Bampton Classical Opera (BCO) has launched its fifth biennial Young Singers’ Competition, with applications now open, the Oxfordshire-based opera company has announced.

In order to take part in the competition, interested singers should download an application form from BCO’s website. They will also need to submit a 10-minute audio recording of material of their own choosing. There is also an entry fee of £25. The deadline for entries is 25 August 2021.

Successful applicants will be invited to take part in the first round of the competition. This will take place at London’s Manoukian Music Centre on 30-31 October. The singers will be asked to prepare three items for a 15-minute performance; the jury will select two of these to be showcased at the event.

Winners of the first round will proceed to the final, a public performance at Holywell Music Room, Oxford, on 28 November. For this, competition entrants will be expected to put on a 20-minute performance, showing a varied and balanced programme of contrasting items to include opera and song. At least one work should be in English and one repetition from the first round will be allowed.

Each performance is judged by an internationally renowned jury comprised of British tenor Bonaventura Bottone, Royal Academy of Music vocal teacher Professor Jennifer Dakin and accompanist and conductor Phillip Thomas, who was a vocal coach and répétiteur at English National Opera. The final winner will receive a prize of £2,000, with a second prize of £1,000 going to the runner-up.

The Young Singers’ Competition was launched in 2013 to celebrate BCO’s 20th birthday. It is now well established, and aims to identify, reward and nurture some of the country’s most talented young professional singers aged 21-32 and their accompanists. Previous winners are mezzo-soprano Anna Starushkevych (2013), soprano Galina Averina (2015), mezzo-soprano Emma Stannard (2017) and soprano Lucy Anderson (2019).

In 2017 an Accompanists’ Prize was introduced, and the first winner was Keval Shah. Accompanists are judged on their performance in the final only, but are encouraged to participate in the first round as well. The winner will receive a prize of £600.

Eligible singers and accompanists must be UK residents aged between 21 and 32 on 28 November 2021.

Ticket sales for the final will open to the public at the beginning of September.

“This is always an entertaining and thrilling event, and a chance to hear some remarkable performances,” Bampton Classical Opera said in a statement.

“Bampton Classical Opera has a reputation for its commitment to young talent, and a number of singers who have appeared on the Bampton stage have gone on to work with national companies such as The Royal Opera, English National Opera and Opera North,” the company added.

For further details see BCO’s website.



The biennial Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition is now open for applications.