NEUE STIMMEN 2024: 20th competition with over 1,000 participants

After the first selection rounds, 627 singers now have the chance to prove themselves to the jury at the worldwide live auditions.

Gütersloh, April 24, 2024. 1,002 up-and-coming opera singers from 73 countries have applied for the 20th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition this year. In the first of three selection rounds, all applicants go through a digital application process. In addition to providing information about their age, vocal range, training and stage experience, they are required to submit two opera arias on video. This is also a challenge for the jury: after viewing over 2,000 videos, 627 singers are currently given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in person to the jury at one of the 13 international pre-selections. This second round, the so-called “live auditions”, will take place from 11 April to 9 June in Amsterdam, Berlin, Cape Town, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Munich, New York City, Paris, Vienna, Warsaw, Yerevan and Zurich. It will then be decided who will qualify for the final round of the competition held from 5-11 October in Gütersloh.

“On the opera stage, it is not only a fascinating voice but also the personality, stage presence and charisma of each artist that inspire us. Live auditions in 13 major cities around the world are therefore an important component of our competition. I will be delighted if we can once again discover numerous promising new opera talents and pave the way for their international careers,” says Liz Mohn, founder and CEO of the Liz Mohn Stiftung.

US-American Samuel Gelber joins jury in New York and Gütersloh

The screening of the applicants on-site will be performed by Brian Dickie, former general director of the Chicago Opera Theater, Sophie Joyce, casting director of the Opéra National de Paris and Evamaria Wieser, casting director of the Salzburg Festival. This year, the experienced trio will be joined by Samuel Gelber for the pre-selection in New York and the final round in Gütersloh. As a trained tenor and director of artistic planning at the Washington National Opera and a regular jury member at international singing competitions, the 34-year-old will contribute his expertise to NEUE STIMMEN 2024.

Experience has shown that 40 to 45 talents can expect an invitation to the final round in Gütersloh. From 5 to 11 October, they will present their skills in the city’s Stadthalle in front of all NEUE STIMMEN jury members and numerous representatives from the opera industry. Dominique Meyer, director of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, will once again chair the jury for the final round in 2024.

Prizes and access to the Creating Careers network

The Liz Mohn Stiftung will be awarding a total of over €60,000 in prizes to the final-round- participants. Just as important are the interactions the singers will have with numerous representatives from the world of opera and culture. In addition, NEUE STIMMEN offers singers continuous career counselling and support through its own team as well as international opera experts as part of the “Creating Careers” initiative. Just last October, twelve talented singers from the NEUE STIMMEN network were given the opportunity to further improve their skills working with experienced coaches during at the International Masterclass in Gütersloh.

Additional information

The international singing competition NEUE STIMMEN was initiated by Liz Mohn in 1987. Through NEUE STIMMEN, the Liz Mohn Stiftung seeks out and promotes the best young opera talents worldwide. All project components – the competition, masterclasses, concerts, seminars and coaching sessions – are part of the NEUE STIMMEN “Creating Careers” initiative. The aim of existing and new measures is not only to discover talented performers, but also to offer them advice and long-term support. With that, the Liz Mohn Stiftung opens development opportunities for young vocal talents in a globalised and rapidly changing world of opera. NEUE STIMMEN has already supported numerous acclaimed artists in their younger years as they launched international careers, including Christiane Karg, Nathalie Stutzmann, Marina Rebeka, Michael Volle, René Pape, Franco Fagioli, Nadine Sierra, Nicole Car, Pene Pati and Elsa Dreisig.

NEUE STIMMEN was founded as a project of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and is now organised by the Liz Mohn Stiftung.

About the Liz Mohn Stiftung:

The Liz Mohn Stiftung has continued the successful activities of the Liz Mohn Center gGmbH and the Liz Mohn Kultur- und Musikstiftung as an independent non-profit institution since the end of 2023. The Liz Mohn Stiftung focuses on four areas of activity: “International Relations”, “Creating Leadership Cultures”, “Power of Culture” and “Global Talents”. A particular concern of Liz Mohn and the foundation is to build bridges of understanding across languages and borders and in this way to bring people from different nations and cultures, with different professions and positions and from different generations into dialogue. Further information:

 Photo: Besim Mazhiqi

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