The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) has just announced that its next vocal competition, in 2018, will feature seperate categories for art song and opera for the first time. The idea of an entire stream of the competition devoted specifically to art song stemmed from American baritone James Norcop. “I have always dreamed of a competition where art song performers would be equally recognized and rewarded as opera singers. I shared this vision with CMIM officials and they were thrilled with the idea,” Norcop said in a press release.
Singers will have the choice to compete in one or both competitions, and the same prize money will be awarded for each — meaning that the total prize money for the competition has doubled from previous editions. The total prize money is now $260,000. Other international singing competitions feature art song as a key component: the BBC's Cardiff Singer of the World competition awards a specific prize for art song. But it's rare for a competition to have the funding for two entirely seperate competitions in opera and art song.
The 2018 competition's jury will include tenor and CBC broadcaster Ben Heppner, English soprano Felicity Lott and New Zealand's superstar soprano Kiri Te Kanawa among others.
CMIM is an annual competition that rotates among piano, violin and voice. The most recent vocal competition was held in 2015, and the top prize went to South Korean tenor Keonwoo Kim.