Regulations for the 14th Klaudia Taev Competition (2025)
The 14th Klaudia Taev Competition for Opera Singers will take place on 7 – 12 September 2025 in Pärnu, Estonia.
Registration for the competition is open from the 1st of April 2025:
– to women born after September 13th, 1994
– to men born after September 13th, 1991
except for the citizens of the Russian Federation.
The Competition will be held in five rounds:
1. FIRST ROUND (selection round)
To register participation in the 1st round, there are two options available (A and B):
A – LIVE AUDITION (recommended because there is a higher chance of being selected) –
Auditions take place in Spring 2025. All details will be announced personally to every registered participant.
The registration deadline for live auditions is usually 10-5 days before the chosen audition date.
Information about available auditions and deadlines will be found HERE
Singers must perform with piano accompaniment two pieces of a different character from different composers. At least one of them must be an operatic aria. Chosen pieces can also (but not necessarily) be performed in later rounds.
NB! The entire duration of performing time may not exceed 10 minutes.
B – AUDITION BY VIDEO RECORDING –
The registration deadline for video recordings is June 1st, 2025:
Recordings must contain at least two pieces of a different character from different composers. At least one of them must be an operatic aria. Chosen pieces can also (but not necessarily) be performed in later rounds.
NB! Titles of works and the date of a recording must be indicated! Two recordings must be at least 6 minutes in total length.
Results will be announced before July 7th, 2025 on the website of the Competition and Facebook. Only those singers who are selected for the next round will be informed via e-mail.
The singers who are selected (both A and B options) must confirm their continued participation in Pärnu in the next rounds of the Competition by August 7, 2025. Every selected singer receives a questionnaire with extra information, which should be returned in time!
NOTE! The First Round is evaluated by its jury in each city, where the artistic director of the competition is always present. Each First Round audition participant’s performance will be video-recorded and the videos of the best-selected singers will compete for a broad-based jury (about 40 members, plus the main jury). After the selection of this jury, 36 singers will be decided, who will be invited to Estonia for the Second Round. Singers can receive feedback via e-mail, as well as receive videos of their first-round performance.
2. SECOND ROUND (stage presence and impression)
In the 2nd round, at least 36 chosen singers will participate. They will perform two pieces with piano accompaniment, namely:
- one relatively short 18th-century aria (from Bach to Mozart inclusive). The piece may not be one of the arias designated for any of the next rounds.
- one relatively short opera or operetta aria (also arietta, arioso, couplets, etc.). The piece may not be one of the arias designated for any of the next rounds.
Important! The entire duration of both pieces together, including stage entrance and exit, must be a minimum of 6 minutes, but may not exceed 9 minutes! The Jury has the right to terminate the Participant’s performance if it exceeds the time limit.
3. THIRD ROUND (musical taste and intelligence)
In the 3rd round, a maximum of 26 singers will take part. They will perform two or three pieces with piano accompaniment, namely:
- two verses (couplets) of Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria”** sung in German. Transpositions are allowed.
- one or two* lied’s, classical romances, chansons, etc., or folk songs OR Estonian art songs **.
* Singers must perform two songs only if the duration of one song is less than 2,5 minutes.
** Special scholarships or valuable gifts will be given for the best interpretation of the Estonian Song and Schubert’s “Ave Maria”.
Important! The entire duration of pieces together, including stage entrance and exit, must be a minimum of 7 minutes, but may not exceed 10 minutes! The Jury has the right to terminate the Participant’s performance if it exceeds the time limit.
4. SEMI-FINAL ROUND (artistic skills)
In the 4th round, a maximum of 16 contestants will take part. They will perform two pieces with piano accompaniment, namely:
- one aria or selection from an opera, oratorio, cantata, or orchestral work with voice, which is composed after 1935.
- one operatic aria, written in any period, including extensive recitative (preferably an operatic solo scene), which is not shorter than 5 minutes.
These works may not be among the works designated for the second and final rounds.
Important! The entire duration of both pieces together, including stage entrance and exit, must be a minimum of 8 minutes, but may not exceed 12 minutes! The Jury has the right to terminate the Participant’s performance if it exceeds the time limit.
5. FINAL ROUND
In the last round, a maximum of six contestants will be chosen to perform with the orchestra. Each singer prepares four opera arias which they can choose from the repertoire list. Every singer will perform only two of them, namely:
- one of the four operatic arias, chosen by the singer’s personal preference;
- another opera aria is chosen by the jury from the other three options. The selection will be made by the Jury and announced to each finalist right after the semi-final round.
Important! Singers are recommended to use the repertoire list provided by the Competition for choosing their arias for the Final round, but yet singers can also choose arias, which are not listed in this list. In this case, singers must bring the orchestral material (the conductor’s score and instrumental parts) by themselves.
Every finalist will be allowed a 25-minute rehearsal with the orchestra on the same day, before the final round.
REHEARSALS and PIANISTS
The use of a pianist for the audition in the First round costs €15-40 paid in cash directly to him/her before the audition starts.
A pianist is provided FREE of charge for up to 20 minutes of preparation for the 2nd and 3rd rounds and up to 30 minutes for the 4th round. Extra rehearsal time (also for the final round) can be arranged by personal agreement with a pianist for €10 per every 5 extra minutes paid in cash directly to the pianist.
Important! The participants themselves must provide clear and easily readable sheet music for the pianists, which must be sent by email at least 2 weeks before the 2nd round of the competition.
The singer is allowed to bring their pianist.
REGISTRATION FEE and PAYMENT
Registration fee depending on which option the singer has chosen for the 1st round:
Option A (live audition) – €60
Option B (video-recording) – €120
The registration fee must be paid before submitting the registration form. The payment receipt must be presented. Payment methods: bank transfer, credit card via PayPal.
NB! There is a discount of 50% for singers selected for the 2nd round of the previous competition (2023) and for singers who are Ukrainian citizens.
The singers must perform from memory.
Once chosen, pieces cannot be changed after the official booklet of the Competition is printed. Exceptionally, it is possible to change works only with the consent of the majority of the jury.
The Jury reserves the right to make any decisions not otherwise addressed in the official regulations, to ensure that the competition proceeds in a fair, efficient, and orderly fashion.
All decisions of the Jury are final.
All selected from the 1st round singers must be in Pärnu, Estonia on September 7th for the drawing of lots which will determine the order of participants in the second round. The exact time and place of the drawing will be announced beforehand.
If the singer does not comply with the regulations of the competition, then he/she may be disqualified.
Travel and accommodation
Singers are responsible for obtaining their visas to enter Estonia (see Estonia Schengen Visa Application Requirements)
It is highly recommended that participants provide their insurance with adequate coverage. The Competition will not accept any responsibility for accidents occurring to a singer during the competition.
All participants must cover accommodation and travel expenses by themselves. Our team will provide a list of hotels/hostels/guesthouses in Pärnu offering a special price (only for the competition’s participants).
All rounds of the competition will be open to the public and may be recorded and broadcast by radio or television. Singers have no monetary claims on interviews, recordings, and broadcasts. Also, all the rounds will be video recorded (or live broadcasted) by the Competition and these recordings will be posted publicly on the Competition’s website, and on social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter) to promote the Competition. The singers are not entitled to charge fees for these recordings or to prohibit their public presentation. In exceptional cases, the singer may file an official request to remove the video and in convincing circumstances, the organizers may usually allow it.
The organizers guarantee that the video recordings sent by singers for the 1st round will not be used for any other purposes except for the selection of candidates for the second round.
We recommend being dressed respectfully to the audience. For the Finals, Ladies: evening dresses, and Gentlemen: suits/tuxedos/tailcoats.