They had the Glyndebourne intendant Sebastian Schwarz on the Today programme this morning, explaining why the world needs another vocal competition.
He gave what amounts to three reasons.
1 They will be performing for a jury of intendants who are in a position to give them a job.
2 They are being asked to specialise – it’s Mozart only in the first year.
3 They will be on television.
Deconstructing these reasons from the bottom up.
3 The TV is Sky Arts which, at Eglish National Opera, drew a viewership so small it was literally immeasurable.
2 No intendant will back a singing career on the basis of a single Fach (unless it’s Wagner).
1 No intendant will (see above).
So what’s the point of the Glyndebourne Cup?
The elephant in the studio which no-one mentioned is the BBC’s Cardiff Singer of the World competition, which kicks off in six weeks’ time.
Cardiff is this country’s foremost singing contest. It is receiving a diminishing amount of BBC airtime.
Glyndebourne’s bee-keeping director may have spotted a hole in the hive.