Debut

DEBUT is an international Classical Singing Competition which supports young opera singers embarking on their careers. 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 and Bad Mergentheim, where after a three-month application phase and the pre-selections, the final will also be held as part of the gala concert.

Song award

Lieder Prizes

DEBUT 2018 gave even greater prominence to lieder as a separate art form, because lieder are considered to be an integral element of sustainable training in classical singing.

To honour this art form in the competition, the young composer Konstantin Heuer has composed the lieder "Über uns beide" especially for DEBUT 2018, which was performed by every singer as of the semifinal. It is a setting of the poem "Die Liebe" from the volume of poems "Der siebente Tag" by Else Lasker-Schüler, first published in 1905.

Workshop

Workshop

Pia-Marie Nilsson mentored DEBUT 2018  participants at a two-day workshop.

The famous singer Pia-Marie Nilsson acted as mentor to all DEBUT participants and shared her extraordinary experience with them in the framework of a workshop. Tips on voice training and stage presence was at the center of this collaboration.

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Initiator

Initiator

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

Since its inception the DEBUT Classical Singing Competition is 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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Veranstaltungsort

Locations

Schloss Weikersheim and Deutschordensschloss Bad Mergentheim are the perfect setting.

Both the qualifying rounds and the semifinal take place against the historic backdrop of Weikersheim Castle while the location for the lieder recital will be the "Roter Saal" of Deutschordensschloss Bad Mergentheim. The week will end with the traditional gala concert and final 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

Applications for the next DEBUT Classical Singing Competition could be submitted from April 1 to June 30, 2020.

  • Female singers aged 32 or under
  • Male singers aged 34 or under
  • Singers of both sexes and any nationality who are, or have been, enrolled as students at a conservatory and have previous stage experience
  • Technical skill
  • Voice quality
  • Musical interpretation
  • Stage presence
  • Qualifying rounds
  • Semifinal
  • Final / gala concert

Awards

1st prize:      Golden Victoria and  € 10,000 
2en prize:     Silver Victoria and € 5,000 
3rd prize:     Bronze Victoria and € 2,500 
Lieder prize:     € 3,500 
Contemp. lieder     € 3,500 
      
   
 

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 2018

Theodore Ganger

Theodore Ganger

Theodore Ganger, born in Cleveland, Ohio, studied piano and conducting at the Juilliard School in New York. From 1998 to 2017, he was a lecturer in repertoire at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Munich. Since 2017 he has been engaged in musical rehearsal and vocal coaching at the Stadttheater Augsburg. In the cabaret scene he performs with his own songs.
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.

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