The 19 semi-finalists in this year’s Glyndebourne Opera Cup have been announced by the Sussex-based opera house.

Glyndebourne’s search for the next big opera star attracted more than 200 entrants from 39 different countries. Some 61 applicants competed in the preliminary rounds which took place in December 2019 and January 2020 in New York, London, Berlin and Paris. Following these opening heats, 19 singers aged 22-31 were invited to take part in the semi-final at Glyndebourne, which is based in Lewes, Sussex, on 4 March.

The semi-finalists will compete for one of six places in the Opera Cup final on 7 March, which will again be broadcast live on Sky Arts, presented by comedian and writer Chris Addison and Australian-American lyric soprano Danielle de Niese. The overall winner will receive £15,000 and the guarantee of a role within five years at one of the opera houses represented on the competition jury, including Teatro Real de Madrid, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Bayerische Oper.

English mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker, whose own early career was fostered by Glyndebourne, is the competition’s honorary president. She will adjudicate the live final and present the prizes.

Thirteen nationalities are represented among the semi-finalists, who have a variety of backgrounds and interests. British soprano Alexandra Lowe was born in Mallorca and used to busk on the streets of Blackpool to help fund her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music, while Swedish soprano Klara Johanna Wallroth trained as a ballet dancer at the Royal Swedish Ballet School before deciding to focus on opera.

American soprano Maya Kherani holds a BSE in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Canadian soprano Lauren Margison has also performed as part of an all female jazz/pop group called The Real Divas.

See Glyndebourne’s website for the full list of performers. The semi-final takes place at Glyndebourne on 4 March, with the final on 7 March. Tickets are on sale now.



The 19 semi-finalists will compete for one of six places in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup final on 7 March.