Ópera San Miguel is dedicated to discovering the most talented young opera singers in the Republic of Mexico, to encouraging and supporting their professional aspirations by awarding grants for advanced operatic studies and professional expenses, and to providing performance experience. By bringing young, exciting, and often world-class operatic talent to San Miguel de Allende, we enrich both our community and the nation. Our events, which are open to all segments of the community, offer exposure to one of the greatest art forms as well as educational opportunities for young people. The long-term goals of Opera San Miguel include increasing the number of free public performances for our community and to presenting fully staged performances of complete operas, cast with the brilliant young singers discovered through our Concurso.
In 2008, Opera San Miguel presented the first Concurso San Miguel, a nationwide contest for young Mexican singers. It quickly became one of the most respected contests of its kind in Mexico. The generous grants offered through the Concurso help provide funding for the professional and artistic development of young, uniquely talented Mexican singers. All grant money awarded through our Concurso is raised privately, through generous donations from the international community of San Miguel de Allende, its residents, and its local businesses.
In addition to cash awards, Concurso San Miguel offers unique educational benefits to our contestants. Following a first round of auditions, during which more than 150 applicants are heard, 10 to 12 finalists gather in San Miguel de Allende for a week of coaching, master classes, language instruction, and seminars on launching a professional operatic career, all conducted by an invited panel of international luminaries in the opera and musical world.
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The week culminates in the grand Concurso, before a soldout audience at Teatro Angela Peralta, at which awards are announced. Each winner then submits a proposal for how they plan to use their award. Their plans must have strong potential for advancing their professional careers.
Concurso San Miguel returns in the spring 2017 under the direction of Artistic Director John Bills. It will attract young artists from all over the Republic, enriching the cultural life of our community and the nation and bringing continued acclaim to San Miguel de Allende as the rising opera headquarters of the Bajio.