To celebrate OPERA America's National Opera Week (26 October–04 November, 2012), Opera Theater held the 2012 Opera Champion of Pittsburgh Voice Competition on Friday 02 November - Sunday 04 November in Pittsburgh. The competition is designed to identify and encourage non-professional amateur singers living within a 75-mile radius of Pittsburgh, PA.
Applicants submitted a short video of themselves performing a favorite classical piece, and from all of these applications, thirteen were selected by Opera Theater staff for further consideration. Videos were posted on YouTube, and the general public voted on their favorites. Ten singers receiving the most votes were invited to sing for the judges on Friday 02 November, and from these applicants, five were selected as semi-finalists: Sabrina Balsamo, Amanda Lewis, Robyn Peterson, Elizabeth Rishel, and Cara Udy.
These five singers performed before a live audience in the Gala Finals Concert on Sunday 04 November. Audience members cast ballots for their favorite, with Sabina Balsamo emerging as the 2012 Opera Chamption of Pittsburgh, for which she receives the $1,000 Drs. Michelina Fato and Carl Synderman Prize, plus a role in SummerFest 2013.