The 8th Annual Handel Aria Competition


The Handel Aria Competition is an annual event held in Madison, Wisconsin to promote the performance of Handel’s extensive vocal repertoire.  

8th annual Handel Aria Competition

(originally scheduled for Friday, June 5)

will be held on August 21, 2020

Collins Recital Hall, Hamel Music Center

University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music


 The finalists will each perform two arias by Handel, accompanied by the Madison Bach Musicians under the direction of Trevor Stephenson. Tickets will be $20, available at the door or online through the Union Theater Box office in July.

We are pleased to announce this year’s panel of distinguished judges:

      • John Holiday
      • David Ronis
      • Alessandra Visconti


Handel Aria Competition 2019 3 Winners

The 7th annual Handel Aria Competition  was held on June 7, 2019

First Prize: Morgan Balfour
Second Prize: Emily Yocum Black
Third Prize & Audience Favorite: Jonathan Woody

The 7 finalists for the 2019 competition were chosen from a field of 100 singers from 5 countries.  They are, from left to right:

Morgan Balfour, soprano
• Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone
• Emily Yocum Black, soprano
• Katherine Cecelia Peck, soprano
• Scott J. Brunscheen, tenor
• Ryne Cherry, baritone
• Sarah Moyer, soprano

Handel Aria Competition 2019 7 Finalists

For more information about the 2019 finalists and judges, please click here.

Exciting news: We are delighted to announce a new cooperative initiative with the esteemed London Handel Festival! Morgan Balfour, our 2019 first prize winner, will be giving a Tea Time Recital in Handel’s own parish church, St George’s in Hanover Square, on March 22, 2020. We have provided a travel grant for Morgan, and the London Handel Festival is arranging for her home stay in London as well as professional accompaniment. This prize will also be available for the winner of the 2020 Handel Aria Competition.

Top image credit: New English Harpsichord after Thomas Barton, made in Somerset, England by Peter Barnes with a beautiful soundboard painting in the style of Coston by Jennifer Douglas.

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Support Us with a donation which helps us support emerging singers throughout the competition process by underwriting travel grants and awards, as well as providing remuneration for competition judges and instrumental accompanists.

Please visit our YouTube channelYouTube Logo to see past performances by finalists and competition winners including the 

2019 Handel Aria Competition Playlist 

HAC 2019 Jeff Turk Morgan Balfour

Morgan Balfour singing in the 2019 Handel Aria Competition.

Photo by Jeff Turk