Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vocal Competitions à volonté

Vocal competitions are critical to a young opera singer; they can kickstart a career.  While the National Council Auditions are definitely one of the most prestigious competitions in the world, many singers do not feel ready to participate even as they reach the age limit.

I have started assembling a list of vocal competitions around the world whose age limit is over thirty. Keep an eye out because I hope to keep this list current.  In addition to this list you can also check out Yaptracker, the most comprehensive database of vocal competitions in the world.

If you know of any competitions yourself, please leave us a note and check out the sites below for more detailed information about each competition.


  • Operalia 
    • Organized by Plácido Domingo
    • Age 18 to 32
    • Generally held in August, with applications starting in January
    • A recording needs to be submitted
    • Open to all nationalities
  • BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
    • A biannual competition which takes place in June of odd-numbered years (the next one is in 2015; Jamie Barton won the top price this year)
    • Not much information at the moment, but it is worth keeping an eye out
    • Open to all nationalities
  • Marcelo Giordani Foundation Vocal Competition
    • Selections are held in Europe and the US, with the final round taking place in Europe in September
    • Preliminary US round is held in February
    • Age 18 to 38
    • First selection is based upon audio and video submitted by the applicant
    • Open to all nationalities
  • New York Lyric Opera National Vocal Competition
    • First round starts in May
    • Walk ins are welcome time permitted
    • Must be a US Citizen or authorized to work in the US
    • Several age categories:
      • Junior High Division: Age 11-14 
      • High School Division: Age 14-18 
      • Division I: Age 18-24 
      • Division II: Age 25-32
  • The Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition
    • Age 21 to 35 
    • There is a Wagnerian Division within the competition for singers aged between 30 and 40
    • All rounds are held in New York City in March
    • Open to all nationalities
  • Mildred Miller International Voice Competition
    • Age 18 to 35
    • Usually held in November
    • Need to sing one aria in English since Opera Theater is looking to advance English opera
    • In conjunction with the Opera Theater Summerfest
  • National Opera Association Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition
    • 2 age divisions:
      • Scholarship Division: 18 to 24
      • Artist Division: 25 to 40
    • Open to all nationalities
    • Finalist are chosen based on recordings submitted
    • Applications can be submitted in the fall with the competition held in January
    • They hold other opera related competitions as well, such as Opera Production and Opera Scenes
  • McCammon Voice Competition
    • Biannual competition held during even years
    • Applicants go through a first screening based on their application before being asked to compete
    • Age 21 to 35
    • Work together with the Forth Worth Opera
  • Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation
    • Age 21 to 33
    • Must be a US citizen
    • Need to mail in a DVD and CD 
    • Applications are accepted in October
  • Belvedere Singing Competition
    • Registration starts in January
    • Comprised of several rounds with the final round held in Düsseldorf
    • For the 2014 competition, you have to be born in 1982 or later (age limit 31)
    • Open to all nationalities
  • The Loren L. Zachary Society National Vocal Competitions 
    • Auditions both in New York and Los Angeles
    • Held between January and March
    • Age 21 to 35
    • Must be residents of the US or Canada
  • Opera Birmingham Annual Opera Competition
    • Held in May
    • Age 21 to 35
    • Must be a Permanent Resident of the US
  • New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera Vocal Competition
    • Held from November until January
    • No mention of any age limit
    • Finalists are chosen based on recordings submitted
  • Giulio Gari Foundation Vocal Competition
    • Not much info available at the moment, but they can be found on Yaptracker.com