Operalia 2019

Deadline: 01/02/2019
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Disciplines: Opera Singing
From: 21/07/2019 To: 26/07/2019
Age limit: 19-33




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 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 Seventh Edition will take place in Prague, Czech Republic, from Sunday, July 21st through to Friday, July 26th, 2019 at the National Theater. The 40 applicants selected to participate in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia 2019 will receive round trip travel arrangements to Prague, Czech Republic 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 2019 will take place over several rounds. These are:


Between November 15th 2018 and February 1st 2019

It is highly recommended to apply well before the deadline and not on February 1st, as the system might be overloaded and applications might not go through.

Applicants must create an account in our official portal and submit their application through the following link: https://operalia.embark.com/apply/operalia2019

Operalia does not charge any application fee, but please note that you will be required to cover a small fee to Embark for the use of their portal.

Once you create an account on https://operalia.embark.com/apply/operalia2019 you will be asked to fill out an application and upload the following documents and recordings:

a) Application Form.

b) A scanned copy of current passport.

c) A professional biography and resume in English (Word or PDF format, 1 page maximum).

d) A personal Headshot photograph (Minimum size 4×6, Resolution 300 dpi, Format JPEG).

e) Video Recordings of 2 opera arias of the applicant’s choice (in addition, applicants may also upload 1 Zarzuela aria).

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 2019 in Prague, Czech Republic. (The panel will choose also 10 alternate contestants who may substitute the first chosen contestants in case any of them cannot perform. These alternate contestants should remain available if necessary.) Both the first chosen contestants and the alternate contestants will be notified by email.


Sunday, July 21st & Monday, July 22nd, 2019

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 July 21st and 20 others on July 22nd. On the evening of July 22nd. the Jury will select the 20 contestants that will advance to the next round.


Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

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.


Friday, July 26th, 2019

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 2019 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.


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 de Domingo Prize for the Best Female Singer of Zarzuela – US$10.000.00

The Don Plácido Domingo Ferrer for the Best Male Singer 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.


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: info@operaliacompetition.com.

Please send your Electronic Application through the following link: https://operalia.embark.com/apply/operalia2019.

Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 32 years old by the date of July 26, 2019.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: February 1st, 2019.