet our Judges


Mary Jane Johnson

Mary Jane Johnson is a renowned dramatic soprano and one of opera’s premiere interpreters. Her most celebrated roles include Minnie, Salome, Turandot, Tosca, Senta and Electra. She has performed throughout the world with many prominent opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Opera Bastille, Teatro Colon, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Teatro San Paulo, San Francisco Opera, Netherlands Opera, Washington National Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Montreal Opera, Vancouver Opera, and Santa Fe Opera.  She appeared with Luciano Pavarotti in a televised performance of Puccini’s La Bohéme as Musetta with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Her television credits include the nationally televised Pavarotti Plus Gala, Live from Lincoln Center and CBS Sunday Morning.  In addition to conducting master classes throughout the U.S., Ms. Johnson currently serves as Professor of Voice and Artist in Residence at Amarillo College and is co-founder of the Taos Opera Institute, where she presently serves as Artistic Director.


Guy Montavon

Guy Montavon is General Manager of the Erfurt Opera Company and Honorary Consul from Switzerland in Germany. He began his career as a bassoonist, receiving his diploma from the Geneva Conservatory and continued his studies in Musical Theater direction at the Hamburg Academy of Drama and Music under the famous German director Götz Friedrich. He served as Assistant Director at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and as Artistic Director and Deputy Operatic Director for the Bonn Opera House. He also directed for the opera houses in Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart, Bregenz, Barcelona as well as the Metropolitan Opera. In 2008 he received a “Chevalier des arts et lettres” from the French Republic for his life-long commitment to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.


David Speers

David Speers served as General and Artistic Director of Opera Hamilton for the last ten years. He previously served as General Director of Arizona Opera for five years and Calgary Opera for ten years, where he led the company to an artistically acclaimed 25th Anniversary Season. Mr. Speers’ passions include conception and implementation of numerous Adult Education, Teacher In-Service, and Continuing Education programs both at the University and Public School levels. Mr. Speers received a Bachelor and Master of the Arts degree from the University of Alberta and continued with post graduate conducting studies at The Juilliard School of Music. He served as Chair of the Compagnies d'opéra professionnelles du Canada and on the Board of Opera America.












First Round
Saturday, October 20, 2018
11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Mayo Clinic
Taylor Auditorium
Scottsdale, Arizona

Second Round
Sunday, October 21, 2018
12:00 to 5:00 pm
Mayo Clinic
Taylor Auditorium
Scottsdale, Arizona

Finals Concert
Sunday, November 11, 2018
2:00 pm Matinee
Orpheum Theatre
Phoenix, Arizona

Contact: John Massaro
Phone: (623) 308-5293