aboutcanto competition

Conditions of participation:

The contest is aimed at young Romanian and foreign vocal soloists, up to 35 years of age (competitors born not earlier than 1983).



  • Deadline for registrations: April 22, 2019
  • Preliminary stage (based on analysis of recordings) : April 28, 2019
  • Master-classes with soprano Nelly Miricioiu: June 3-5, 2019
  • Masterclass’s final concert: June 6, 2019 (Cluj-Napoca)
  • Piano rehearsals: May 31, 2019
  • Semi-final: June 1, 2019
  • Rehearsals with orchestra: June 2, 2019
  • Final with orchestra: June 2, 2019



  • The preliminary stage of the contest is the evaluation of the competitors based on a chosen aria of the candidate and sent in the form of video or audio recording.
  • The file will be transmitted through the Application Form from the www.virginiazeanifestival.com as a link,or attachment.
  • The chosen aria will be one of the 5 arias asked for Registration and can be sung at the Semifinal or Final stage.
  • We do not expect professional recordings as a requirement; good quality footage made with smartphone/tablet is also admitted.
  • The recording must be of a recent date.
  • The jury will designate, by calculating the rankings, those who will qualify for the semi final of the competition (about 30-35 people).
  • The organizers offer to all those accepted following the preliminary stage the opportunity to have a rehearsal and to sing in the contest with an official pianist of the competition, free of charge, upon request.
  • Competitors who ask for an accompanying pianist will urgently send the piano sheets, if the competition secretariat asks them to do so.

• Semi-final (June 1, 2019)

The admitted will present 2 arias chosen by the Jury, any of the 5 mentioned in the Application Form.

• Final (June 2, 2019)

The admitted will present 1 aria chosen by the Jury, any of the 5 mentioned in the Application Form.​

The final is conducted with orchestra accompaniment. Throughout the contest the repertoire should be presented in the original language of the opera (or variants in another language published and authorized by the composer/official editor), without music sheets.



The contest gives winners prizes totaling about 58,000 Euro.

  • Grand Prix of the Competition - King Michael 1st - 5.000 Euro
  • 1st prize, of 2.500 Euro​
  • 2nd prize, of 1.500 Euro​
  • 3rd Prize, of 1.000 Euro​
  • 4 Trophies covered in gold, silver, bronze, respectively, with brilliants, for the winners of the above-mentioned prizes. The Grand Prix King Michael 1st Trophy has the permission for its name from the Royal House of Romania and will also bear the Royal Coat Of Arm of King Michael 1st on it. They are unique art objects made for the contest by one of the most prestigious jewelry houses in Europe and worth 12.000 Euros/pcs.
  • Special award offered by "Elena Obraztsova" Cultural Center Sankt Petersburg (Russia), consisting of a tour in Russia for recitals
  • The Prize of the Public

In addition, the contest can provide participants with career opportunities, as follows:

- Roles/concerts contracts at European music institutions

- Invitations to participate in international programs for young opera artists

Other special prizes or contracts with prestigious musical institutions in Europe may be added to the above list.

The jury reserves the right not to award certain prizes, depending on the artistic level of the candidates.

Semi-finalist diplomas and finalist diplomas will be awarded.

The winners will necessarily mention in their personal CV and press/promotion materials that they are laureates of the "L'assoluta Virginia Zeani” voice competition specifying exactly what award they received​. The winner of the King Michael 1s tprize will no longer be able to participate in future editions of this contest.



Organizers will offer as a prize* a free masterclass for all finalists** as active singers and all semifinalists as passive participants with internationally acclaimed soprano, Ms. Nelly Miricioiu.

Period: June 3-6, 2019

Also as a prize, all active participants will have the great opportunity to perform with orchestra as the Masterclass’s final concert on 6th of June, 2019 on the stage of the Hungarian Opera House from Cluj-Napoca accompanied by the institution’s orchestra.

Accommodation will be assured free of charge for all finalists!

On the 4th and 5th of June there will be organized a Flash Mob performance where passive singers are also welcome to participate.

Passive participants can request double rooms for EUR 45/night.

*It is recommended to buy flight tickets to cover the period between 31st of May - 6th of June.

** In case some finalists can not stay for the Masterclass courses, Ms. Nelly Miricioiu might chose from the semifinalists.


How to register:

Registration for the contest shall be made through the www.virginiazeanifestival.com website. For any suport you may contact us at email or phone.

The registration fee is EUR 100.

Payments via Bank Card and PayPal account are possible at the end of the Application Form.

At the request of the organizers, candidates are required to send the necessary scores to the official piano accompanist.

Delaying or not sending sheet music draws the competitor's automatic disqualification. It is recommended to choose known arias, existing as orchestra full scores in the festival library, to be sung in the finals. The secretariat will communicate to those admitted in the final stages if their chosen arias are not existing in the Festival library. In this case, competitors will provide the orchestral materials or will choose other arias.

Singers can not change the registered arias.



The jury is made up of emblematic personalities of the national and international musical world, especially representatives of opera theatres, managers, artistic directors, agents and Masters of the Performing arts. They will be present at the public stages of the competition.

The selection in the preliminary stage will be made by another jury, consisting mostly of international maestros.


Other provisions:

  • Organizers offer candidates free accommodation on request from 30th of May, 2019.
  • The order of the entrance in the competition will be fixed by draw after the Virginia Zeani Festival’s opening concert in May 31, 2019.
  • Presence at all stages (in the case of those qualified at all stages), the rehearsals for them, with strict compliance with scheduled hours, as well as honoring the performance contracts of the winners of the special awards, are strictly mandatory. Failure to fulfil these conditions leads to disqualification of the competitor.
  • By signing the Application Form, the candidates agree to accept and comply with this regulation, to photograph/film/record audio-video of all activities during the competition and to their public dissemination, without material claims, by default assignment of related royalty or other specific rights to the Festival.
  • The jury's decisions are final and cannot by challenged.
  • Spectators can participate in any of the public stages of the competition. The access of the press and the official observers is based on accreditation.
  • Failure to comply with this Regulation shall entail the elimination of the competition​.

How to arrive to Targu Mures:

The closest airport with many connections is in Cluj-Napoca city. It is recommended to fly to its airport  "Avram Iancu", from where there are several charters directly to Targu Mures city. Seats for this charter can be reserved at the following phone numbers: +40732.530.515 or +40745.380.000


Additional information:

Email: office@virginiazeanifestival.com

Phone no: +407515zeani (93264)

Website: www.virginiazeanifestival.com

Facebook: lassolutavirginiazeani