Round 1 – blind auditions
Why blind auditions?
- No Bias. No Barriers. We want to hear as diverse a range of exciting vocal talent from the largest pool possible: regardless of age, ethnicity, appearance, experience, or disability whilst maintaining the keen focus on quality
- This means that the panel get to hear not only the excellent voices that come through all the normal channels but also voices that might not normally be heard
- The blind auditions protect everyone – both the singer who might not yet be ready to sing for such a jury at round two and the companies, from sitting through auditions where the voices are not yet at an appropriate level
- Panel for this round – professionals regarded as trusted ears nominated by the opera companies attending the second stage
- Singers unable to attend the first round will submit unedited recordings of not more than 6 months old or be heard behind a screen
- Chosen repertoire of three arias will be provided in advance
- One aria will be listened to in full, the panel may choose to hear a section of a second
- No CVs, names or other information will be passed to the panel unless the singers are progressed through the competition
What are they listening for?
- Exciting voices that sing with excellent technique, musicality, languages, passion, conviction and expression
- The top thirty voices they hear will then pass through to the second stage
- Voices they believe have something special but which would benefit from further training
We’re looking for excellence. The competition balances the desire to engage a diverse range of exciting vocal talent from the largest pool possible, regardless of age, ethnicity, appearance, experience or disability with the keen focus on quality essential for discovering wonderful new voices ready for the opera stage.
Round 2 – live audition to jury and companies
Opera is not only about having an excellent voice. We have found the voices. Now to see who has the tinderbox package of true vocal ability and real charisma on stage.
During this round the singers will perform live in front of what may be for some a once in a lifetime opportunity to sing in front of the panel – for some this may be a once in a lifetime/potentially career changing opportunity.
The jury is made up of representatives from ROH, ENO, Scottish Opera, WNO and The Grange Festival. We are also inviting along other companies who would be interested to see singers initially found by their vocal ability alone. The response has been wonderful. People are genuinely interested to see what happens.
Five to 8 singers will be selected to go through from this round to appear in the competition final.
The inclusion and involvement of the companies at every stage of the competition is fundamental to the competition – they won’t be prepared to compromise on vocal talent and quality
5 – 8 singers, who the companies believe have the complete package of voice and stage dynamism, will go through to the final concert, where various prizes will be awarded, including an emerging artist award and an audience prize.
Some of the many reasons we are doing this
To protect all involved
- There are many panel auditions where singers can pay a not insignificant amount of money to singer for important industry professionals regardless of their ability. There are positive stories from such auditions and opportunities but, If the singer is not yet ready or has a bad day, this can have a negative impact on their career for years to come.
- The blind audition rounds make available quality voices that may or may not have normally been heard by the jury and removes the ‘risk’ of them hearing voices that aren’t ready/of high enough quality. It’s a win/win/win situation
- We are not looking to frustrate the process but to give companies and casting professionals another opportunity to hear a greater range of singers.
Who is this competition aimed at?
- Young/emerging singers at the start of their career
- Professionals who have taken a career break and are looking to re-enter the profession
- Those singers training towards a professional operatic career – whether training privately or through recognised institutions
- Professional singers seeking to move to the next level in their career
We operate a no bias, no barriers policy and welcome applications from all.