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This August we will celebrate The Festival of Voice 2020 which this year, because of the COVID 19 crisis, will be held in Belfast.  The theme will be ‘Myths and Legends’

Every year we work in partnership with BBC Radio 3 who record three concerts with invited artists, which are then broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in the early Autumn. This year’s recitals will feature Ailish Tynan (soprano), Anna Huntley (mezzo soprano), James Newby (baritone) and Simon Lepper (piano) and will be recorded in Belfast. As in previous years, these performances will then be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 later in the year.

During the Spring each year, we also invite applications from singers between the ages of 18 and 28, born on the island of Ireland, to be one of five finalists competing at the Festival of Voice for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize, and the Audience Prize.  This year’s finalists are David Corr (baritone) from Dublin, David Howes (bass baritone) from County Clare, Andrew Irwin (tenor) from County Fermanagh, Sarah Luttrell (mezzo soprano) from County Laois and Jade Phoenix (soprano) from County Wicklow.

These five singers will have the opportunity to work with prestigious vocal coaches in the build-up to the Competition Finale on Sunday 30th August where they will sing arias, duets and Irish songs in front of a panel of opera experts, hosted by our Patron, Sean Rafferty.  They will compete for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize to become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020.

Usually these events are open to public audiences, but due to the public health crisis, the current plan – subject to review if restrictions lift sufficiently – is to record the Competition Finale for online broadcast: details and timings will be advertised on this page and social media nearer the time.