Concern about competition that gives no prizes

Concern about competition that gives no prizes


norman lebrecht

August 27, 2018

Singers are complaining that the ‘Paris Opera Awards‘, which has failed to award prizes for the past three years, has announced a new round for November.

One disappointed contestant writes:  ‘I applied (to) this competition 2015 and they sent me mail in January 2016 that I was not chosen for the big final. That is of course OK, But I learned that after that they did not actually do any final! They get all the application fees from the singers and they even did not publish who won the prizes 2015 and 2016!’

The cost of application is 45 Euros.

According to the website, the last prizes were awarded in 2014.

Singers are advised to take care before entering.

If you’ve had experience of this competition, do let us know.


  • buxtehude says:

    Typical Norman. There is a great deal to be said for such competitions.

    Such as: elimination of jealousy of the losers, ditto for mistakes by jurors, also conflicts of interest and so on. In fact there is so much to be said that…

    I shall be starting one of these myself, to wit: the City of New York All-Music Awards. This will be open to aspirants from all categories of music including Classical (even Advanced Modernism), Jazz (old and new), Good-Pop etc etc. In addition to no-finals there will be no preliminaries, sparing contestants the expense and hassle of travel and accommodation.

    The tremendous cost of anything associated with the City of New York unfortunately makes it impossible for me to price this as cheaply as the Paris thing. I have though be able to keep the registration/application fee down to $249 (E249 also accepted).

    Also paid-up registrants will receive a certificate, suitable for framing.

    We have a slogan I think all can appreciate: For the Love of Music.

    • Mike Schachter says:

      This does have rather a Zen ethos: by inaction nothing is not done.

    • ThisIsAScam says:

      This is insanity. For 250 dollars you get a certificate? Hey – anyone that wants to apply to that competition – send me 15 dollars and a stamp and I’ll go get a certificate printed for you and framed and send it back! You don’t even need to know how to sing!

      Plain larceny. Shame.

      • buxtahude says:

        From the movie Casablanca:

        Ugarte: Rick, think of all the poor devils who can’t meet Renault’s price. I get it for them for half. Is that so… parasitic?

        Rick: I don’t mind a parasite. I object to a cut-rate one.

    • Peter says:

      Excellent. A truly level playing field at last.
      And since you have eliminated the need to attend preliminary rounds, then the competition will be the world’s only Carbon Neutral competition.

  • Victor says:

    Oh man, that was ok! Almost 80% of conducting competition you have to pay more than 200 Euro lol

    Don’t complained, maybe it’s about you are not good enough.

  • buxtehude says:

    To my supporters: thanks. But already there are detractors. I sense this whole enterprise may prove more than I can handle.

    Accordingly I invite in like-minded music lovers — and not just for love! — for the benefits too. Participation will be in the form of shares entitling 10% of net profits Each, for a one-time payment of $25,000 each. (Europeans may pay 25,000 Euros if that is more convenient.)

    This offer is strictly limited to twenty (20) shares. Companies or individuals may buy more than one. I will be offering a greatly-discounted 21st share to Norman, for use of the platform. Don’t wait for spring!

    • Peter says:

      Could I propose an enlarged World Series All Music Awards. Virtual rounds can be held, by video submission, in each continent. Voting from the public is welcome at a cost of $10 / € 10 per vote, and special price for SD readers of £ 10. Judges may self register for $1,000 and are permitted to vote multiple times for their own students. And for an extra 50% fee the competition management will deny any awareness that this is happening.
      Certificates will be available in various colours, and wall mountable award plaques with a commendation of your choice, for $25 per word, up to 100 words. Text may be submitted either with or before the qualifying video.

      • buxtehude says:

        I fear somebody is attempting to car-surf off of my original idea. He’s got something with the different-color option, though, for the certificates…

  • Hi Norman,

    I applied to the Paris Opera Awards this year (2018) and didn’t get through to the final. But checking back on the website for updates of finalists etc I see that the website now no longer works. It seems really dodgy and I’m amazed that it’s continued this long if it’s been the same every year? (the website that I applied through that now doesn’t work).

    I have just tried to email them for an update on the 2018 Awards and the email (which we had correspondence through only 2 months ago) just bounced and said delivery has failed.

    Really appalled! Especially as I think I heard about it through YAP tracker!?

    Please get in touch with me directly Norman, surely it can’t be allowed to happen for another year?