- Competition Appreciation
Features of the Competition
Rigorous judging by a world-renowned jury
The official piano accompanists are talented enough to play any opera pieces.
Volunteers support the smooth operation of the competition.
The competition is operated by a university, which is rare internationally.
Process of the Competition
Preliminary AuditionThe jury members listen to the recordings of two opera arias submitted by the applicants and decide the contestants. The 73 contestants were selected from 191 applicants for the 8th competition.
The 1st Round
You can enjoy familiar opera arias.Young opera singers from around the world who have passed the preliminary audition sing two of their best arias, one of their own choosing (Self-Chosen Aria) and the other chosen by the judges from among the four arias they chose in advance (Proposed Arias).
What is an “Aria”?An aria is a solo vocal piece in an opera. The pieces express emotional excitement. Many of the melodies are easy to listen to and familiar even to beginners.
The 2nd Round
A unique judging process that tests true competenceContestants are required to apply for one of the 86 "roles" (Madame Butterfly, Figaro, etc.) presented to them to play. In the second round, the contestants perform a scene designated by the jury from the complete work of that "role," but contestants will be uninformed of the scenes they perform until after the first round. The contestants must have the skills and experience to perform the whole opera. In addition, the scenes they perform are not always arias. In the case of a duet, the contestants must perform and sing as if there is a partner. This is a very challenging screening.
AccompanistPiano accompanists are to support singers. They are competent supporters who can not only play the piano but also teach opera in several languages. In the second round, they serve as a partner of a contestant who has to sing alone.
AdviceThe contestants in the 2nd round who cannot unfortunately make it to the Final Round can receive practical advice from jury members. With the valuable advice from the jury members, the contestants are expected to have a bright career in the future.
The Final Round
Just like an opera performance! A stage full of tension!The contestants perform two arias accompanied by an orchestra. Same as in a normal opera performance, the orchestra enter the orchestra pit, and all eyes will be on the contestants.
Why don't you disclose contestants' musical careers?
You would become likely to be influenced by preconceptions from such information: “What kind of university did he/she graduate from?” “What kind of teachers did he/she study with?” “What kind of competitions did he/she participate in and how many places did he/she win?” How about listening to and watching their performance without such information? Of course, we do not give any information to the juries beforehand either.
How do you decide the order of appearance?
It is determined by random drawing by computer. For the Final Round, all contestants draw lots to determine the order.
Why can'tＩknow in advance which aria contestants will sing in the 1st Round?
Each contestant sings two arias. One of which is decided by the contestant himself/herself, and the other is chosen from among the four arias submitted in advance and is told to the contestant just before the round. The display board on the stage will show the contestant's entry number and the four arias that they have registered beforehand with the symbols A to D. You can find their registered arias in the official program.
Why can't I see the orchestra in the Final Round?
In order to approximate the conditions of a normal opera performance, in the Final Round, the orchestra performs in a large groove called the "orchestra pit" located between the stage and the audience seats. The orchestra arrangement is also different from that of a regular concert. Please take a look at it during the intermission.