Talent development

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup

An international competition for opera singers - find out how you can apply to take part in the 2020 contest

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup – an international competition for opera singers – is designed to discover and spotlight the best young singers from around the world.

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup returns in 2020 with a renewed commitment to finding diverse singers of the future. The competition offers a top prize of £15,000 and a guaranteed role at a leading international opera house.

The final will once again be broadcast live on Sky Arts on 7 March 2020 and the series is produced by Factory Films.

Below you can find more information on how to apply.

Applications close at 8.00am GMT+1 on 21 October (midnight PST on 20 October 2019).
Before you start your application, please read through the information below, which has full details on what you’ll need to prepare, bursaries and eligibility.

How to apply

Hear from some of the singers whose careers we have supported about how you can enter the Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2020
Competition rules

Before starting your application, please ensure you have read the full competition rules and the artist’s release form.


The competition focuses on selected composers or strands of the repertoire each time it is held. In 2020, singers will be invited to perform operatic arias by Mozart, Rossini and a selection of French 19th-century composers.


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.

To be eligible, applicants must be no younger than 21 and no older than 32 on 7 March 2020. Proof of age will be required. Please see the full competition rules for more details.

Removing barriers

Building on the success of 2018, and with the continued support of Sky Arts, the focus in 2020 is on attracting exciting singers from all backgrounds. To do this the competition will:

  • Visit twice as many international cities, with preliminary heats in New York, Vienna, Berlin, Milan, London, Paris, Cape Town.
  • Remove the economic barriers to entry with the offer of Sky Arts Bursaries to cover the costs of travel and accommodation to compete in the semi-final and final of the competition at Glyndebourne

You can find out more about the bursaries in the competition rules.


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 Promising Talent prize: £5,000
Audience prize: £5,000

The 2020 judging panel

The competition jury features representatives from top international opera houses along with leading singers, including British opera legends Sir Thomas Allen and Dame Felicity Lott and the GRAMMY Award-winning South Korean soprano Sumi Jo. Dame Janet Baker will once again act as honorary president. The jury includes:

Stephen Langridge, Artistic Director of Glyndebourne
Steven Naylor, Director of Artistic Administration, Glyndebourne
Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director, Teatro Real de Madrid
Michel Franck, General Director, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées
Maria Mot, Associate Director, Vocal & Opera, Intermusica
Sumi Jo, soprano
Sir Thomas Allen, baritone
Dame Felicity Lott, soprano


Tickets are available for the Opera Cup Semi-final and the Final.

The 2018 competition

183 applicants, 3 heats, 10 finalists…

Take a look back at the journey of the finalists and relive the excitement of our first ever international singing competition.

The full list of 2018 prize winners:

Overall winner (£15,000) – Samantha Hankey
Second place (£10,000) – Jacquelyn Stucker
Third place (£7,500) – Elbenita Kajtazi
Ginette Theano prize for most promising talent (£5,000) – Emily Pogorelc
Media prize (£5,000) (adjudicated by a media panel) – Samantha Hankey
Audience prize (£5,000) – Elbenita Kajtazi

The 2018 winner, American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, went on to make her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2018 and three of the finalists will perform at Glyndebourne in 2019 and 2020.

The inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018 was shortlisted for a Royal Television Society Award.

Interested in supporting this project? Please contact the Development team on 01273 815400 development@glyndebourne.com. Find out more

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