20. Oktober 2015: Bekanntgabe der Semifinalisten, NEUEN STIMMEN, Stadthalle, Bertelsmann Stiftung.
Besim Mazhiqi

Press Release, , : NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition: Application phase has begun

Young opera singers from around the world have until March 31 to submit their application for the Bertelsmann Stiftung's 2017 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. Participating in the competition can be a crucial step for launching a high-profile career, as the current success of NEUE STIMMEN prizewinner Nadine Sierra shows.

Gütersloh, January 23, 2017. Nadine Sierra, who won first prize at NEUE STIMMEN 2013, is now a successful and established singer in the international opera world. Last season alone, she made a string of successful debuts with the Berlin State Operas, the Met and La Scala, and the American soprano recently signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon and Universal Music Classics in the US. This year once again, young singers from around the world have the chance to lay the foundation for their own successful career by taking part in the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. The deadline for applications is March 31.

Prestigious prizes and important contacts in the world of opera

The Bertelsmann Stiftung will be awarding a total of more than €60,000 in prize money. Of key importance for the young artists, however, is the opportunity the competition gives them to make contact with opera-house managers, festival directors and agents, as well as the career advice and support they receive on an ongoing basis from the NEUE STIMMEN team. "NEUE STIMMEN has been the best competition experience I've ever had. So, yes, for sure it has helped me to gain exposure and credentials for my future," says Sierra, the soprano who won first prize at NEUE STIMMEN 2013.

Selected finalists are invited to participate in NEUE STIMMEN master classes, workshops and career seminars, and to perform in NEUE STIMMEN concerts in Germany and abroad. In addition, a stipend is awarded which allows the recipient to join the International Opera Studio at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in Berlin.

New jury members

The 10-member jury will be led once again by Dominique Meyer, director of the Vienna State Opera. New members this year include Sophie de Lint, opera director at Opera Zurich, and Elisabeth Sobotka, general director of the Bregenz Festival, as well as pianist and lied accompanist Helmut Deutsch. International talent scouts and long-time jury members Evamaria Wieser, artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, and Brian Dickie, former general director of the Chicago Opera Theater, will again lead the preliminary round auditions held around the globe to spot new talent.

Discovering talent locally: one of the competition's strengths

The preliminary round auditions will take place from April 28 to August 5 in 24 cities around the globe: Amsterdam, Beijing, Berlin, Cape Town, Chicago, Gothenburg, Izmir, Kiev, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Munich, New York, Riga, Shanghai, Sydney, Tbilisi, Torino, Toronto, Valencia, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw and Yokosuka. Brian Dickie will document this exciting phase of NEUE STIMMEN on his blog.

The best 40 or 45 competitors from the preliminary round will be invited to the competition’s final round, which will be held in Gütersloh from October 7 to 14. There they will have the chance to participate in the semifinals and finals, accompanied by an orchestra as they perform for the jury and an audience of music-world professionals.


Singers of all nationalities can submit an application on the NEUE STIMMEN website from January 15 to March 31. The rules and regulations for participating and the compulsory repertoire of arias are described there in detail. Some 1,400 young singers from 72 countries applied to participate in the 2015 competition. First prizes were awarded to soprano Elsa Dreisig and bass Anatoli Sivko.


Initiated in 1987 by Liz Mohn, president of NEUE STMMEN 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 Vesselina Kasarova, René Pape, Nathalie Stutzmann, Roman Trekel, Michael Volle, Hanno Müller-Brachmann, Anna Samuil, Maxim Mironov, Franco Fagioli, Marina Rebeka, Christiane Karg, Olga Bezsmertna and Nadine Sierra.