“The standard of the applicants was excellent,” says the competition’s Executive Director Marja-Leena Pétas-Arjava. “It is also noticeable that top-flight singers clearly cover a wider front than they did 5–10 years ago. They show that interest in opera and Western art music has spread, and reflect the speed with which these genres have been appropriated.”
The competition was open to women born in 1989 or later and men born in 1987 or later, regardless of nationality. The application deadline was 31 December 2018. A total of €173,000 will be awarded in prizes. The four best men and four best women will each receive a prize.
The names of the competitors can be found here.
The Mirjam Helin Competition will be held in Helsinki, Finland from 20 to 29 May 2019. The finalists on 29 May will be performing with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu.The Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) will be giving the competition wide coverage.
Key competition assets reputation, Jury and prizes
The number of applicants for the Mirjam Helin Competition was 46% up on the figure for the previous s in 2014. Executive Director Marja-Leena Pétas-Arjava reckons the fantastic growth can be attributed to the rise in the competition’s worldwide reputation, the prestigious Jury, the repertoire that, though demanding, permits considerable freedom, and the big prizes.
The members of the all-singer Jury are impressive stars of the world of singing: Olaf Bär, Ben Heppner, Vesselina Kasarova, François Le Roux, Waltraud Meier, Deborah Polaski, Kiri Te Kanawa and Jorma Silvasti (Chairman). For many of the competitors, the feedback they receive from a singer they admire stands them in good stead for the future.
Competitors by voice register:
Men 34 (3 countertenors, 7 tenors, 20 baritones, 2 bass-baritones and 2 basses)
Women 28 (2 coloratura sopranos, 20 sopranos and 6 mezzo-sopranos)
Attachment: Competitors in the VIII Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition
For further information go to mirjamhelin.fi
One of the world’s leading international singing competitions, the Mirjam Helin is intended for the cream of the world’s young singers. The aim of the competition founded by professor, singer and voice teacher Mirjam Helin (1911–2006) is to find the most talented young singers and to give them a major boost in their international career. Many of the prizewinners, such as Elīna Garanča, René Pape and Nadine Sierra, have risen to the top of the world of singing.
The first prize for women in the 2014 competition went to Ukrainian soprano Kateryna Kasper and that for men to Beomjin Kim from South Korea. The Finnish Cultural Foundation has been organising the Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition at five-year intervals since 1984.