Competition rules

Applications for The Glyndebourne Opera Cup are now closed

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup – the international singing competition for opera singers

The biennial competition will focus on the work of one great operatic composer each time it is held. The inaugural competition, culminating in March 2018 will focus on Mozart.

The competition is open to singers of any nationality resident anywhere in the world and is intended for singers in the early stages of their professional career who are ready to perform on the opera stage.

In addition to the prize money and professional exposure, competitors can increase their public profile through a dedicated TV series on Sky Arts, The Glyndebourne Opera Cup’s official UK broadcast partner.


Preliminary rounds

Rules of The Glyndebourne Opera Cup

These Rules set out the terms and conditions which shall apply to all participants in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup (‘the Competition’). By submitting a Glyndebourne Opera Cup Application Form, applicants agree to be bound by these Rules.

The organiser of the Competition is Glyndebourne Productions Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 00358266 whose registered office is at Glyndebourne, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 5UU (‘Glyndebourne’).

The Competition is to be filmed by Factory Films Limited, who have been commissioned by the Opera Cup’s official UK broadcast partner, Sky Arts, to make a dedicated TV series about the Competition. In addition, materials from that filming and other contributions from applicants may be used in other media such as radio and online content. By applying to take part in the Competition, all applicants agree to participate in the film and in any promotional activities regarding the Competition and to accept the terms and conditions of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup Release Form. All applicants also acknowledge and accept that the confirmations in that Release Form shall be given by them for the benefit of Sky Arts and Factory Films Limited, as well as of Glyndebourne itself.

You will need to acknowledge that you have read and accept the terms of the Release Form by ticking the appropriate box in the application form.

It is the intention of the organisers that the Competition will be open to members of as broad a range of different ethnic groups as possible. Sky Arts are offering applicants from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, as an under-represented group in the opera field, the opportunity to have reimbursed their travel expenses in attending the Preliminary Rounds. The bursary is being offered to encourage people from a BAME background to apply for entry into the Competition. Any awards are at the discretion of the organisers and awards will only cover the travel expenses of applicants in attending the Preliminary Rounds. In the online Application Form, applicants will be given the opportunity (if they choose to do so) to identify their ethnicity and to indicate whether they wish to be considered for a financial award to cover these travel expenses.


Applications are made via the Glyndebourne website and can only be submitted through the online application form.

Applications open on 02 October 2017 and close at 8am GMT 25 November (midnight PST on 24 November 2017).

Applicants must be born between 25 March 1989 and 24 March 1997. Proof of age will be required.

Only one application may be made per person.

Applicants must not have any unspent criminal convictions (other than minor motoring offences for which a prison sentence cannot be imposed).

Applications must be submitted in the English language (including biography and CVs)

Completed entry forms must be truthful and accurate. Glyndebourne may disqualify anyone who gives false or misleading information or breaches these Rules. Glyndebourne reserves the right to refuse any application for any reason at its absolute discretion.


An administration fee of £75 (seventy five pounds sterling) is payable to Glyndebourne by all applicants at the time of application. This administration fee is non-refundable under any circumstances, even if the applicant’s initial application is unsuccessful.

Applications are made at the artist’s own expense and no costs will be reimbursed by Glyndebourne. Subject to production of valid receipts, singers who reach the Finals of the Competition on 24 March 2018 will be reimbursed with the cost of one economy return air/train fare from their home address to Glyndebourne and reimbursed with the cost of one room in bed and breakfast accommodation near to Glyndebourne for the period 20-25 March 2018.

This provision is separate from any awards of travel expenses to members of BAME communities as described above.

Requirements for application

In order to be able to participate fully in the Competition, all applicants must prepare five Mozart operatic arias in the original language in which they were written. No songs, oratorios or concert arias are admissible.

As part of their initial application, applicants must supply the following:

  • A professional biography (in English) and a short curriculum vitae or resume
  • A professional headshot photograph (minimum 50mm x 50mm at 300dpi)
  • A scanned copy of the photograph page of the applicant’s current passport
  • The non-refundable administration fee of £75 (seventy five pounds sterling)
  • Details of any specific access requirements
  • Names and email addresses of TWO referees. One of which should be from a singing teacher, conservatoire or other higher educational establishment.(Glyndebourne cannot accept two references from singing teachers of the applicant)
  • Video recordings of TWO Mozart operatic arias
  • Each aria must be submitted as a separate video file
  • Videos must be clearly labelled with the name of the applicant and date of recording
  • Arias must be in the original language in which they were written
  • Only live piano or orchestral accompaniment is acceptable
  • The video must be of excellent technical quality
  • The applicant’s face must be clearly visible throughout the recording
  • Video recordings must have been made during 2017
  • Staged operatic performances are not acceptable
  • A filmed concert with piano or orchestral accompaniment is acceptable

Glyndebourne shall not accept responsibility for applications that are not received by the closing date for any reason.

Glyndebourne is committed to protecting the privacy of all applicants. Glyndebourne will only use information about applicants lawfully, in accordance with its legal obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation and regulations. All information submitted by applicants in connection with their applications will be held and dealt with by Glyndebourne in accordance with its Privacy Policy in force from time to time. A copy of that Privacy Policy is available at: By applying to enter the Competition applicants agree that any personal information provided by them may be held and used by Glyndebourne or its agents for the purposes of administering the Competition only.

UK broadcasters are researching diversity on their productions. This covers diversity characteristics you choose to tell the Competition organisers about and also how viewers might perceive diversity on screen. When submitting the online Application Form, you will be invited to provide, and may do so at your option, your diversity characteristics – gender, ethnicity, disability, age, gender identity and sexual orientation. Any such information that you supply will be held by Glyndebourne strictly in accordance with UK data protection law and its own Privacy Policy.

Dates for Preliminary Rounds

If their initial application is successful, applicants will be notified by email by Friday 15 December 2017. Unsuccessful applicants will be notified by email subsequently. Successful applicants will be invited to a live audition in the Preliminary Rounds at their preferred location. In the online application form, applicants must specify their first and second choice location for the Preliminary Round.

The Preliminary Round auditions will take place in:

Berlin at Komische Oper on Sunday 14 January 2018
London at the Rudolf Steiner House on Wednesday 17 January 2018
Philadelphia at the Curtis Institute on Saturday 27 January 2018

Applicants are responsible for obtaining any necessary travel visas required for them to attend the Preliminary Rounds.

Applicants who are successful in the Preliminary Round and are awarded a place in the Semi-finals will be notified by email by Friday 9 February 2018.

Details for Preliminary Rounds

Preliminary Rounds will be performed with piano accompaniment. An accompanist will be provided by Glyndebourne in each of the locations.

Preliminary Round performances will be in front of a panel of three judges including representatives from Glyndebourne and the final jury.

Applicants will be required to bring THREE Mozart operatic arias, in the original language and should expect to sing one or possibly two to the panel. The artist will be invited to choose the first aria and should the panel wish to hear a second aria they will make the choice.

The Preliminary Rounds may be filmed and applicants may be required to participate in that filming and any associated interviews.


Applicants who reach the Semi-finals will be required at Glyndebourne on Wednesday 21 March for rehearsals and on Thursday 22 March 2018 for the live Semi-finals.

The Semi-finals will take place on the Glyndebourne stage with piano accompaniment. Pianists will be provided by Glyndebourne.

Semi-finals will take place in front of the full Competition jury.

Semi-finals will be open to the public and filmed for broadcast by Sky Arts. Applicants will be required to participate in that filming and any associated interviews (and this shall apply to those qualifying for the Finals also).


Applicants who reach the Finals will be required at Glyndebourne on Friday 23 March 2018 for rehearsals and on Saturday 24 March 2018 for the live finals.

Finals will take place on the Glyndebourne stage with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Finals will take place in front of a public audience and filmed for broadcast by Sky Arts.

The prizewinners will be announced on the evening of 24 March, immediately after conclusion of the Finals.


First prize: £15,000 and the offer of a role in an opera staged by one of the companies represented on the Competition jury within five years.
Second prize: £10,000
Third prize: £7,500
The Ginette Theano Prize for Most Promising Talent: £5,000
Media Prize: £5,000
Audience prize: £5,000

The payment of prize monies shall be subject to UK and any other applicable tax regulations.

Prize money shall be payable in Sterling by 24 April 2018 by electronic bank transfer to a recognised bank nominated by the successful winner.

In all stages of the competition the jury will be assessing the applicant’s performance against the following criteria:

  • Vocal quality
  • Musicianship
  • Technical expertise
  • Communication and presence
  • Artistic personality

All decisions made by the organisers and members of the jury are made at their absolute discretion and are not subject to any right of appeal. No correspondence (either verbal or written) will be entered into regarding such decisions.

Glyndebourne reserves the right to amend these Rules at any time at its discretion.

These Rules shall be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to any dispute concerning these Rules or the Competition.


Sebastian F. Schwarz (Chair)
Barrie Kosky, Artistic Director, Komische Oper Berlin
David Devan, General Director and President, Opera Philadelphia
Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director, Teatro Real de Madrid
Sophie de Lint, Artistic Director, Zurich Opera and Director designate of Dutch National Opera
Fortunato Ortombina, Intendant and Artistic Director, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
Pål Christian Moe, Casting Consultant for Glyndebourne and Bayerische Staatsoper Munich
Maria Mot, Associate Director, Vocal & Opera, Intermusica
Dame Janet Baker (Live Final only)

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