North Yorkshire's Northern Aldborough Festival has announced the launch of a major new nationwide competition for singers.


The New Voices Singing Competition will be seeking the UK's best classical vocal talent of 2023, with £7,000 in prizes as well as performance opportunities at leading UK music festivals.

The winner will receive The Seastock Trust Prize of £5,000, with a second prize of £1,500 from The Yorkshire Music Future Fund, and a third Audience Prize of £500. Winners may be offered performance slots at associated festivals, including Leeds Lieder, Newbury Spring Festival, Ryedale Festival and Music@Malling, as well as the Northern Aldborough Festival itself.

Robert Ogden, the festival's artistic director, said: “Hundreds of young singers graduate every year with dreams and aspirations to become professionals, but the majority have to seek temporary work while they build their careers. A competition success can be a turning point for a young artist. Our festival has, from its inception, strived to support and nurture young talent.

“At a time when the arts sector – particularly opera – has faced funding cuts, we feel a competition to help launch singing careers is of its time. What’s more, there are very few significant open vocal competitions north of London.”

The competition is open to solo singers and ensembles of up to eight performers, and celebrates classical vocalism in all its forms. It is open to vocalists aged between 21 and 32, and the deadline for entries is Friday 14 April, 2023. The judging panel includes the soprano Dame Felicity Lott.

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The panel also includes Christian Curnyn, artistic director of The Early Opera Company, and Joseph Middleton, director of Leeds Lieder.

The semi-final and grand final will be performed live to audiences at the end of this year’s Northern Aldborough Festival, which is hosted in the North Yorkshire village from Thursday 15 to Saturday 24 June 2023.

Now in its 29th year, the Northern Aldborough Festival's mission is to bring world-class talent to rural locations.


You can find out more about the competition, and how to apply, on the Northern Aldborough Festival website.


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.