Debut

DEBUT is an international Classical Singing Competition, which supports young opera singers embarking on their career. The contest is open to the following voice types: soprano, mezzo-soprano & alto, tenor, countertenor and baritone & bass. It gives young soloists an opportunity to appear in a competition with a strong international profile in the presence of a distinguished judging panel. The event is held every second year in Weikersheim, which following a three-month entry phase serve as the venue for the preliminary rounds and the competition.

This year the competition will take place from 13 to 20 September 2020. Applications can be submitted online between 1 April and 14 June.

Lieder prize

Lieder prize

DEBUT 2020 will give even greater prominence to lieder as a separate art form.

Lieder are considered to be an integral element of sustainable training in classical singing. To honour this art form in the competition, the world famous composer Giorgio Battistelli has composed a lieder especially for DEBUT 2020, which has to be performed by every singer as of the semifinal. Two lieder prizes will be awarded as part of the public DEBUT lieder recital: best presentation contemporary lied as well as best presentation German and English/American lied of the 20th century.

Giorgio Battistelli

The composer of this year's lied for the DEBUT Classical Singing Competition, Giorgio Battistelli, was born in Albano Laziale, a suburb of Rome, on April 25, 1953. In 1972 he was among the founders of the Edgar Varèse Musical Research and Experimentation Group, as well as the Beat 72 Instrumental Group in Rome.

In 1975 he attended composition seminars held by Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne. He graduated from the Alfredo Casella Conservatory in L’Aquila, where he majored in composition, in 1978; during that time, he also studied music history and esthetics under Claudio Annibaldi. In 1978-79 he attended courses in technique and interpretation in contemporary musical theater held by Jean Pierre Drouet and Gaston Sylvestre in Paris. In the 1980s he claimed his place as one of his generation’s finest and most sought-after composers, thanks to works like Experimentum mundi, which has been performed hundreds of times throughout the world (in 2009 the work earned Battistelli a prestigious Herald Angel Award, assigned by Scottish music critics); Aphrodite, a “monodrama of ancient customs”; Jules Verne, a chamber music fantasy, with book by Battistelli; Le combat d’Hector et d’Achille, représentation de corps et de mémoire, for two musical orators; Globe Theatre, Ballet zur Jahrtausendwende, with choreography by Virgilio Sieni; Anarca, Hommage à Ernst Jünger, for orchestra. In 1983 he received a grant to study radio in Baden-Baden. In 1985-86 he took up residency at the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in Berlin.

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Initiator

Initiator

The competition is sponsored by companies and institutions in the local region.

For the 10th time in a row the DEBUT Classical Singing Competition is also in its anniversary year managed without any form of public funding. This is first and foremost the achievement of its initiator and founder, Dr. Manfred Wittenstein, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of WITTENSTEIN SE. His longstanding commitment – to providing opportunities to young soloists starting out on a musical career, networking them together and introducing them to a broad public – is meanwhile emulated by numerous other sponsors in the lovely Tauber Valley.

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Locations

Locations

Weikersheim Castle and the TauberPhilharmonie at Weikersheim are the perfect setting.

Both the qualifying rounds and the semifinal will take place against the historic backdrop of Weikersheim Castle while the location for the lieder recital will be the “Roter Saal” of the Deutschordensschlosses Bad Mergentheim . The week will end with the traditional gala concert and in the new TauberPhilharmonie in Weikersheim.

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Orchestra

The young singers will be accompanied by the Würzburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Würzburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Enrico Calesso, will abandon the orchestra pit to demonstrate its excellent qualities as a concert orchestra.

Participation

The application period for the next DEBUT Classical Singing Competition starts on April 1, 2020.

All applications must be submitted online by June 14, 2020 at the latest.

  • Female singers aged 32 or under (i.e. born after September 19, 1988)
  • Male singers aged 34 or under (i.e. born after September 19, 1986)
  • Technical skill
  • Musical interpretation (rhythm, phrasing, expression)
  • Voice quality
  • Artistic personality / presence
  • Registration fee: € 30
  • Participation fee for the competition week: € 170 (incl. board, lodging, workshop and shuttle service)
  • 14./15.09.2020:    Qualifying rounds
  • 16.09.2020:             Semifinal
  • 17.09.2020:             Lieder recital
  • 19.09.2020:             Final / gala concert
  • 04.12.2020:             Anniversary concert

Here you can find this year's repertoire list with the mandatory arias.

Repertoirelist DEBUT 2020 (PDF-Download) 

Awards

1st prize:                       Golden Victoria and  € 10,000
2nd prize:     Silver Victoria and € 7,000
3rd prize:     Bronze Victoria and € 5,000

Lieder prizes:

  • Best performance contemporary song € 3.500, Sparkasse Tauberfranken
  • Best presentation English/American song € 3.500, SV TEAM Brunner GmbH

Special prizes:

  • The Gottlob Frick Society awards a performance prize with a total value of € 3,000. This consists of the participation in two opera concerts.
  • Scholarship from Jeunesses Musciales Germany, Young Opera Schloss Weikersheim

Artistic Director

Artistic Director

Clarry Bartha

Clarry Bartha

Clarry Bartha made her debut at the court of the Drottningholm Palace Theatre in Stockholm in the role of Donna Anna, then played numerous other Mozart persona such as the Countess, Fiordiligi, Arminda and the First Lady all over Europe. From 1987 to 1994, she was a regular member of the Frankfurt Opera ensemble, singing a variety of roles including Marschallin, Rusalka, Desdemona, Tatiana, Fiordiligi, Antonia and Elsa.

Accompanists 2020

Michael Schütze

Michael Schütze

Michael Schütze studied at the Hochschule für Musik Dresden and graduated with distinction. He teaches repetition and song design at the Hochschule für Musik Dresden. He is also a sought-after accompanist for various choirs (Dresdner Kammerchor, Singakademie Dresden, etc.) both as a pianist and organist.
Eberhard Leuser

Eberhard Leuser

Since 1993, Eberhard Leuser has been a répétiteur in the vocal department at the Stuttgart State University of Music and Performing Arts. He is a fellow of the Richard-Wagner-Foundation and distinguished himself as a piano accompanist at various international competitions.
Gaiva Bandzinaite

Gaiva Bandzinaite

The Lithuanian pianist Gaiva Bandzinaite discovered her affinity for singing literature, especially German song, quite early on. After graduating with honours in piano concert studies in Vilnius and singing accompaniment in Graz, she works as a contract teacher for musical rehearsal at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg.
Doriana Tchakarova

Doriana Tchakarova

The pianist Doriana Tchakarova completed her bachelor and master studies at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart with Prof. Fernande Kaeser and Prof. Friedemann Rieger and studied in the lieder class of Prof. Konrad Richter. Since 2003 she has held a teaching position at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts.

Pia-Marie Nilsson

The opera singer Pia-Marie Nilsson will teach all DEBUT participants 2020 in a two-day workshop. The main focus of the common work is on tips for voice training and stage presence.

Review 2018

The first prize, the Golden Victoria and €10,000 in cash, was won by Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, a mezzo-soprano from Russia. She was convincing in every respect: voice quality, interpretation and personality. Second prize and €5,000 went to the Chinese mezzo-sporano Yajie Zhang. The German baritone Konstantin Krimmel was delighted with the bronze Viktoria and a prize of € 2,500.

Review 2018