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David Blackburn

NYIOP Founder & Bolshoi Opera Chief Consultant

David Blackburn founded and manages NYIOP, which scouts singers and organizes professional opera auditions around the world. Since its creation in 2002, the NYIOP Auditions have brought over 150 opera houses to hear singers in New York City, San Francisco, Beijing, Berlin, Bologna, Napoli and Vienna, and over 30 other cities internationally, on 5 continents.

 Additionally, Mr. Blackburn acts as an artistic consultant to a number of major opera houses and agencies worldwide on casting and collaborations at every level. In the past, he has served in the role of Director of Artistic Administration for the Palm Beach Opera and also as a Vice President for IMG Artists, opening their Berlin office.  Since 2015, he also serves as the Chief Consultant to the Young Artist Studio at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow.

In addition to his work on the NYIOP auditions and in direct association with opera houses, he has been a professional consultant to the Adler Fellows at the San Francisco Opera as well as for the IOS (Internationale Opera Studio) of the Opernhaus Zürich, has organized the United States-based auditions for the Paris Opera Studio (Atelier Lyrique), and has taught at several prestigious summer programs including Music Academy International, OperaVIVA, V.O.I.C.E Experience with Sherrill Milnes and at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel as well a founded the Academia della Lirica Italiana in Bari, Italy. David has been featured in masterclasses at Northwestern University, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School for business of opera preparation, among other institutions. 

He has taken part on the jury of the National Semi-Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as well as several other regional and district auditions, has been invited to the Richard Tucker Foundation auditions, the recommendation committee of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and the juries of the Competizione dell’Opera at the Sächsische Staatsoper “Semperoper” Dresden, official attendee of the Hans Gabor Belvedere Gesangswettbewerb in Vienna and the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year.

He holds a Bachelor of Music summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a private student of Gérard Souzay, and a Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music. During his professional singing career he appeared with the Opera Theater of St. Louis, Portland Opera, Ft. Worth Opera and in concert in many international centers. He has also held positions at American Express, Lehmann Brothers and Credit Suisse.


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Sandra Hormozi

Encompass Arts, Artist’s Manager

Sandra Hormozi is a member of the Encompass Artist Management team and regularly appears as the Professional Development Audition Masterclass guru in the Russian Opera Workshop at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Sandra possesses the knowledge of the music, business, and philanthropic industries from the inside-out. Known for many years for her singing, Ms. Hormozi’s background has given her fine-tuned appreciation for artistic excellence and the realities and practicalities of the current state of the industry. Her work with premier operatic artists and business leaders has set the bar high for artistic standards, tempered with a down-to-earth work ethic.

Sandra Hormozi began at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. She was a Studio Artist with Central City Opera, a Young Artist with Sarasota Opera and spent two summers as an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera. She then completed two years as a Young Artist with Pittsburgh Opera, under the leadership of famed director, Tito Capobianco, where she performed a wide range of roles both in the mezzo-soprano and soprano repertoire. Sandra has also sung many concerts around the world and was a finalist of the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She has participated in numerous master classes and privately worked with Franco Corelli, Regine Crespin, Birgit Nilsson, Evelyn Lear, Martin Katz, Hermann Prey and Renata Scotto.