Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Glyndebourne launches major new singing competition

Glyndebourne. Photo: glyndebourne.com/David Illman
Glyndebourne's announcement today of a new competition for young singers is a big deal indeed. The top prize in the biennial Glyndebourne Opera Cup will be £15,000 and a "platform for launching an international career"; the jury consists of directors, agents and head casting honchos from some of Europe's top operatic organisations; and Sky Arts is to televise an associated series of programmes. Preliminary rounds will be held in different cities and the finals at Glyndebourne itself. Dame Janet Baker is honorary president. 

Intriguingly, they have decided to focus on a different composer every time the competition is held - and for the first session in 2018 it is Mozart, with idiomatic accompaniment provided by the OAE. 

The contest is the brainchild of Glyndebourne's general director, Sebastian Schwarz, who says: 
“I’ve been on the judging panels of a number of singing competitions and have seen what works and what doesn’t. When I arrived at Glyndebourne, with its giant reputation for discovering exceptional talent, it seemed an incredible opportunity to design the perfect singing competition from scratch. To me this means offering maximum benefit to those who enter. This is reflected in the jury which comprises esteemed colleagues representing houses that, like Glyndebourne, have a lot to offer competitors as they seek to develop careers. Our ambition is to establish The Glyndebourne Opera Cup as among the premiere competitions of its kind and we are delighted to be partnering with Sky Arts to bring this to a wider audience.”
Singers up to the age of 28 are eligible. Applications open later this year and preliminary rounds will be held in January in Philadelphia, London and Berlin, with the final next summer at Glyndebourne. The jury is:

  • Sebastian F. Schwarz, General Director, Glyndebourne (Chair)
  • Barrie Kosky, Artistic Director, Komische Oper Berlin
  • David Devan, General Director and President, Opera Philadelphia
  • Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director, Teatro Real de Madrid
  • Sophie de Lint, Artistic Director, Zurich Opera and Director designate of Dutch National Opera
  • Fortunato Ortombina, Artistic Director, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
  • Pål Christian Moe, Casting Consultant for Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and Glyndebourne
  • Maria Mot, Associate Director, Vocal & Opera, Intermusica