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Summary:Aria Contest
Deadline: 01 May 2017
Date Posted: 01 March 2017
Details: TRUNK SHOW!
A Fashionable Fantasia of Women on the World Stage

Aria Contest Announcement

OperaHub announces a contest for newly-composed arias for powerful female characters in virtuosic female voices.

One $1000 Grand Prize
Seven $200 Runners Up
All winners will have their aria performed as part of OperaHub’s TRUNK SHOW! fantasy/pastiche/singspiel.

TRUNK SHOW! will be a semi-devised lyric-theatrical fantasy pastiche inspired by the great divas of the ages, the economic significance of their extravagant wardrobes, and their extraordinary contributions to the social and economic emancipation of women. The script, which is in the early stages of development, will position 8-10 historic diva characters in conversation with each other. Each of these characters will sing one aria from that singer’s historic repertoire as well as one new aria featuring a woman character in a position of power or prestige.

▪ Arias that are a marriage of classical vocal technique and structure with modern musical style and dramatic sensibilities, 2-6 minutes in duration.
▪ Each aria should be for a female character who is a recent, current or future woman of great social, economic, or political power or prestige. If you are not sure what this means, we have a non-comprehensive list of suggestions.
▪ The aria should present her in a situation that is primarily fueled by something other than romantic intrigue although that may play a part.

Arias will be evaluated on the strength of their:
• choice of subject matter
• emotional expressiveness
• active, character-driven text
• vocal writing that is grounded in the virtuosic use of the human voice developed through the classical, bel canto, and Romantic vocal literature.
• dramatic arc
• beauty and lyricism
• compositional sophistication

We will also be taking into account the voice type distribution among our performing ensemble when choosing final selections. Our ensemble will likely include voices from the following types: light lyric coloratura soprano, full lyric coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, young zwichenfach, lyric mezzo, coloratura mezzo, dramatic mezzo, contralto

• We encourage composers of all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, ages, career status to apply; this is a blind application process and the only information we will use to identify applicants during the evaluation process is their phone number.
• A composer may submit multiple entries but we reserve the right to limit the number of winning entries for any single composer.
• Payment of prize money will be contingent upon winners entering into a rights agreement with OperaHub to cover the use of the composer’s aria in the TRUNK SHOW! stage production.
• Contest is open to United States Citizens and Permanent Residents only.

Notes (updated 29 November, 2016):
• The historical divas we will be portraying created roles for composers such as Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Meyerbeer, Wagner, Debussy, Massenet, and Verdi and successful arias will make a strong impression in relation to the music of these composers.
• Arias may be dramatic or comic.
• Arias may or may not subvert conventional vocal/character types.
• The character need not be the protagonist of the larger “story” if the composer is thinking of the aria in the context of a larger work.
• The aria can either exist on its own or be part of/grow into a part of a larger work that is its own opus.
• The new arias will generally be used in our show as new showpieces for our historic diva characters, so we are not looking to integrate them fluidly into the show in the same way they would be in a strictly linear-narrative opera. We won't be trying to tie all of them together in one linear story line other than the meta story line of the trajectory of women's place and roles in opera.
• The text of the aria can be in English or a foreign language, but keep in mind that we are looking to perform these arias with a specific ensemble. Each singer in that ensemble will definitely be capable of performing the major singing languages: Italian, German, and French, as well as English. Certain singers will also have experience singing in Spanish, Russian, Czech, and Yiddish. We may have singers who have experience in additional languages or be able to find coaches for them, but these are not guaranteed.
• While we do not wish to prescribe a list of characters, in response to questions from composers we have created a list of suggested subjects.
• Questions should be addressed to

Submitting your application:
• Section 1: Fill out your contact information on the google form linked here:

• Section 2: Submissions should be emailed to should be formatted as either one (preferred) or two PDF documents.
◦ 2A: Information Sheet
▪ Ten-Digit Telephone number
▪ Aria Title
▪ Character Name and Description
▪ Summary of the character’s situation or dilemma
▪ Text of aria (and English translation, if applicable)
2B: Aria sheet music

Submission Deadline:
May 1, 2017