42 NEUE STIMMEN participants arrive in Gütersloh

There's music in the air: from October 17 to 24, young opera talents from all over the world will once again be gathering in Gütersloh. A total of 42 up-and-coming singers from 30 countries will be performing for an international jury during the 16th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition.

From October 17 to 24, 42 young opera talents from 30 countries will be residing in Gütersloh while they participate in the 16th NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition. For one week they will be demonstrating their talents to an acclaimed international jury chaired by Dominique Meyer, director of the Vienna State Opera. The best singers will perform in the semifinals on October 22 and in the finals on October 24, accompanied by the Duisburg Philharmonic under the direction of Graeme Jenkins. Journalist and TV personality Holger Noltze will serve as the host for both the semifinals and finals, in which up to 18 singers will participate. The top three female and male singers will share a total of  Euro 60,000 in prize money.

The semifinals and finals are open to the public, as are other NEUE STIMMEN events. Members of the public are welcome to attend the announcement of the semifinalists on 20 October at 4 pm, the final dress rehearsal for the semifinals on October 22 from 11 am to 2 pm, and the final dress rehearsal for the finals on October 24 from 11 am to 2 pm.

A total of 1,318 young talents applied to participate in the preliminary auditions held in 26 cities around the globe, from Berlin to Melbourne. The top performers were then invited to Gütersloh for the semifinals and finals. The final-week contestants come from 30 countries. The largest national contingents hail from China and South Africa with four singers each, followed by Russia, South Korea, Mexico, Japan, Ukraine and Germany, with two singers each. The youngest contestant is 20 years old and comes from China; the oldest, from Slovenia, is 30. The participant who traveled the farthest from home is a tenor from New Zealand. The shortest journey to Gütersloh was made by the German singers.

"Our international competition and its numerous partners offer up-and-coming singers a valuable opportunity to show what they can do, learn from their peers and network with others."

Liz Mohn, president of NEUE STIMMEN and vice-chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung Executive Board.

Not only does NEUE STIMMEN allow the Bertelsmann Stiftung to discover new talent, the foundation also uses the event to promote and further assist the young singers, thereby setting new standards for competitions in general. All singers are provided with comments on their performance soon after auditioning. In addition to feedback on technical ability, vocal quality, musical presentation and artistic presence, they receive recommendations specific to their own situation. Promising young performers are, for example, asked to compete again and especially qualified candidates are given additional feedback and added to a list of Top 100 talents. Although they are not awarded a prize, they could potentially be given the opportunity to perform in concert; they might also receive an invitation from a member of the foundation’s network of partners or be asked to attend the NEUE STIMMEN Master Class in Gütersloh.