The Glyndebourne Opera Cup

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup – an international competition for opera singers is designed to discover and spotlight the best young singers from around the world, offering a top prize of £15,000 and a platform for launching an international opera career.

The competition will take place every two years, each time focused on a different single composer or strand of the repertoire, in order to cater for the various specialisms within operatic training and to ensure competitors can be accompanied by an orchestra with instruments appropriate for the period. Eligibility criteria, including age limit, will vary to reflect the chosen theme.

The competition has been devised by Glyndebourne’s General Director, Sebastian F. Schwarz, who chairs the judging panel. Dame Janet Baker, whose own early career was fostered by Glyndebourne, will be acting as honorary president.


2018 Competition

The inaugural competition, culminating in March 2018 at Glyndebourne, will focus on the operas of Mozart and is open to singers of any nationality aged between 21 and 28 who are in the early stages of their professional career and ready to perform on the opera stage.

Three preliminary rounds will take place in January 2018 in Berlin, Philadelphia and London – applicants will be notified of having reached the preliminary stages by 15 December 2017. During these heats applicants will perform, accompanied by a repetiteur, in front of a panel that includes representatives from Glyndebourne and the final jury.

The latter stages of the competition take place on the main stage at Glyndebourne in March 2018 in front of an audience, and the finalists will be accompanied by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Tickets for these performances go on sale to the general public on 2 October 2017.

First prize is £15,000 and the offer of a role within five years in an opera staged by one of the companies represented on the Competition jury. In addition to crowning an overall winner, the competition offers prizes for second place (£10,000) and third place (£7,500), along with an Audience Award and a Promising Talent Prize (£5,000 each).


How can I take part in the competition?

Applications are open to eligible singers from 2 October and close at 8am GMT 25 November (midnight PST on 24 November 2017).

Start your application


How can I watch the competition?

On stage

The semi-final and final of The Glyndebourne Opera Cup take place in March 2018 are open to the public.
Tickets will be on sale to the public from 2 October 2017.

Semi-final: book now Final: book now


On TV

Sky Arts, Glyndebourne’s official UK broadcast partner, will bring the competition to a wider audience with a dedicated TV series. Following each stage of the competition, the series will feature preliminary rounds in a number of international cities, culminating in the finals at Glyndebourne, and will allow audiences to learn more about the individual competitors involved.


The 2018 judging panel

Sebastian F. Schwarz General Director, Glyndebourne (Chair)
Barrie Kosky Artistic Director, Komische Oper Berlin
David Devan General Director and President, Opera Philadelphia
Joan Matabosch Artistic Director, Teatro Real de Madrid
Sophie de Lint Artistic Director, Zurich Opera and Director designate of Dutch National Opera
Fortunato Ortombina Superintendent, Teatro La Fenice, Venice
Pål Christian Moe Casting Consultant for Glyndebourne and Bayerische Staatsoper Munich
Maria Mot Associate Director, Vocal & Opera, Intermusica