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Lotte Lenya Competition

Prizes to USA, Canada, and International Individuals
for Excellence in Opera, Theater, and Musical Theater

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music

Deadline Date:



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Prizes of up to $20,000 to USA, Canada, and International singers and actors for competing in a theater, opera, and musical theater contest. Contestents must prepare a presentation in theater, American musical theater, and opera. Singers and actors are encouraged to perform constrasting selections.

To effectively demonstrate that you are a multi-dimensional performer, in constructing your program consider the mood, tempo, length, vocal range, musical style, and characters being portrayed. The program must be performed from memory.

Contestants must perform a program that contains four selections, one from each category outlined below:

- One theatrical selection (any genre) by Kurt Weill:

Weill selection(s) must be sung in their original theatrical versions and language. However, in this category only, authorized English translations for selections from The Threepenny Opera (English lyrics by Marc Blitzstein or Michael Feingold) and Happy End (English lyrics by Michael Feingold) will also be permitted.

- One song from the “Golden Age” (pre-1968) American musical theater repertoire:

Contestants must perform the stage version of the song as it is contained in the piano-vocal score of the show (not in "selections" format, or from a film or popular adaptation of the work). American musical theater selections must be sung in English.

Contestants may also select a Weill song written for Broadway as their pre-1968 musical theater selection. Note, however, that multiple Weill selections should be contrasting (in genre, style, and/or language).

- One song from the American musical theater repertoire of 1968 or later:

Contestants must perform the stage version of the song as it is contained in the piano-vocal score of the show (not in "selections" format, or from a film or popular adaptation of the work). American musical theater selections must be sung in English.

- One aria from the operatic or operetta repertoire:

The opera/operetta aria must be sung in its original musical version, key, and language. Contestants may also choose a selection from an opera/operetta by Weill for this category. Again, please note that multiple Weill selections should be contrasting.

The total length of the program must not exceed 15 minutes. This may necessitate judicious internal cuts, but contestants must be prepared to sing the number unabridged if so requested by the judges.


- New in 2018, the Kurt Weill Award, for outstanding performance of at least two contrasting selections by Kurt Weill, one in English, one in French or German.

- Lys Symonette Awards are given in recognition of various aspects of individual performance such as outstanding performance of a single number, extraordinary achievement and/or promise, and outstanding talent.

- Carolyn Weber Awards are given in recognition of outstanding creativity in the design of a diverse program and exceptional sensitivity to text/music relationships.

- Marc Blitzstein Awards are given for an outstanding performance from a "Golden Age" musical.

- All semifinalists who do not proceed to the finals receive an award of $500. Additional awards are available to non-finalists: Grace Keagy Awards for Outstanding Vocal Promise and Emerging Talent Awards, each in the amount of $500.

- Please note that judges may decide not to award all prizes listed here in any given year.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175728

Estimated Size of Grant:

- First Prize: $20,000
- Second Prize: $15,000
- Third Prize: $10,000

Discretionary Awards:
- Kury Weill Award: $5,000
- Lys Symonette Award(s): $3,500
- Carolyn Weber Award(s): $3,500
- Marc Blitzstein Award(s): $3,500

All finalists will receive an award of $1,000. Judges' discretionary prizes are customarily awarded.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The competition is open to singer/actors of all nationalities, ages 19–32 (born after April 15, 1985 and before January 23, 1999).

First, Second, and Third Prizewinners from previous years are ineligible to compete in subsequent competitions.

Winners of discretionary awards (Lys Symonette, Carolyn Weber, Marc Blitzstein, and Kurt Weill Awards) may compete again so long as they select repertoire different from what they were previously recognized for.

Pre-Application Information:

Click here to view the online FAQs:

The application deadline for the 2018 Lotte Lenya Competition is January 22, 2018.

Preliminary Auditions:

- Each contestant must upload a preliminary video audition through Vimeo with his/her online application form. Contestants will need to create a free account, upload the video, and set it to private with the password Lenya2017. (More detailed instructions may be found on the application form.)
- Audition videos must include all four required repertoire selections.
- Your video should approximate a live audition; the view of the camera should include your whole body and allow you to move as you perform your selections. It is permissible to cut between selections. The accompanist need not be visible in the video. Make sure that you maximize audio quality and screen size, particularly if the video is produced using a smartphone.


- Contestants will be notified by February 5 if they are being invited to the Semi-Final auditions in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music on Thursday, March 8 or Friday, March 9, 2018.
- Travel stipends are available to semi-finalists traveling more than 100 miles.
- Contestants may utilize a staff accompanist, which will be provided free of charge.


- Contestants will be notified by March 12 if they are invited to the Finals in Rochester, NY.
- Finals will take place in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music on Saturday, April 14, 2018.
- Travel stipends are available to all finalists.
- Contestants may utilize staff accompanists (with 1 hour private rehearsal prior to day of competition), who will be provided without fee.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Brady Sansone, Director of Programs and Business Affairs
212 505 5240 x204

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.