The world of culture is changing. As in many other areas, globalization and digitization are the biggest drivers of this change, which can be quite difficult for young and talented singers. Access to the opera stage is becoming more and more difficult.
NEUE STIMMEN is building bridges – across borders.

Contact person

Foto Ines Koring
Ines Koring
Foto Dorothea Gregor
Dorothea Gregor


For 30 years now, the internationally advertised competition has been a successful launchpad for a career. Auditions are held worldwide – 24 cities were involved in 2017 – and up to 1,500 singers apply each year. Members of the NEUE STIMMEN jury attend in person to seek out emerging talents. However, it is not just the participants who are invited to compete in the final round in Gütersloh who come out on top. Each singer receives an evaluation of their performance shortly after their audition. In addition to an assessment of their technical skills, vocal quality, musical presentation and artistic stage presence, many participants are provided with individual recommendations. For example, very young talents with promising potential are encouraged to take part again, and particularly skilled candidates are given additional positive feedback and are placed on a top 100 list. Though they do not receive any direct prizes, concert appearances, invitations from the foundation’s partner network or an invitation to the masterclass in Gütersloh may follow from their auditions. No talent goes undiscovered.



Ladies                                                              Gentlemen

1st prize            15.000 Euro                  1st prize              15.000 Euro

2nd prize           10.000 Euro                  2nd prize            10.000 Euro

3rd prize            5.000 Euro                   3rd prize              5.000 Euro

Special awards

Special awards worth 2,000 euros are awarded to selected finalists

People’s choice award

Voucher worth 500 euros for sheet music from Bärenreiter Verlag awarded in the semi-final concert

Prize winners’ concert

Prize winners of the NEUE STIMMEN 2017 competition will have the chance to participate in the prize winners’ concert in Berlin held in the spring of 2018.

For 20 years now we have offered masterclasses to purposefully support selected participants. As part of a sustainable career development, singers from the 2017 competition are given the chance to attend the weeklong NEUE STIMMEN 2018 masterclass. The course will not only cover guidance on singing techniques, breathing correctly and the musical development of an aria, but also provide essential career competencies on how to set-up a professional résumé, the choreography of a performance, and how to establish contact with agencies and theatre directors. The knowledge the coaches of the masterclass convey clearly focuses on promoting the career of each individual participant.

Opera Studio Scholarship

Where suitable, individual contestants are given a scholarship from the Liz Mohn Culture and Music Foundation to attend the Staatsoper Berlin’s International Opera Studio for two years under the artistic direction of Daniel Barenboim.

Concerts in Germany and abroad

Performing in front of an audience proofs to be a valuable experience at the beginning of an opera career. We give finalists and selected candidates from the top 100 list a chance to participate in concerts organized by the Bertelsmann Stiftung so they can prove themselves in an international setting and establish new contacts.

Media visibility: CD – photos – recordings – live-streaming

All final round participants receive the competition CD, professional photos for their records, as well as recordings of their concert appearances in the form of YouTube videos – all together an invaluable business card for the digital music world. Additionally, the semi-final and final concert are streamed live.

Coaching seminar: “How to create your own career”

To strengthen their awareness for their own career goals, in cooperation with a renowned expert we offer contestants a seminar and individual coaching sessions on the topics of career planning and self-marketing. All participants also receive seminar documents, enriched with valuable examples, recommendations and a detailed bibliography.


Even after the singers have left Gütersloh and the masterclasses and seminars are over, the young singers continue to receive support; after all, the dynamic world of opera is vast. NEUE STIMMEN remains in contact with most finalists.

The NEUE STIMMEN team in Gütersloh and a large international partner network ensure this happens, as do the competition’s powerful project partners.

In cooperation with our partners,

the Ruhrtriennale’s Campustriennale for the development of young artists,
the Opera Studio at the Staatsoper im Schillertheater, Berlin,
the Liz Mohn Culture and Music Foundation,
the Bregenz Festival’s Opera Studio,
the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project and
the Accademia di Montegral,

we set up and provide access to training and continuing education opportunities for young singers to help their long-term development and provide them with support along the way.

In cooperation with our media partners,

Unitel Classica and
Klassik Radio,
we offer young singers media coverage and opportunities to perform for the public.

“Not only is it important to discover young talents, but also to advise them and provide them with long-term support.”

Liz Mohn