Gruppenbild der Preisträger beim Finale der NEUEN STIMMEN am 24. Oktober 2015 in der Stadthalle Gütersloh.
Besim Mazhiqi

Press Release, , : Gütersloh-based NEUE STIMMEN opera competition more international than ever in its anniversary year

Opera talents from more nations than ever have applied to participate in the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. In the year that marks the competition's 30th anniversary, the Gütersloh-based Bertelsmann Stiftung received 1,430 applications from young opera singers coming from 76 countries. Preliminary auditions will be held in 24 cities around the world from now until August 4. The first auditions will take place on April 28 and 29 at the National Opera Center in New York.

Worldwide search for talent begins

The preliminary auditions for the final round in Gütersloh will be held in 24 cities around the globe beginning on April 28 in New York. The two final stops in the worldwide talent search will take place the first week of August in Sydney and Cape Town.

Some 500 singers from Germany and Austria have registered for the preliminary auditions: 198 in Berlin, 140 in Munich and 150 in Vienna. Young people in Asia also continue to exhibit a high level of interest in traditional western culture and opera, with 115 singers having registered to audition in Beijing and 101 in Yokosuka, among other locations. The number of applicants in Eastern Europe and North America also shows that there are many up-and-coming singers there, with 75 applicants registered in Moscow, 70 in Kiev and over 100 in the United States and Canada.

Thanks to longtime partnerships with renowned opera houses such as the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the State Opera in Vienna and the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin, all 24 auditions around the world will offer participants conditions that are both professional and fair. On a practical level, that means the NEUE STIMMEN team has organized well-equipped rooms for warming up and auditioning and that the competition will cover the costs of providing qualified piano accompaniment. In addition, an independent jury and transparent judging system ensure that all participants receive a fair chance. Evamaria Wieser, artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, and Brian Dickie, former general director of the Chicago Opera Theater, both longtime members of the NEUE STIMMEN jury, listen to each contestant and decide on site who will be asked to come to Gütersloh for the final round. In September, the names of the 40 to 45 singers will be announced who will travel to Gütersloh to participate in the final round from October 7 to 14.

Final round in Gütersloh

What awaits the young artists in Gütersloh is an opera competition designed to advance their careers. During the NEUE STIMMEN semifinals and finals, they have the opportunity to perform for a renowned jury, representatives of international opera houses, and agents. The winners will be awarded cash prizes totaling over €60,000. Moreover, as part of the NEUE STIMMEN Creating Careers initiative, all participants in the final round will receive support and advice during the competition and, above all, after it ends. Select finalists will have the chance to attend NEUE STIMMEN master classes, workshops and career seminars and to perform in NEUE STIMMEN concerts in Germany and other countries. Many talents will benefit over the long term from the competition's close ties to its powerful project partners and from interactions with members of the NEUE STIMMEN partner network, including the Bregenz Festival and the Opera Studio at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin.


Initiated in 1987 by Liz Mohn, president of NEUE STIMMEN and vice-chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board, the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition is considered one of the most important international events for young opera talents. The competition allows up-and-coming singers to make contact with jury members, opera house managers and agents. The NEUE STIMMEN competition has already helped many young artists launch major careers, including sopranos such as Christiane Karg.

If you are a journalist or blogger and are interested in attending one of the preliminary auditions, please let us know. Dates and locations are included here and as an attachment to this e-mail.

For more information on where the preliminary auditions will be held, the requirements for participating, and the members of the jury, please visit the NEUE STIMMEN website at