Criteria

57th International Vocal Competition
Opera - Oratorio
26 September - 5 October 2024
's-Hertogenbosch


The International Vocal Competition (IVC) is the sole international classical singing competition in the Netherlands. Every two years the IVC commissions a new composition by a Dutch composer which will be sung by all participants in the Semi-finals. Special prizes for performance of repertoire by Richard Wagner and for young talent under the age of 25.

€ 45,000 prize money • Engagements • Concerts for prize-winners • Travel refund for semi-finalists • Board and lodging at host families • Feedback from jury members • Master classes and workshops • International casting directors and agencies • All rounds open to the public • Finals with symphony orchestra • Representation by IVC

Jury

  • Dame Gwyneth Jones (Jury President - Soprano)
  • Roberta Alexander (soprano)
  • Eva-Maria Westbroek (soprano)
  • Michael Chance (countertenor)
  • Rosemary Joshua (soprano - head Dutch National Opera Studio)
  • Pål Christian Moe (artistic administrator and casting adviser)
  • Karen Stone (director Opera Europa)
  • Monique Wagemakers(stage director)

Age limit

  • Singers born on 6 October 1989 or later (Max. 34 years old)
  • Participants can not be younger than 18 years

The IVC is open to singers of all nationalities who have completed their professional education or are in their final year and aim for a professional career or have an equivalent level of training.

The management of the IVC and its Artistic Commission will decide whether prize-winners from other competitions may be admitted directly to the First Round.

All applications will be assessed by the management of the IVC and its Artistic Commission. Its decisions are final. Correspondence over its decisions is not possible.

Entry fee
Preliminary Selections

€ 50
Participants may bring their own accompanist.
If this is not possible, a pianist can be arranged by the IVC for an additional fee of € 30

Competition proper
€ 150
Including host family accommodation

Participants can pay the entry fee via the application portal on the IVC website. The fee includes 21% VAT and all payment charges.
Accepted payment methods: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Bancontact, iDEAL, SOFORT banking, KBC/CBC banking, Belfius Pay, ING Home' Pay.
The entry fee will not be refunded to Participants who withdraw from the Competition after acceptance.


Preliminary Selections
Participants wishing to enter the Competition must take part in the Preliminary Selections (live auditions) or online via YouTube.

Singers who reside in the Netherlands or in Belgium cannot participate in the YouTube Preliminary Selections, unless the Management of the IVC indicates otherwise. There will be two separate video jury reviewing batches, with subsequent deadlines.

Preliminary Selections - YouTube video

  • YouTube (group I) - Application deadline: 10 April 2024
  • YouTube (group II) - Applications deadline: 25 June 2024

    Jury:
    Kor-Jan Dusseljee - Tenor
    Waut Koeken - Intendant Opera Zuid
    Marjolein Niels - Mezzo-soprano - Head Vocal Department Royal Conservatoire The Hague
    Andrew Watts - Countertenor - General and Artistic Director IVC

  • If you complete your application before 10 April 2024 your videos will be judged in Group no. 1.
    After that, the deadline is 25 June 2024 for Group no. 2.
    You can already create an account, but the moment you finish your application determines when you receive the results.
    Results within three weeks after deadline. Candidates who apply for jury reviewing group no. I receive their results more early.


Preliminary Selections - Live auditions
13 February 2024
Łódź, Poland
Academy of Music – Concert Hall

24 & 25 February 2024
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam University of the Arts

3 March 2024
London, UK
Guildhall School of Music and Drama

16 & 17 March 2024
Berlin, Germany
Staatsoper Unter den Linden

10 April 2024
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Goethe-Intitut
39, Gregory's Road, Colombo 7
Sri Lanka
Applications open: 8 February 2024
Application deadline: 4 April 2024
Gerry Cornelius - Music Director English Touring Opera
Lakshman Joseph de Saram - Founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Sri Lanka
Andrew Watts - Countertenor - General and Artistic Director IVC

22 April 2024
New York, USA
Carl Fischer Building
62 Cooper Square, New York, NY, 10003, USA
Applications open: 1 February 2024
Application deadline: 1 April 2024
Jury:
Erika Sunnegårdh - soprano
Peter Mark - Conductor - former director of Virginia Opera
Olga Neuwirth - Composer
Andrew Watts - Countertenor - General and Artistic Director IVC

5 May 2024
Salzburg, Austria
Universität Mozarteum Salzburg
Mirabellplatz 1,5020 Salzburg
Austria
Applications open: 1 March 2024
Application deadline: 9 April 2024
Jury:
Michèle Crider - Soprano
Christopher Robson - Countertenor
Jennifer Condon - Conductor - Artistic Director Stimme, Leib und Seele
Laura Nicorescu - Salzburger Festspiele
Andrew Watts - Countertenor - General and Artistic Director IVC

29 & 30 June 2024
’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Theater aan de Parade
Parade 23, 5211 KL 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Applications open: 1 March 2024
Application deadline: 29 May 2024
Jury:
Annett Andriesen - Mezzo Soprano - former IVC General Manager
Josef Fuchs - Head of Artistic Affairs & Casting Dutch Touring Opera
Henk Neven - Baritone - Codarts Conservatory Rotterdam
Hanneke de Wit - Soprano - Prins Claus Conservatory Groningen
Andrew Watts - Countertenor - General and Artistic Director IVC
et al. (more names to be announced)


For application via YouTube video the following rules apply:

a) The application must be submitted before 10 April 2024 (group I), or before 25 June 2024 (group II). Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.You can already create an account, but the moment you finish your application determines when you receive the results. Results within three weeks after deadline. Candidates who apply for jury reviewing group no. I receive their results more early.

b) The recording must contain two separate pieces. The arias should be provided with separate links to each individual piece. MP3 accompaniment is not allowed. Only live piano accompaniment or orchestral accompaniment are accepted. The singer's live performance should be clearly visible, not be recorded from too far away.

c) The recording should be a fair representation of the contestant’s abilities and be of high (preferably professional) quality. Video quality: 720p or 1080i/p or higher. No editing or other enhancement is permitted. Privacy settings of the videos on YouTube can be either 'Public' or 'Unlisted'. Not 'Private'. Do NOT set your videos as 'Made for children'. The Competition reserves the right to disqualify studio enhanced or modified recordings. Please note: Audio only tracks (e.g. MP3) are not accepted.

d) The audition material should be recorded within 12 months prior to the date of submission. The date of recording should be mentioned in the video description. 

e) The video description should clearly mention the applicant’s name, composer, aria/opera/oratorio title of each piece.

f) Application fee Preliminary Selections via YouTube: € 50.


Repertoire requirements

Operatic excerpts must be performed in their original language and key.

All opera and concert arias must be performed from memory.
Sheet music is allowed for the oratorio pieces and for the compulsory vocal work Veronese's Green by Bart Visman. Singing from memory, however, is preferred for these pieces as well.

The participant's chosen repertoire must include music from different periods and styles.

  • Style period I: until 1810
  • Style period II: 1810 – 1919
  • Style period III: 1920 to the present day

    All operas by Giacomo Puccini count towards Style period II.
    Works composed by the following composers count towards the style period III: Leos Janacek, Maurice Ravel, Ottorino Respighi and Franz Schreker.
    The operas Salome, Der Rosenkavalier, Ariadne auf Naxos, Arabella, Daphne, Intermezzo and Vier Letzte Lieder by Richard Strauss count towards the third period.
    Music from operettas and Zarzuelas, even when composed after 1920 (like for instance by Lehar) do NOT count towards style period III compositions. They will count as style II compositions.
    Please see the annex at the bottom of the page with further suggestions for music from style period III.


Repertoire Preliminary Selections
Participants compile their program themselves.

  • 2 arias, one from style period I and one from style period II or III
  • 2 different languages
  • A minimum of 8 minutes and a maximum of 11 minutes

The arias are performed in the program sequence specified by the participants.
Please upload sheet music for each aria (PDF-file) if auditioning live at one of the various preliminary selections venues.

Singers who want to participate for the Wagner Prize must present 1 Wagner aria of at least 4 minutes in the Preliminary Selections (1 aria by Richard Wagner, plus 1 aria from Style Period I).

Wagner Prize
€ 3,000 cash prize, plus € 2,000 scholarship prize
The 'Wagnergenootschap Nederland' has consciously chosen to create a prize that will continue the education and further professional development of the winner. This amount can also be used to cover the costs of participation in masterclasses given by a Wagner specialist. With the Wagner Prize the Richard Wagner Foundation Netherlands aim to promote the work by composer Richard Wagner to the attention of audiences and musicians and to encourage young singers into this field.

//

Repertoire Competition 26 September - 5 October 2024
After admission via the Preliminary Selections, the repertoire for the Competition proper must be submitted by the participants.
The Competition is divided into three Rounds: the First Round, the Semi-finals and the Final.

The arias are performed in the program sequence specified by the participants.

Repertoire from the Preliminary Selections may be repeated.

Participants may not repeat repertoire from the First Round in the Semi-finals.

The Management of the Competition and the conductor of the Final will choose the candidate’s programme for the finals, considering the preferences of the jury members and a balanced musical offer for the public.

The repertoire list Opera | Oratorio for the Competition must comprise:
· 10 arias, of which at least 2 operatic arias from different Style Periods and 2 oratorio arias from different Style Periods
· The compulsory vocal work by Bart Visman, with a choice in which language the candidate wants to sing the song (Dutch or English).

Specifications concerning the repertoire list:
- The repertoire list must contain at least 3 arias from Style period I, at least 3 arias from Style period II, at least 2 arias from Style period III.
- The candidate must perform arias from all 3 different Style Periods during the whole competition.
- The candidate must perform in at least three languages. Two different languages in each round and three different languages in total.
- Performance of the compulsory vocal work by Bart Visman does not count towards the Style period III, nor towards the required different languages.
- Within the total repertoire list of 10 works candidates may feature a maximum of 1 operetta aria or zarzuela, or 1 concert aria, or 2 orchestral songs.

- If the Participant competes for the WAGNER PRIZE he/she has to include two Wagner arias in the 10 pieces mentioned above. The two Wagner arias / fragments must be at least 4 minutes long and from a different opera or from a different character in the opera (e.g.: not 2 times a Wolfram aria).

First Round
A programme of two or three arias (depending on the length of the programme). The programme must contain at least 2 different style periods and at least 2 different languages.

The candidate may repeat part or all of his/her programme from the Preliminary Rounds if desired; other arias from his/her repertoire list may also be sung. The minimum length of the First Round programme is 12 minutes, the maximum 16 minutes. Candidates must perform their arias in the order they have submitted.

Candidates nominated for the Wagner Prize have to include one Wagner aria from their repertoire list in the First Round programme.

Semi-Finals
A programme of two, three, or four arias (depending on the length of the arias) and the compulsory work by Bart Visman. Again, the candidate must present at least two different style periods and two different languages. The candidate must choose works that he/she did not perform during the First Round.
The candidate must perform at least 1 oratorio aria in the Semi-finals.
The minimum length of the Semi-finals programme is 18 minutes, the maximum length is 22 minutes, including the compulsory work by Bart Visman. Candidates must perform their arias in the order they have submitted.

The compulsory work "Veronese’s Groen" / “Veronese’s Green” is performed by all singers in the Semi-Finals, they indicate themselves where in their programme and whether they perform the Dutch or English text. Performance of the compulsory vocal work by Bart Visman does not count towards the Style period III, nor towards the required different languages.

Candidates nominated for the Wagner Prize have to include the other Wagner aria from their repertoire list in their Semi-finals program.

A maximum of 16 singers will be selected for the Semi-finals. A maximum of 4 singers will be nominated for the Wagner Prize in the Semi-finals.

Final
The candidate may propose 2 works from their complete repertoire list in two languages from two different style periods that he or she would like to perform during the Final. Wagner arias are excluded.

Jury members are invited to indicate which of the 10 arias in the candidate’s list they want to hear in the Final with symphony orchestra. The Management of the IVC and the conductor of the Final will try to take these preferences into account when deciding upon the definite programme.
It is possible that the candidate will have to repeat a work or works that he/she has already performed in earlier rounds.

6 - 8 singers will be selected for the Final with the PhilZuid under the baton of maestro David Parry.

2 singers will be selected after the Semi-finals to perform the compulsory work of the competition with symphony orchestra in the Final.

A maximum of 2 singers will be nominated for the Wagner Prize in the Final.


Annex

Further possible composers for Style Period III (suggestions, non-exhaustive list)
John Adams
Louis Andriessen
Samuel Barber
Bela Bartok
Alban Berg
Luciano Berio
Leonard Bernstein
Harrison Birtwistle
Benjamin Britten
Ferruccio Busoni
Hans Cox
Luigi Dallapicola
Peter Maxwell Davies
George Gershwin
Philip Glass
Hans Werner Henze
Paul Hindemith
Arthur Honegger
Willem Jeths
Zoltan Kodaly
Ernst Krenek
György Ligeti
Theo Loevendie
Bohislav Martinu
Gian Carlo Menotti
Olivier Messiaen
Douglas Moore
Luigi Nono
Carl Orff
Krzysztof Penderecki
Francis Poulenc
Sergei Prokofiev
Aribert Reimann
Wolfgang Rihm
Kaija Saariaho
Peter Schat
Dmitri Shostakovich
Igor Stravinsky
Karol Szymanovski
Michael Tippett
Viktor Ullmann
Michel van der Aa
Alexander von Zemlinsky
Kurt Weill
Judith Weir
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Bernd Alois Zimmermann