The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is an annual singing competition sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera. Established in 1954, its purpose is to discover, assist, promote, and develop young opera singers. The competition is held in four stages: Districts, Regional, Semi-Final, and Final competitions. Each stage is judged by a panel of representatives from the Metropolitan Opera. There are a total of 14 regional competitions within the United States and Canada and 41 district competitions within each region. Winners from the district competition compete in Regionals, and then the winners of regionals are awarded a trip to New York City where they compete on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the National Semi-Final Competition. Approximately 10 semi-finalists are chosen to compete in the final competition, 5 of which are awarded a grand prize of $15,000 and the remainder of which are awarded $5,000.