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International Opera Competition and Festival 2007-2008

November 6, 2007 – November 17, 2008

In collaboration with French classical and jazz television network Mezzo, Armel Production, Szeged Open Air Festival, and Pannon Philharmonics announced a contest to find the next great opera talents, and to create a 21st century opera revival through contemporary and classical pieces performed by new and well-known artists.

Besides Hungary and France, the United States, Germany, and Poland also joined this noble initiative. The competition consists of three rounds: in the first round, competitors will be evaluated on their vocal capabilities and musicality; the second round will judge their theatrical presentation and stage presence, and the third round will be participation in a full-scale production, following which an international jury will give out two main awards for the best female and the best male performer. The winners will be commissioned to perform a compilation of different arias directed as a special film broadcast by Mezzo Television.

First Round: November 6 – 29, 2007

The first round will take place at five different locations, on five different dates, with five different juries; and contestants may register at more than one location. First round locations and dates:

  • New York, USA: November 6 - 9, 2007 (Application deadline: Nov. 3, 2007)
  • Bremen, Germany: November 13 - 14, 2007 (Application deadline: Nov. 10, 2007)
  • Szeged, Hungary: November 17 - 20, 2007 (Application deadline: Nov. 14, 2007)
  • Rennes, France: November 22 - 25, 2007 (Application deadline: Nov. 19, 2007)
  • Gdansk, Poland: November 27 - 29, 2007 (Application deadline: Nov. 24, 2007)

Second Round: January 29 – 31, 2008

The second round will take place in Szeged, Hungary, where the directors will select the final cast for five productions, which will be produced, rehearsed, and performed at partner opera houses:

  • Francesco Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur (Szeged National Theater)
  • Kuncze-Kingsley: Raoul (Theater Bremen)
  • Robert Ward: The Crucible (Dicapo Opera Theater)
  • Benjamin Britten: The Rape of Lucretia (Panstwowa Opera Baltycka)
  • Heinrich Marschner: Der Vampyr (Opera de Rennes)

Finals: November 2 – 17, 2008

The finals will take place during a two-week festival in Szeged, Hungary. All five productions will travel to Szeged, where they will compete with each other for the audience’s vote. The event will be broadcast to thirty-eight countries across Europe on Mezzo Television, including a live broadcast of the Award Ceremony.

Directors of the competing productions in 2008
: Robert Alfoldi (New York), Balazs Kovalik (Bremen), Zoltan Balazs (Rennes), Michael Sturm (Szeged), Peter Telihay (Gdansk). During the finals in Szeged, Robert Ward’s The Crucible will be conducted by New York City’s Pacien Mazzagatti.

October 11, 2007

For more information and detail, please visit the Competition’s home page – Hungarian, English, French


Mezzo Classic Jazz TV

About the Szeged National Theater

About the Bremen Theater

Dicapo Opera Theater

The Baltic Opera

About the Opera de Rennes

Pacien Mazzagatti

The organizers reserve the right to change the program at any time.