The first edition of the national singing competition, Voices of India, will take place at the National Centre for Performing Arts (Experimental Theatre) of Mumbai on 28th August 2018 at 1:30 pm (semi-final) and 29th August 2018 at 2:00 pm (finale). The competition benefits from the expertise of an international jury composed of experts from prestigious institutions of Western classical music as well the enthusiasm of 20 talented Indian participants.
Among the 50 candidates who showed interest, 20 singers, aged between 17 and 45 years, were selected to participate in the semi-final. They belong to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
The jury comprises several European and Indian experts from prestigious institutions like the Royal Academy in London, the Festival of Lyric Art of Aix-En-Provence, Academie Rainier III de Monaco, the Opera de Monte- Carlo and the Alliance Française of Chittagong.
The competition could not have existed without the gracious support of Bharat Forge, Crédit Agricole, Godrej and the French Institute in India. The competition is hosted by the National Centre for Performing Arts.
Françoise Lasserre, at the beginning
Françoise Lasserre, head of the renowned orchestra Akadêmia in Europe, captivated by Indian culture, has been coming to India with her orchestra since 2013.
Creating encounters between western classical music and Indian culture, between experienced singers and amateurs of lyric art, she has developed several projects: Orfeo Crossing the Ganges (Delhi and Paris in 2013, Reims and Metz in 2016), Viva Vivaldi (Delhi 2015), Tales of the Night (Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai in 2016) and Songs of the Heart (Chennai, Pune et Mumbai en 2017 pour le festival Bonjour India).
A step to encourage the emergence of new talents
Since 2013, supported by the French Institute in India, Francoise Lasserre and the artists of Akadêmia are participating in training courses which contribute towards raising the level of western classical music in India. But what does the future hold for these young artists who train with passion by choosing to pursue higher studies abroad? How to create an encouraging environment for their artistic development in India? The first step of this process, seems to us, is to improve the spotting of talent: the competition has been conceived with this objective in mind. The next step will be the creation of a professional chamber choir, the National Chamber Choir of India, an ensemble which will allow the discovery of new repertoires and styles which are associated to them.
The competition in detail
At the end of the semi-final on 28th August, 10 singers will be selected to participate in the finale on 29th August. At the end of the tests (a mini-recital of 20 mins for each participant), the jury will deliberate to award:
One 1st prize (Rs. 2,00,000), one 2nd prize (Rs. 1,00,000) and one 3rd prize (Rs. 70,000).
Furthermore, 4 special prizes will awarded for: best interpretation of a lied or an art song, best interpretation of baroque music, best interpretation of sacred music and best young singer (under 23 years).
Participation of the audience
The audience will be encouraged to award their prize to the singer who will impress and move them the most. This prize risks being a close-fought one!