Melbourne’s Gertrude Opera has launched an Australian regional heat for the prestigious 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup, open to singers aged 21-32, of any nationality, in the early stages of their career. With a top cash prize of £15,000 (approximately $AUD27,000), the winner of the Cup is also guaranteed a professional role at a top international opera house. To be held this October as a satellite event at the Yarra Valley Opera Festival, the regional heat welcomes singers from Australia, New Zealand, China and Hong Kong. The winner will go on to compete against 19 singers from around the world in the Cup’s semi-final in March, vying for one of six places in the final.

Samantha Hankey, winner of the 2018 Glyndebourne Opera Cup, with Dame Janet Baker, honorary president of the competition. Photo © Richard Hubert Smith

“As the oldest opera festival in the world, Glyndebourne holds a special place in the heart of many – a magical place where opera brings people together,” said Linda Thompson, Artistic Director of Gertrude Opera and the Yarra Valley Opera Festival.

“Our exciting collaboration enables outstanding emerging operatic talent in our region to be discovered – and for one young opera singer, opens the door to the opportunity of a lifetime.”

In addition to Thompson, the jury for the Melbourne heat will include Cheryl Barker, Brian Castles-Onion and John Marcus Bindel. As well as winning a place in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup, the victor of the regional heat will receive a cash prize and appear in a principal role with Gertrude Opera within five years.

Distinguishing itself from vocal competitions like Cardiff Singer of the World, the Glyndebourne Opera Cup focuses on a different composer or type of repertoire each time it is held every two years. The upcoming Cup will focus on the operas of Mozart, Rossini and a selection of 19th-century French composers. Live heats for the Glyndebourne Opera Cup will also be held in London, Paris, Vienna, Milan, Berlin, New York and Capetown.

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup regional heat will be held at the ABC Iwaki Auditorium, October 22. Applications close at midnight, September 30

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