Preliminary Auditions

The Jury will be selected by the Artistic Direction of each theatre where the auditions are held.


Víctor Garcia de Gomar

Artistic Director, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona.

Víctor Garcia de Gomar (Barcelona, 1975) serves as the artistic director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu. He has held the position since September 2019.

He finished his higher education studies in vocal performance (baritone) and piano at the Conservatori Superior del Liceu. He earned an Honourable Mention from the Conservatory. His training is rounded out with studies in law at the Pompeu Fabra University, a postgraduate degree in institutional, corporate and cultural platform administration and management at the Pompeu Fabra University (1999-2000), a General Management Programme at IESE (2015-2016), as well as studies at the Kellogg School of Management (2018) and the Harvard Business School (2019). 

His experience in the public and private sector has allowed him to combine different projects with a meritorious and recognized contribution to the improvement of the entity: the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Auditori de Girona, the Festival Nits de Clàssica de Girona, the Baroque Orchestra de Sevilla, the Music Service of the ”la Caixa” Foundation.

Throughout his career he has developed multiple cultural projects: in Girona, being the director of the Nits de Clàssica Festival, musical programmer at the Auditori Palau de Congressos and director of the Festevial Músiques Religioses i del Món. He also works in the management of the Seville Baroque Orchestra and being part of projects such as the Barcelona Antiga Music Festival, the UNESCO General Council of Music in Spain and the music department of "la Caixa".


Julien Benhamou

Artistic Advisor, Casting Manager of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.

Julien Benhamou

Julien Benhamou is currently the Artistic Administrator of the Aix-en-Provence Festival. Born in Paris, combining his studies in cultural industries management (Master in Management-Grande Ecole, ESCP Europe) and his passion for opera and classical singing,  he started his career in artist management, working for many high profile singers and conductors at agencies such as Askonas Holt in London.

He then switched to programming, serving as Artistic Consultant for the Paris-based recital series l’Instant Lyrique - a position he continues to hold - and served as Director of Artistic Coordination and Casting at Opéra national de Bordeaux.

He also contributes to the development of the Voice Academy of the Treilles Foundation, and is frequently invited as a judge for international vocal competitions.

Alessandro Galoppini

Casting Manager, Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

After obtaining his diploma in Choral Conducting and in Organ and Organ Composition with the highest qualifications under the direction of Sergio Marcianò, Alessandro Galoppini continued his composition studies with Carlo Mosso. His compositions for organ have been published by Edizioni Carrara of Bergamo. In the 1980s he began to work as a collaborating teacher at the Laboratorio lirico of Alessandria with Maestro Edoardo Müller, continuing later at the Teatro Rendano of Cosenza and at the opera houses of Bergamo, Brescia and Cremona.

In 1990 he began his collaboration of almost thirty years with the Teatro Regio of Turin, where, until 1998, he worked as hall master, stage and ballet master, keyboardist of the orchestra, assistant to the chorus master and master prompter.
From the 97-98 season onwards, he was appointed stage musical director and, since 2000, head of the orchestra sector. After being charged with the role of deputy artistic area director, from 2009 to 2018 he served as artistic area director, and in the '18-'19 season as artistic director.

As artistic area director he has participated in the creation of audiovisual recordings for the most important record companies and in the artistic organization of numerous tours in Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, France, Switzerland, Japan (Tokyo 2010 and 2013), China (Shanghai 2010) (Hong Kong 2016), Russia (St. Petersburg 2014 and 2018), United Kingdom (Edinburgh 2014 and 2017), United States (Chicago, New York, Ann Arbor 2014), Canada (Toronto 2014), Finland (Savonlinna 2016) and Oman (Muscat 2017).

He has been active as a piano and organ accompanist. As a soloist, he performed J.S. Bach's Concerto in D minor on harpsichord and C. Saint-Saëns' Third Symphony on organ, conducted by Michel Plasson.
As a conductor, he conducted a harpsichord production of Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell, filmed by RaiSat, and at the Teatro Regio in Turin he conducted Il matrimonio segreto and Il barbiere di Siviglia, and in decentralized performances in Alessandria, Novara and Vercelli La bohème.

He has been invited to serve on the juries of important international singing competitions, such as the Viñas and Aslico Competitions, and for ten consecutive years on the commission of the New York Opera Foundation with representatives of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Bayerische Staatsoper.

He has taught the following subjects at various Conservatories: Piano Accompaniment, Theory and Solfeggio, Score Reading, Choral Music and Choral Conducting and Choral Exercises. Since 2000, he has been a full professor of Rhythm Theory and Musical Perception at the Conservatory "Giuseppe Verdi" of Turin.

Since December 2019, he has been Head of the Singing Companies of the Teatro alla Scala.

Tobias Hasan

Director of the Staatsoper Unter der Linden, Berlin.


Tobias Hasan

Since January 2014 Tobias Hasan is coordinating opera director of the State Opera Unter den Linden in Berlin. Most recently he was casting director and senior booker of the State Opera Hamburg. After completing his singing studies at the University of Mozarteum in 2001, he was a member of the festival Salzburger Festspiele and worked at the press offices of the record labels TELDEC, Deutsche Grammophon, DECCA and EMI Classics in Salzburg. Tobias Hasan has been a juror at the International Francisco Vinas Competition in Barcelona as well as the International Mozart Competition and the "Bundeswettbewerb Gesang" (National Vocal Competition).

Paul Hopper

Associate Artistic Administrator, the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Paul Hopper serves as Associate Artistic Administrator at The Metropolitan Opera where he oversees the casting of secondary roles and covers for all productions. Previously, he was the Assistant Artistic Director at Houston Grand Opera where he assisted in long term artistic planning and casting, managed special artistic initiatives, and guided a variety of audiences in learning more about opera, including numerous events in support of the company’s first Ring Cycle. As principal dramaturg for the company he worked closely with composers and librettists in the commissioning and development of new works. He regularly serves on the juries for various levels of vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition, and the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Houston, he previously held positions at the Santa Fe Opera and ADA Artist Management.

Peter Mario Katona

Casting Director, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London.

Peter Katona, after having worked in similar positions in German, was appointed Director of Casting of The Royal Opera in 1983, and has since been responsible for the planning and casting of all performances by The Royal Opera, in close collaboration with the Music Directors of the company – first Sir Colin Davis, from 1987 with Bernard Haitink and from the start of the 2002/03 season with Antonio Pappano.

Simon Lepper


Simon Lepper is known for his regular collaborations with singers including Benjamin Appl, Ilker Arcayürek, Christiane Karg, Karen Cargill, Stéphane Degout, Sally Matthews, Mark Padmore and Christopher Purves. He performs extensively in venues around the world including the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, the festivals of Verbier, Ravinia and Edinburgh and at the Opera houses of Frankfurt, Geneva, Bordeaux and La Monnaie.

He lead the collaborative piano department at the Royal College of Music, London where he is professor and vocal coach. Since 2003 he has been the official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He gives masterclasses throughout the UK as well as for the Fondation Royaumont, France, Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, Belgium and LIFE Victoria, Catalonia.

Simon read music at King’s College, Cambridge before studying at the Royal Academy of Music in London and later with Ruben Lifschitz at the Académie de Royaumont, France.

His discography includes a live recital disc with Stéphane Degout, Mahler Lieder and French Mélodie with Karen Cargill, the complete songs of Jonathan Dove with Kitty Whately, two discs of Schubert Lieder with Ilker Arcayürek and a recital disc with Dame Felicity Palmer.

Joan Matabosch

Artistic Director, Teatro Real, Madrid.

Artistic Director of the Teatro Real de Madrid since the 2013-2014 season. Artistic Director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu de Barcelona from 1997 to 2013. He was previously Assistant Artistic Director and director of the Dramatugy department of the same theater and he has also worked as a journalist, and opera, theater, music and dance critic in various publications. He studied, among others, Piano, Singing and Harmony at the Liceu Conservatory of Barcelona and Information Sciences at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has been the founder and president of Opera Europa and he is part of juries of prestigious international, musical and lyrical competitions.

Nelly Miricioiu


Hailed as a singing-actress, Nelly is one of the most versatile artists of our day. Her repertoire extends from Mozart and bel canto to Verdi, Puccini and verismo, to modern Italian opera such as Respighi and Zandonai, and taking in French and Russian composers too. As Rodney Milnes wrote in Opera Magazine "this extraordinary diva can sing anything and sing it well ". Since her Covent Garden debut in 1982 as Nedda in I Pagliacci opposite John Vickers, Piero Cappuccili and Thomas Allen, and the 1983 triumphant La Scala debut as Lucia di Lammermoor, Nelly has been heard in all major opera houses of the world. She has worked with some of the most prestigious conductors and directors in leading roles that include Tosca (with Jose Carreras, Jose Cura, Neil Shicoff), Mimi (with Placido Domingo), Violetta in La traviata (with Franco Bonisolli, Roberto Alagna, Renato Bruson, Alfredo Kraus) and opposite many other leading artists of the day. It was the bel canto repertoire and her dedication to rediscovering forgotten operas where Nelly found her niche. Universally acclaimed for her luscious sound, beautifully constructed technique and exceptional theatrical stage presence, Michael Davdison wrote about her in an article in Opera Magazine: "The highly individual timbre of Miricioiu’s voice, her imagination and intensity, her exceptional range and sense of timing make for a unique talent. "

Nelly is gaining a reputation as one of the most desired and respected voice teachers - in demand both in the UK and internationally. Alongside her own busy private teaching schedule, she is a mentor for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and a regular visiting professor with the London Masterclasses, The Mediterranean Opera Studio & Festival, and Festival y Academia de Musica en Tequila.

Christian Schirm

Artistic Director of l'Académie de l'Opéra National de Paris. 

Sophie Joyce

After completing his studies in Humanities and Political Science, Christian Schirm was in charge of the course at the Diplomatische Akademie in Vienna from 1982 to 1987.

Then he worked closely with Hugues Gall at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and later at the Opéra National de Paris, where he was in charge of the Palais Garnier and the Dramaturgy department. Gerard Mortier appointed him director of the Atelier Lyrique in 2004 and Stéphane Lissner artistic director of the Académie de l'Opéra de Paris in 2015.

Ludmila Talikova

Head of the Opera Company, Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Moscow.

Ludmila Talikova.

In 1996 she graduated from the Music College and in 2001 — from the Astrakhan Conservatoire (choral conducting and professor of a music matters). In 2007 she enrolled master’s degree programme at the Sorbonne’s faculty of musicology studies. In 2012 she graduated from the Versailles State Institute majoring in Management in Culture and the Arts. During her studies she took part in the organization of a conference on the theme New Media, the Arts and Society (Palais de la Decouverte, Paris). She coordinated a contemporary art project set up under the influence of the work of John Cage. In 2012 she underwent practical training as a producer at the following international festivals: The Festival of Baroque Opera in Beaune (Burgundy) and The Chopin in Paris Festival. In the 2012/13 season she is an intern at the producers’ department and then at the casting department of the Opéra National de Paris (Opéra Garnier and Opéra Bastille). She has worked as promoter with young French theatre companies. Since September 2014 she has been a Head of the Opera company of the Bolshoi theatre of Russia.

  • A member of the Jury who is, or has been, a teacher of one of the contestants will not be permitted to vote for that contestant.
  • The Jury will designate the winners of all the prizes: Official, Extraordinary and Special.
  • When a decision by the Jury is reached unanimously, it will be declared as such, publicly.
  • The Jury reserves the right to withhold the awards if entrants fail to reach the required standards.
  • The decisions of the Jury will be final.