Chance for Aida and Rigoletto

Kazan hosts the Glinka International Vocal Contest

Chance for Aida and Rigoletto
Photo: Maksim Platonov

Once popular Glinka International Vocal Contest, which for various reasons has not been held in recent years, is going to be revived in Kazan. The jury includes casting director of the festival in Salzburg, the head of the youth programme at the Metropolitan Opera and others. The chairman of the high commission is singer Albina Shagimuratova. Read the details in the material of Realnoe Vremya.

The inspirer was Irina Arkhipova

Glinka International Vocal Contest was first held in Russia in 1960 and is rightly considered one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions of young singers. Eight years after its foundation, great singer, teacher and public figure Irina Konstantinovna Arkhipova, people's artist of the USSR, winner of the Lenin prize became the permanent chairperson of the jury. It is no accident that this competition is associated with her name for many.

Winning Glinka International Vocal Contest is one of the keys to successful career advancement of the singer. Almost all singers who have occupied or occupy the Opera Olympus — winners or diplomats of this contest. Among them, there are Dmitry Khvorostovsky, Elena Obraztsova, Vladimir Leiferkus, Anna Netrebko, Ildar Abdrazakov, Albina Shagimuratova, Mikhail Kazakov and many others.

Unfortunately, after the death of Irina Arkhipova, who headed the jury until 2009, and due to financial problems in recent years, Glinka International Vocal Contest was suspended. But in April it was decided to hold the ХХVl Glinka International Vocal Contest in Kazan. Its founders — the ministry of culture of the Russian Federation and Tatarstan, the competition will be held with the support of President Rustam Minnikhanov.

Irina Arkhipova headed the jury until 2009. Photo:

The jury will be headed by people's artist of Tatarstan, laureate of the G. Tukay State Prize of Tatarstan and Golden Mask Albina Shagimuratova. By the way, the Glinka International Vocal Contest is not the only international competition in Kazan, the first was the competition named after Feodor Chaliapin, who ceased to exist in the difficult nineties also because of financial difficulties and the revival of which, perhaps, is also worth thinking about.

Three challenging tours

The competition is held from 11 to 19 April. The grand opening is held in the Kazan city hall, and all three rounds and the gala concert of the winners — in the Saydashev State Great Concert Hall. The draw is held in the city hall. From 12 to 14 April, it is the first round of the competition, 15 and 16 April — the second. On April 17 – the rehearsal of the third round with the Tatar State Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Alexander Sladkovsky, April 18 — the third round, after which late in the evening the names of the winners will be announced. The gala concert and awards ceremony take place the next day.

The grand opening of the competition will be held in the Kazan city hall. Photo:

The victory in the Glinka International Vocal Contest will not be easy — the programme of the competition of singers is very difficult. In the first round they are to sing an aria from opera, cantata or oratorio of the XVII—XVIII centuries, including arias from operas by Mozart. In addition, an aria from the opera of the Russian composer of XIX—XX centuries.

The second round includes the performance of arias from operas by Russian and foreign composers, a romance by Mikhail Glinka. Third round — arias of Russian and West-European composer with the orchestra. It is impossible to repeat the works, each must be performed only in one round, all works are performed in the original language. Those who claim to win in the nomination The Best Performer of Mikhail Glinka;s Work must perform the works of this composer in each round.

Third round — arias of Russian and West-European composer with the orchestra. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The jury of the contest included people's artist of the USSR Irina Bogacheva, people's artist of Russia, soloist of the Mariinsky theatre Olga Borodina, Artistic Director of the Academy of young singers of the Mariinsky theatre Larisa Gergieva, Casting Director of the Salzburg festival Eva-Maria Wieser, Head of the youth programme at the Metropolitan Opera Sophie Joyce, Opera Manager from Italy Alessandro Ariosi and others.

  • Venera Ganeeva

    Venera Ganeeva People's Artist of Russia and Tatarstan, laureate of Tukay State Prize of the Republic of Tatarstan, Professor

    One should to participate in contests, try their forces. But first, to avoid disappointment, you have to ask yourself: do I meet the requirements of this competition? At one time, I participated in the Glinka International Contest and received a special prize for the performance of the party of Altynchech. But the main thing for me is not the victory in the competitions, but the recognition of my audience.

  • Dmitry Morozov

    Dmitry Morozov opera critic

    In due time the Glinka International Contest was very prestigious, almost all the now famous singers have gone through it. The competition was associated with the name of Irina Arkhipova, who did a lot for its status. It is a pity that due to financial problems, it was not held for some time, and it is wonderful that it is being revived. The more contests there are, the better it is for young singers to try their hand.

By Tatyana Mamaeva