Ms Foote, who recently completed her masters degree in vocal performance at the University of California, said she had been competing for "quite a while" and the win would be of great assistance as she continued her music studies in New York over the next year.
She would also be performing with the Seattle Opera in March.
Adjudicator Frances Wilson stressed the importance of repertoire and noted some of the seven finalists were "singing the wrong thing".
She considered "everything was right" about Ms Foote's performance and she was ready for the win.
Baritone Julien Van Mellaerts, originally from Northland, was second and soprano Sarah Ann Walker and mezzo-soprano Rachelle Pike, both originally from Christchurch, tied for third.
The review will appear tomorrow.