The Voice of Kamen – International Competition for Young Tenors

The International Competition for Young Tenors 'The Voice of Kamen' combines a prestigious professional competition profile and a modern approach in the presentation, making the participants young ambassadors of music of the stage of the ancient Plovdiv.

The competition comes as a response to the saddening and heavy loss of the world-renowned tenor Kamen Chanev (victim of Covid), whose life and career were connected with the modern history of Opera Plovdiv and remains forever in the hearts of the Plovdiv audience. His devotion to opera and his contribution to the development of cultural life in Plovdiv became an example for young tenors from around the world. Plovdiv has defended its place among the family of European opera cities and the credit for this prestige goes to the participation of Kamen Chanev and his international colleagues in the programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019 over the past 7 years.

Such a competition is organized for the first time in Bulgaria with the ambition to become a regular event. Its authority is guaranteed by a prestigious international jury of singers and impresarios, the prize fund and the professional experience of Opera Plovdiv, as an organizer.

The competition will take place from 22nd to 26th August, 2022 in TWO professional rounds in front of an international jury, which will be representing “Voice” as a musical talent. There will be a THIRD optional round, which will focus on the personal message of the singer, where the participants will be assessed by the audience.

The competition is scheduled to take place over 10 days in the summer of 2022 in two rounds - a professional, looking at the "voice" as a musical talent; and a round judged by the audience, with the focus on the "voice" as a personal position and messages of the artist.

The project also envisages master classes led by members of the jury, creative acts of the participants, presenting their music at emblematic places for Plovdiv and a gala concert on the emblematic stage of the Ancient Theater. The competition of talented singers from all over the world shortens the distance between the opera audience and the stage. Opera acquires a contemporary look, attractive to the young spectator.

The competition makes the Plovdiv audience empathize with the competition between the participants through their performances in open locations, such as the Roman Forum, the Old Town, city parks, by provoking viewers to vote in an online poll to broadcast their favourite.

The involvement of urban communities in determining the favourites among the tenors during the creative acts on open stages meets the objectives of the program "Graffiti Opera" as part of the project "Opera re-start", included in the Bid Book of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019 and developed continuously through numerous non-standard initiatives of Opera Plovdiv since 2014.

The idea of ​​the competition for young tenors is enthusiastically received among the international partners of Opera Plovdiv and the interest in it is an additional stimulus for the development of international cultural tourism. The initiative will be supported by the forthcoming establishment of the Kamen Chanev Foundation, which through charitable initiatives will attract like-minded people, will assist in providing an additional prize fund and will contribute to the sustainability of the event by fulfilling its mission.

A project idea of State Opera - Plovdiv, with Foundation 'Kamen Chanev' part of the LEGACY programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture.


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Analysis of one of the key partners of the European Capital of Culture initiative




General partners

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