42nd Annual Vocal Competition FAQ
Who is eligible to apply for the competition?
Opera Birmingham’s Vocal Competition is open to all singers aged 21-35 (as of the finals on May 17, 2020) who are permanent residents of the United States. Previous first prize winners of the Vocal Competition are ineligible to compete.
What materials are required for the application?
In order to be considered complete, all applicants must submit the following information through the online YAP Tracker application:
Professional resume, including performance experience and education information
Professional headshot or recent photo
Non-Refundable application fee: $40 (Early Bird Fee $25); payable through YAP Tracker
Proof of age (examples include a copy of driver’s license or birth certificate)
Recordings of two arias with piano accompaniment only (see below for more information)
What is the application deadline?
All applications must be submitted through YAP Tracker by midnight on March 31, 2020. The Early Bird deadline (for a reduced application fee) is midnight on February 28, 2020.
Are there any specific requirements for the competition arias?
Applicants should submit five (5) arias representing a variety of languages and contrasting styles. At last one aria should be in English. All arias should be presented in the original key and language.
Do contestants have to sing the same arias in the competition?
No, artists selected to participate in the competition will have the opportunity to change their aria selections.
When will contestants be notified if they are accepted to the competition?
All applicants will be notified of the results of the application screening by April 10, 2020.
How many contestants are chosen to participate in the competition?
Twenty contestants will be chosen to come to Birmingham to compete in the semifinals. From this group, five singers will be chosen to move on to the final round.
Do the contestants have to pay for transportation, housing, etc., for the competition?
The contestants must provide their own transportation to Birmingham for the competition. Contestants must also provide housing and ground transportation during the competition weekend. Limited host housing will be available on a first-come, first-served basis (contestants will have the opportunity to request host housing once they are notified of acceptance to the competition).
Does the competition provide a pianist for contestants?
Yes, the competition will assign each contestant to one of our guest pianists for the semifinal round. Our principal competition pianist will play for all five finalists on the Gala concert. Rehearsal time will be scheduled for each artist to meet with their accompanist before both the semifinals round and the finals concert.
Are guests allowed at the competition?
The competition will give each contestant one ticket to the semifinals for a guest. Details for guest attendance at other competition events will be provided with competition acceptance materials.
What is the schedule for the competition?
The general schedule for the competition is listed below, however some times may change. Semifinalists will receive a detailed schedule when they are notified of being accepted in to the competition.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Artists arrive in Birmingham
6:00pm – Welcome Dinner, semifinalists draw to determine order
Saturday, May 16, 2020
10:30am-3pm – Semifinals Round (lunch break around noon)
Judges deliberate and choose five artists for the finals
Judges meet with non-finalists to give feedback, while finalists rehearse with pianist
6:30pm – Private cocktail reception for all singers
Sunday, May 17, 2020
6:00pm – Finals Gala
Judges decisions will be announced after the concert, followed by a patron dinner