Application

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All emerging singers interested in the repertoire of Handel are encouraged to audition the the Handel Aria Competition.  The final round of the 5th Annual Competition will take place on Friday June 9, 2017 at 7:30 in Mills Concert Hall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music.  

Application Deadline: April 1, 2017

Handel Aria Competition applications are managed through Yap Tracker. Applications must be received via Yap Tracker by midnight, Monday, April 1, 2017.  You do not need to be a paying subscriber to YAP Tracker to use the application form, although you will need an account (guest accounts are available for free).

Prizes

First prize: $1,000
Second prize: $750
Third prize: $500
Audience Favorite: $250

Eligibility

Auditions are open to all voice types. Contestants must be 18-35 years old as of December 31, 2017. Past finalists are eligible to audition, with the exception of first prize winners.

Preliminary Round

Applications for the preliminary round must be completed in entirety through YAP Tracker by April 1, 2017 and include:

  1. Completed application form
  2. Unedited recordings of two Handel arias: One opera aria and one from an oratorio or cantata. One aria in English and the other in Italian, German, or Latin.
  3. A biographical paragraph of 150 words or less
  4. Non-refundable application fee of $25

Please label recordings with your name and titles of arias.  Piano and harpsichord accompaniment will be accepted for the recording; however, the finals will be accompanied by harpsichord and instrumental ensemble at A=415 Hz. Technically poor recordings will be rejected.

Judges will evaluate the recordings and choose six finalists and one runner-up. Singers will be judged on voice quality and historically correct Baroque performance practice.  Competitors who are selected to participate in the Finals will be notified by email no later than April 15, 2017. Should any of the chosen finalists be unable to sing in the final round, the runner-up will be invited to participate in the final round.

Final Stage

The final round of the competition will take place on Friday, June 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.  Rehearsals will take place in Mills Concert Hall on Thursday afternoon and on Friday morning. The competition will be heard before a panel of three judges in an event open to the public held in the Mills Concert Hall of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mead Witter School of Music, George Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St, Madison, Wisconsin. Prize winners will be announced at the end of the evening, and a reception for all finalists will follow.

Each singer will perform:

  1. A short recitative and aria
  2. A second aria without recitative.

One selection from an opera, the other from an oratorio or cantata of Handel. One selection in English, the other in Italian, German, or Latin. You may sing the same arias from the preliminary recording, or sing new selections.  If appropriate, include the recitative before one of the arias.

On or before Friday, April 20th, in advance of the final stage, finalists will be asked to send the titles, English translations with the original language, and one copy of the arias and recitative to be performed at the competition finals.  Please send the translations as a WORD document and the music as a PDF to:  handelariacompetition@gmail.com

Use a good source for your music so it is historically correct. The Handel Gesellschaft edition is excellent, and is available in university and public libraries, or through the IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library.

Harpsichord & String Quartet Accompaniment 

The Madison Bach Musicians will provide harpsichord and string quartet accompaniment for the final concert. Finalists will have an opportunity to rehearse before the competition on the afternoon of Thursday, July 7th and the morning of Friday, July 8th. You must use the provided ensemble for the final competition. Competition pitch is A=415 Hz.

Travel/Lodging/Food

  • Finalists will be given up to $500 for travel to Madison. (limited to actual expense.)
  • Home stays will be available for out-of-town finalists.
  • Finalists will be responsible for their own food expenses.

If you have any questions please email us at handelariacompetition@gmail.com