It features public recitals and events, including three concerts in partnership with and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and culminates in a vocal competition hosted by Northern Ireland Opera Patron and BBC Radio 3 presenter Sean Rafferty.
Singers from applicants across Ireland are chosen after submitting a recording and they spend four days working with top opera and song professionals including former Director of the National Opera Studio, Kathryn Harries, Simon Lepper, and Ingrid Surgenor. 2021 was a record year for entries with six finalist being chosen to compete for the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and to become the NI Opera Young Opera Voice of 2021. For the first time in 2021 there was a Song Prize, sponsored by The Priests Charitable Trust and the Audience Prize voted for by the live audience on the night. 2021’s finalists were Caroline Behan, Amy Conneely, Cerys MacAllister, Ellen Mawhinney, Katie Richardson McCrea and Mattthew Mannion and Brendan Kennedy was chosen as the Peter Rankin Piano Intern.
Find out about the 2021 winners here.
2021’s BBC Radio 3 recitals will feature Ben McAteer (Baritone), Kathryn Rudge (mezzo soprano) and Elizabeth Watts (soprano), each with Simon Lepper (piano). As in previous years, these performances will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in September/October 2021.
The singers and pianists involved with the Glenarm Festival of Voice benefit from a highly focused experience and the opportunity to perform and make contacts with opera professionals. The winner of the competition is awarded the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize, also a monetary prize which is crucial at the stage they are in their careers. There is also a monetary prize for the Audience Prize, decided by the audience’s votes.
The Peter Rankin Piano Internship is offered as part of the festival and each year a young pianist is chosen to work closely with the coaches and play for rehearsals and during the Irish song section of the competition finale.