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We are proud to present the jury for 2017! The jury consists of opera directors and casting associates from several of the largest opera houses in the world, in addition to world-renowned opera singers.

Birgitta Svendén, The Royal Opera, Stockholm (Chair)

Birgitta Svendén_BW

Photo: The Royal Swedish Opera

Birgitta Svendén is the CEO and Artistic Director at The Royal Opera in Stockholm. Svendén launched her international career as a Wagner singer. She is a full member of the Academy of Music in Stockholm and an honorary doctor at the Luleå University of Technology.

Svendén has been involved with many of the world’s great opera arenas, including the Bayreuth Festival. She has also been a frequent concert singer both domestically and internationally, and was appointed Royal Court Singer to the Swedish Royal Family in 1995.

Ben Heppner, Tenor, Canada

Ben Heppner_BW
Photo: Kristin Hoebermann / CAMI

Ben Heppner is recognized world-wide as one of the finest dramatic tenors of today. He excels in the most challenging roles and is acclaimed in music capitals around the world for his beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship and sparkling dramatic sense. His performances on the opera stage, in concert with orchestra, in recital and on recordings have set new standards in his demanding repertoire.

In addition to his impressive singing career, Heppner has worked as a broadcaster on Canadian radio. He plans to continue broadcasting, hosting masterclasses and coaching singers for roles, as well as appearing on voice competition juries.

Sophie de Lint, Opernhaus Zürich / Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam

Photo: Stefan Deuber

Sophie de Lint is the Artistic Director of Opernhaus Zürich. She has been appointed as director of Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam from September 2018. De Lint has a multi-faceted artistic and administrative background from Central European opera houses, not least the opera in Geneva.

Her career has involved numerous artistic and management responsibilities in opera. As a former artist manager, de Lint is particularly engaged in discovering and developing young opera talents.

Annilese Miskimmon, The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Oslo

Annilese Miskimmon_BW
Photo: The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet

Annilese Miskimmon is appointed as Opera Director of The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in Oslo from August 2017. She has worked extensively in many prestigious international opera houses, including as Artistic Director of The Danish National Opera since 2012.

A passionate supporter of new work, Miskimmon has an international reputation for invigorating neglected masterpieces and re-inventing classic opera for a modern audience.

Lenore Rosenberg, The Metropolitan Opera, New York

Lenore Rosenberg
Photo: BBC

Lenore Rosenberg has held the position of associate artistic administrator at The Metropolitan Opera, and is the former director of The Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

In addition to being one of the industry’s greatest within casting, she is a highly respected jury member for international voice competitions. She is passionate about developing new talents and a great identifier of what young singers need to work on in order to increase their chances of a career in music.

Sebastian F. Schwarz, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, UK

Sebastian Schwarz_BW
Photo: Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Sebastian Schwarz is a German-born musician and opera manager. He has held a number of high positions with various opera companies, including Theater an der Wien, Wexford Festival Opera in Ireland, Staatsoper Hamburg and Vienna Chamber Opera. In addition, he is Artistic Director and co-founder of the Pietro Antonio Cesti International Voice Competition for Baroque Opera in Innsbruck.

Throughout this journey, he has acquired a knowledge of the business from every perspective. He is a sought-after voice specialist and a regular jury member for major international voice competitions.

Terje Stensvold, Baritone, Norway

Photo: Ellen Lande Gossner

Terje Stensvold is a Norwegian baritone with a long and impressive career. He began performing as a boy soprano in the popular boy's choir Sølvguttene.  Between 1972 and 1999 he was employed as a soloist for the Norwegian National Opera, performing over 70 different roles varying greatly in character. 

After his celebrated principal role in Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, he guested major international opera houses such as Frankfurt, Covent Garden, La Scala, Munich, Barcelona and Vienna with Wotan, Wanderer, Barak and Jochanaan. Stensvold is also a trained teacher and philologist. He became a knight of St. Olav’s Order in 2008.



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