Soprano Karita Mattila, in Houston to star in Puccini's Manon Lescaut, will be one of the judges for the finals. Also on the judges' panel will be Anthony Freud, who becomes HGO's general director on March 6, and Patrick Summers, the company's music director.
Garrison Keillor, the host of the public radio program All Things Considered, will serve as master of ceremonies.
Some 400 young singers applied for the competition; 20 semi-finalists have been chosen in auditions held around the country. The semi-finalists will participate in a week of interviews, auditions, and coaching sessions, after which seven to ten will be picked to appear in the finals.
Winners may receive contracts with HGO; fellowships with the Houston Grand Opera Studio, the company's training program; and cash prizes.
The finals concert will also include performances by members of the HGO Studio. Tickets are $25-$60, and are available by calling 800-62-OPERA. Proceeds benefit the competition and the HGO Studio.