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Gütersloh, 02/09/2011

42 Young Opera Talents Qualify for NEUE STIMMEN Final Round

More than 1,400 opera singers took part in the worldwide auditions

42 opera singers have made it to the finals of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition
Thomas Kunsch

42 opera singers have made it to the finals of the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. A total of 1,400 young talents applied for and took part in the worldwide auditions, which were held in 23 different cities around the globe, from Berlin to the Japanese city of Yokosuka. The final round of the competition will take place in Gütersloh from October 16 to 22, 2011.

This year’s 42 finalists are a diverse group: 19 are from Europe, 11 from Asia, 6 from South America, 5 from North America and one from Australia. Of the 18 countries represented, China has the largest contingent with 6 participants, followed by Russia and the US, both with 5, and Germany and South Korea with 3 singers each.

The 14th NEUE STIMMEN competition features 23 women and 19 men from all vocal ranges: 16 sopranos, 7 mezzo-sopranos, 5 tenors, 7 baritones and 7 basses. The youngest participant, a tenor from China, is 20; the oldest, a tenor from the US, is 32.

As in previous years, both concerts -- the semi-final and the final -- will be accompanied by the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra lead by Axel Kober, music director at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Dress rehearsals on Thursday, October 20 and Saturday, October 22 will be open to the public from 11am to 2 pm.

There will be one day with two orchestra rehearsals between the semi-final and final to enable the singers to prepare for the final. Those who do not make it to the semi-final will be offered an individual training session with movement coach John Norris. All finalists will be given the option of speaking one-on-one with the jury. The broadcasting company WDR will film the entire final concert and broadcast a shortened version on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 9:35 am.

"With the help of NEUE STIMMEN, we are able to bring the world of classical music to Gütersloh," says Liz Mohn, vice-chair of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and president of the competition. "The community has the opportunity to take part in this cultural experience now more than ever before, especially through the ‘Klassik-Herbst Gütersloh’ program. Thanks to NEUE STIMMEN, Gütersloh stands out in North Rhine-Westphalia as a city for the arts."

Tickets will be available starting September 10, 2011, for the semi-final (Oct. 20, 2011; €22.70) and for the final (Oct. 22, 2011; €33.70). Tickets can be purchased at various ticket agencies in Gütersloh, at Service Center Gütersloh Marketing GmbH or online at www.eventim.de. Both concerts will take place in the Gütersloh community center. The final will be broadcast live in the theater. Tickets for the "Klassik-Herbst Gütersloh" events will be available starting September 24, 2011.

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