APPLICATION PROCEDURES: PLÁCIDO DOMINGO’S OPERALIA, THE WORLD OPERA COMPETITION
Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition was founded in 1993 by Plácido Domingo to discover and honor the best new, young opera singers of today. His goal is to attract singers from around the world and have them audition and compete before a most distinguished panel of judges conformed by established international opera Opera Casting Directors and General Managers. Above and beyond the biggest money prize ever awarded to the finalists of a competition of this nature, it is Plácido Domingo’s firm commitment to build and support the career of any and all worthy contestants through his own personal guidance, consideration, and recommendation.
Under the artistic guidance of Plácido Domingo, his Operalia competition is open to singers of all voice types, between the ages of 18 and 32 years old and who are ready to perform on the world’s great opera stages. Hosted in a different international city every year, Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Twenty-Sixth Edition will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from Monday, August 27th through to Sunday, September 2nd, 2018 at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. The 40 applicants selected to participate in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2018 will receive round-trip travel arrangements to Lisbon, Portugal and accommodations in this city by the Competition’s organizing committee.
All contestants must have 4 opera arias prepared in their original language. They may add, if they wish, 2 Zarzuela arias in order to compete in the Zarzuela section of the competition. Pianists / Accompanists will be readily available to the contestants during the competition.
Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2018 will take place over several rounds. These are:
- PRELIMINARY SELECTION BY ELECTRONIC APPLICATION
Between November 15th, 2017 and February 15th, 2018
Applicants must create an account in our official portal and submit their application through the following link: https://operalia.embark.com/apply/operalia2018/. It is highly recommended to apply well before the deadline and not on February 15th, as the system may be overloaded and applications might not go through. Once you create an account on you will be asked to fill out an application and upload the following documents and recordings:
- Application Form.
- A scanned copy of current passport.
- A professional biography/resume in English (Word or PDF format, 1 page maximum).
- A personal Headshot photograph (Minimum size 4×6. Resolution 300 dpi. Format JPEG).
- VIDEO Recordings of 2 opera arias of the applicant’s choice (applicants may also upload 1 Zarzuela aria if they choose to compete in Zarzuela category).
Requirements for video recordings include:
- Only VIDEO recordings will be accepted.
- Only high quality and recent recordings (within the last year) will be accepted.
- Opera arias must be from 2 different operas.
- Arias are required to be performed in their original language.
- Only live piano or orchestra accompaniment will be accepted (pre-recorded orchestra “karaoke” accompaniment will not be accepted).
- Only 2 opera arias will be accepted.
The applications will be reviewed by a panel of three judges who will select the 40 contestants to be invited to participate in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal. (The panel will choose also 10 alternate contestants who may substitute the first chosen contestants in case they cannot perform. These alternate contestants should remain available if necessary.) Both the first chosen contestants and the alternate contestants will be notified by e-mail.
- QUARTERFINALS ROUND – LIVE AUDITIONS ACCOMPANIED BY PIANO
Monday, August 27th. & Tuesday, August 28th., 2018
The 40 selected contestants must have prepared 4 opera arias in their original language. They may optionally prepare 2 Zarzuela arias. In this first round, each contestant will sing 2 arias from among the 4 arias prepared. The first aria will be chosen by the contestant and the second aria will be chosen for the contestants by the official jury. The Zarzuela aria will also be requested by the Jury in case the contestants have chosen to participate in this category. The Jury will audition 20 contestants on August 27th and 20 others on August 28th. On the evening of August 28th. the Jury will select the 20 contestants that will advance to the next round.
- SEMIFINALS ROUND – LIVE AUDITIONS ACCOMPANIED BY PIANO
Thursday, August 30th., 2018
20 semi-finalists will each sing 1 aria selected from among the prepared arias, chosen for them by the official Jury, and 1 optional Zarzuela aria. The Jury will then select the 10 contestants that will advance to the final round.
- FINAL ROUND – LIVE AUDITIONS ACCOMPANIED BY FULL ORCHESTRA
Sunday, September 2nd., 2018
The 10 finalists will each choose 1 aria to sing from among the prepared arias and 1 optional Zarzuela aria. Under the leadership of Plácido Domingo, a most distinguished panel of judges conformed by established international Opera Casting Directors and General Managers from the world’s great opera houses will select the winners of the Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2018 Competition.
Most important, Plácido Domingo is in a sense a patron not only of the winners, but of many competitors, whether engaging them for his own companies and projects or recommending them for other engagements around the world.
PRIZES ARE AWARDED IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES
Two First Prizes – Male/Female – US$30,000.00
Two Second Prizes – Male/Female – US$20.000.00
Two Third Prizes – Male/Female – US$10.000.00
Two Birgit Nilsson Prizes – Male/Female – US$15.000.00
The Pepita Embil Prize of Zarzuela – US$10.000.00
The Don Plácido Domingo Ferrer Prize of Zarzuela – US$10.000.00
Two Audience Prizes – Male/Female – A Rolex Wristwatch
The Culturarte Prize Chosen and offered by Bertita & Guillermo Martinez from CulturArte de Puerto Rico – US$10.000.00
Tied winners may also receive a prize.
Total Amount in Prizes: US$180,000.00 + Two Rolex Wristwatches
The Finalists who will not win a Prize will receive an Encouragement Award of US$5,000.00
Plácido Domingo was born in Madrid and had the good fortune to have parents who were musicians and theater people. His father, Plácido Domingo, Sr., and his mother, Pepita Embil, were stars of the zarzuela, the Spanish form of operetta. In 1949, when Plácido, Jr., was eight, his parents created a company of their own in Mexico, and he and his younger sister joined them there. The “Zarzuela Prizes” – one for a female singer and one for a male singer – were created in honor of Plácido Domingo’s parents and are meant to encourage singers to work in this art form.
BIRGIT NILSSON PRIZE
Given to singers interpreting arias within the German Repertoire of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner.
These special prizes – wristwatches offered by Rolex – are voted and chosen by the audience. Awarded by a vote of the audience attending the competition finals to the best female singer and best male singer and offered by Rolex, Operalia’s official sponsor.
If you have any questions regarding the application process, please send an email to: email@example.com.
Please send your Electronic Application through the following link: https://operalia.embark.com/apply/operalia2018. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 32 years old by the date of September 2nd, 2018.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 15th, 2018.