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Marmande International
Competition Rules

From now on, the Final of the Competition is accompanied by the ORCHESTRE NATIONAL BORDEAUX-AQUITAINE with the help of the Opéra National de Bordeaux. This evolution imposes a certain number of modifications to the rules, notably concerning the choice of pieces, the calendar and the organization of the Final.

We ask the candidates (especially those who have already participated) to pay particular attention to these rules.

This Competition, organized by the Association des Nuits Lyriques de Marmande (hereinafter referred to as the “Organization”), is open to candidates of all nationalities and aims to promote young opera singers.

It includes two categories (Opera and French Melody). Candidates may compete in one or two categories:


In this category, arias from operas, comic operas, operettas with voices, zarzuelas or musicals (especially English or American) will be accepted in order to appreciate the vocal, musical and interpretation qualities of the candidates. The arias generally pertaining to the variety will not be accepted, the Competition being reserved for singers having a basic lyric training.

In his or her application, each candidate proposes a program of 5 arias by at least 3 different composers, including at least one aria in French. This aria in French must be performed during one of the three rounds (Preselections, semi-final or final),

Among these 5 arias :

 – 2 are chosen by the candidate from the list of arias with orchestra, imposed for the Final (list annexed to these Rules).

– 3 are chosen by the candidate and are accompanied by piano.

The arias must be sung in the original language (French translation is however authorized for Viennese operettas only). Transpositions are forbidden except when they are customary and/or foreseen by the composer.


The candidate performs 1 of the 3 pieces accompanied on the piano and included in his or her program.

Maximum duration: 4 minutes (Only one cut allowed).


The candidate performs one aria from the two remaining pieces in his or her list of arias accompanied by the piano.

Maximum duration: 6 minutes (Only one cut allowed). If necessary, a second aria may be requested by the Jury.


The candidate must perform the 2 pieces accompanied by the orchestra and included in its program (list annexed to these rules).

The Jury reserves the right to have only one aria sung if the number of finalists is too large. In this case, the aria performed is chosen by the Jury.

Maximum duration of each piece: 8 minutes.


The French melody is a musical form for sung voice and piano, composed on a poetic text written and sung in French. In this category, songs and romances are not accepted, especially those from the repertoire of variety music. In case of doubt about the definition of the work or to find proposals for the repertoire of works by female composers, candidates may refer to the following two sites:

– Center International de la Mélodie Française :

– Présence Compositrices-Demandez à Clara :

Présence Compositrices remains at the disposal of the candidates to obtain a list of repertoire or to be guided in their choice.

In their application, each candidate proposes a program of five French songs, including at least one work by a female composer, which must be performed during one of the three rounds (Preselections, semi-finals or finals).

Those who choose to compete for the Prix Présence Compositrices must perform a second song by a female composer in the Final.

In summary, to compete for the Presence Composers Award, candidates must propose in their program a minimum of two melodies by female composers to be performed during the pre-selections or the semi-finals AND during the Final,

Of course, there is nothing to prevent candidates from proposing several songs by women composers in their program.


The candidate performs 1 melody chosen from the program proposed in his/her file.

Maximum duration: 4 minutes

Semi-final :

The candidate sings 1 melody from his/her program, different from the one sung in the preselection.

Maximum length: 6 minutes. If necessary, a second song may be requested by the Jury,

Final :

The candidate performs 2 melodies:

– the first one chosen from his/her program and not yet performed.

– the second one chosen by the Jury among the pieces included in his or her program and not yet sung.

Maximum duration: 8 minutes.

In the case of a cycle, only one melody is sung in the Preselections and in the Semi-Finals, even if it is shorter than the allotted time. In the (rare) case of a cycle of very short melodies (Poulenc’s Le Bestiaire), it is possible to perform several melodies provided that they remain strictly within the time limit.


–  The registration of the candidate implies, on his part, the acceptance, without reserve, of the present rules and of the possible modifications which could intervene between the sending of his file and the date of the competition. In case of dispute, only the version written in French and posted in the venue on the day of the tests will be authoritative.

–  Contracts of engagement may be offered to candidates, whether or not they are prizewinners, to participate in the Nuits Lyriques de Marmande (2023 or subsequent editions) or in the Organization’s other productions.

–  All members of the Jury may propose engagements to candidates or help promote them.

–  For all points not provided for in the present rules, any possible addition or modification of the rules and, more generally, all questions raised during the competition, the Organization is, in fine, sovereign and sole decision-maker. Its decisions are final.


The entry criteria for both categories are as follows:

–  be born after August 25, 1990 and before August 18, 2005. Exceptional exemptions may be granted. Any request for exemption is examined by the President of the Organization who is sovereign in his decision.

–  submit a detailed CV of their professional experience and/or training. The Organization reserves the right to accept or refuse an application. This decision does not have to be justified and is without appeal.

–  to have submitted a complete registration file (with all supporting documents) and paid the registration fee corresponding to the chosen category(ies) BY JULY 10, 2023 LATEST. The candidates admitted to participate (whose complete file is accepted) receive a confirmation of registration, sent by the Organization, which is considered as proof.

A registration fee (see amount on the attached registration form) is required, by category, to participate in the competition. This fee must be paid, in Euros, at the time of registration and is an integral part of the application. For European and foreign candidates, money orders, transfers, etc… must include the additional management fees and/or commission. The net amount received by the Organization must correspond to the registration fee. THE TRANSFER MUST SHOW THE NAME OF THE CANDIDATE. Once the candidate’s registration has been confirmed by the Organization at the time of submission of the file, the registration fee is no longer refundable and remains acquired, even in the event of absence (for whatever reason) and even if participation is called into question for failure to comply with one of the clauses of these rules.


–  An artistic curriculum vitae (training and professional activities)

–  1 photograph in identity format (width 3.5 cm – height 4.5 cm) – Attention, no artistic photos.

–  A photocopy of the identity card

–  Registration fees (or proof of payment)

All attachments sent by email or via the website must be standardized as follows:

CANDIDATE’S NAME + description of the document . Doc or Pdf or Jpg (only accepted formats)


The program indicated on the registration form can be exceptionally modified until July 31, 2023 midnight. This modification must be duly notified in writing to the Organization and is only valid if confirmed by an email from the Organization. The candidates are not allowed to sing the same aria twice.

As the number of candidates is large, the jury attaches particular importance to respecting the duration of the pieces as stipulated in these rules. A candidate’s performance may be interrupted if the time limit is exceeded.

For arias accompanied by piano, and in agreement with the conductors, a break may be made to respect the duration of the tests.


For each category, the competition is divided into three phases:

Pre-selection by a Pre-selection Committee – Semi-final – Final

Each phase begins with the “French Melody” category and continues with the “Opera” category.


08:45*: Reception of candidates – 10:00*: Start of the Preselections


10h00*: Preselections, continuation and end


10h00* : Semi-final


10h00* : Piano rehearsals with the conductor

15h00-18h00* : General performance with the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine


3:00 PM* : French Melody Final

7:30 pm* : Opera Final with the Orchestre National Bordeaux-Aquitaine

The announcement of the results and the awarding of the prizes will take place at the end of the evening,

after the deliberations.

*subject to change

In order to participate in the pre-selection rounds, the singers who are regularly registered must attend the reception of the candidates and the group photo, on the first day of the contest, at 8:45 am, at the Comedia Theater – 32 rue Léopold Faye – 47200 MARMANDE – FRANCE (place where all the rounds will take place, subject to modification).

Each candidate is assigned a number by lottery and this number remain the same throughout the competition. Candidates must evaluate their schedule in order to present themselves in the order displayed. Each candidate is responsible for punctuality, time management, and respecting the order of appearance. The schedules and written indications posted by the Organization must be strictly respected. A candidate who is absent at the time of his or her passage loses the possibility of competing in this event and, consequently, is excluded from the competition. Only the Jury may decide to reinstate him/her in the competition and choose to hear him/her at the time when it is possible. Before each round, candidates must present their candidate card.

The deliberations of the Preselection Committee, the Juries of Professionals and High School Students are secret. Their decisions are sovereign and without appeal.

A simple outfit is accepted for the pre-selections and semi-finals. For the finals (French Melody and Opera), a gala outfit is required.


The 2022 finalists in a category are admitted directly to the semi-finals of that same category in 2023. They must apply for this when submitting their application.

The Organization has signed specific partnerships with other competitions or lyrical structures abroad (Young Lyric Ambassadors in Canada, Concurso San Miguel in Mexico, Singing Competition in China), which allow the candidates selected during these competitions to go directly to the semi-finals. These partnerships may deviate from one or more points of these rules, without the other candidates being able to complain or be prejudiced in any way.

All candidates admitted directly to the semi-final may, at their duly expressed request, compete in the pre-selection rounds. If they reach the semi-final, they have to collect their pass card imperatively on Wednesday August 23, 2023 before 9:30 am.


The accompaniment of the candidates is exclusively on the piano for the pre-selections, the semi-finals and the final of the French Melody category. No other form of accompaniment is accepted (other instruments than the piano, recorded music, etc.), nor a cappella singing is allowed, except in the case where all or part of a piece has been written by the composer. The Final of the International Singing Competition of Marmande is accompanied by the Bordeaux-Aquitaine National Orchestra.

The works must be performed without score.

Several pianists accompany the candidates (at no extra cost to the candidates). Each candidate may be accompanied by his/her own pianist (at his/her own expense). In this case, the pianist only have access to the backstage area for the candidate’s performance and have to leave it at the end of the performance.

Except for the French Melody and Opera Finals, the Organization does not provide for rehearsals with the pianists (whether they are external or provided by the Organization) before the Competition rounds.

Candidates must provide the pianists with legible piano/vocal scores in good condition of the chosen works. The Organization reserves the right to cancel the participation of a candidate who would not be able to provide his or her scores or if one of them would be unreadable or unusable by the pianist. French law prohibits the use of photocopies of scores or illegal printing via the Internet. The candidate will be held responsible for any violation of these provisions.


The total value of the prizes is €22,100 in prizes and cost-sharing for the non-winning Finalists (subject to change). The Jury may, if necessary, decide on the awarding or non-awarding of the Prizes as well as on the distribution of the endowments for the Special Prizes. In the event of a tie, the value of the prize is divided by the number of candidates.

Insofar as possible, the Generation Opera Prize for Young Singers and the Michèle Herbé Special Prize should not be combined with any other prize awarded by the Jury of Professionals. The recipient of the Generation Opera Prize, awarded by the Pre-selection Committee, must be between 18 and 23 years of age on the day of the Competition Final for high voices and 25 years of age on the day of the Competition Final for baritones and basses. The Audience Prize is awarded among the candidates present at the final, only in the Opera category. The Prix des Lycéens may be awarded to a candidate also registered in the French Melody category or to a semi-finalist.

Prizes are paid by check delivered in the envelope at the time of the announcement of the results, including a certificate of the Prize or Finalist. If a winner requests payment by bank transfer, any fees are at his/her expense and deducted from the amount. This request must be made within one month of the Final.

A candidate who has won, in previous years, a first prize in a category or the Grand Prix may no longer compete in that category.

If they wish, non-finalists receive, upon request, a certificate of participation in the competition, mentioning the level of the event they have reached.


By registering and adhering to these rules, candidates expressly authorize the Organization to capture, reproduce and disseminate their image, their performances and interpretations. This authorization is given under the following conditions:

capture and fixation on all known or unknown media (photographs, audio and audiovisual recordings,…),

use and communication of their name and quality on all media and by all processes,

broadcasting (live or deferred), presentation to the public and reproduction of recordings, captures and photographs, for non-commercial purposes of communication, information, promotion and archiving, on all known or unknown media to date, including the Internet, and by all processes (over-the-air, digital, analog, …).

This authorization and transfer of recording, capturing, use and broadcasting rights is granted to the Organization or to third parties mandated by it, free of charge, without time limit and for the whole world.

In accordance with the RGPD regulations, candidates are informed that the information collected on this form is recorded in a computerized file by the Organization for their registration to the International Singing Competition. The legal basis of the data processing is the administrative management of the files as well as the promotion to International Lyric Personalities. The data collected are communicated to the following recipients only: Members of the Jury and of the Jury of High School Students; Professionals and all persons wishing to propose engagements or contact them and, in part, to the Spectators of the Competition. The data is kept for a minimum of 5 years to allow the support and promotion of the candidates who can access it, rectify it, request its deletion or exercise their right to limit its processing. For more information on your rights, please visit To exercise your rights or for questions regarding data processing in this system, contact: If, after having contacted us, you believe that your rights “Informatique et Libertés” have not been respected, you can file a complaint with the CNIL.


In case of modification of the duration, suspension, postponement or cancellation of the Singing Competition, without prior notice, for any reason whatsoever, including lack of funding, epidemic, pandemic, conflicts, force majeure, fortuitous event, the Organization will not be held responsible towards the candidates, and will therefore be released from all charges, reimbursements of expenses and/or compensations towards anyone. 

Address for all correspondence


18, boulevard Fourcade – Boite n°1  – 47200 MARMANDE – France

Tél. : 33 (0) 5 53 89 68 75   –   –


You propose a program of 5 arias, 2 of which are chosen from this list.


CANDIDE / Bernstein – Cunégonde – Glitter and be gay

ROMEO ET JULIETTE / Gounod – Juliette – Air du poison

MANON / Massenet – Air du Cour la Reine


Pamina – Ach ich fuhl’s

Reine de la nuit – O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn

Reine de la nuit – Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen

LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN / Offenbach – Olympia – Les oiseaux dans la charmille

LA FORZA DEL DESTINO / Verdi – Leonora – Pace, pace, mio Dio

LA TRAVIATA / Verdi – Violetta – E strano !… è strano…

TANNHAÜSER / Wagner – Elisabeth – Dich, teure Halle


CARMEN / Bizet

Carmen – Habanera

Carmen – La Séguedille

LA FAVORITA / Donizetti – Leonora – O mio Fernando

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO / Mozart – Cherubino – Voi che sapete

LA FILLE DE MADAME ANGOT / Lecocq – Mlle Lange – Les soldats d’Augereau

LA BELLE HELENE / Offenbach – Hélène – Amours divins

LA CENERENTOLA / Rossini – Cenerentola – Non piu mesta

IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA / Rossini – Rosina – Una voce poco fa


CARMEN / Bizet – Don José – La fleur que tu m’avais jetée

LES PECHEURS DE PERLES / Bizet – Nadir – Je crois entendre encore

L’ELISIR D’AMORE / Donizetti – Nemorino – Una furtiva lagrima

LA FILLE DU REGIMENT / Donizetti – Tonio – Ah mes amis quel jour de fête

ROMEO ET JULIETTE / Gounod – Roméo – Ah lève-toi soleil (version en si bémol majeur)

DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE / Mozart – Tamino – Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön

COSI FAN TUTTE / Mozart – Ferrando – Un’aura amorosa

RIGOLETTO / Verdi – Il Duca – La donna é mobile

MACBETH / Verdi – Macduff – Ah la paterna mano

Barytons et Basses

CARMEN / Bizet – Escamillo – Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre

ROMÉO ET JULIETTE / Gounod – Mercutio – Mab, la reine des mensonges

FAUST / Gounod

Méphisto – Le veau d’or est toujours debout

Valentin – Avant de quitter ces lieux

DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL / Mozart – Osmin – O wie will ich triumphieren


Don Basilio – La Calunnia

Figaro – Largo al factotum

DON CARLO / Verdi – Rodrigo de Posa – O Carlo, ascolta

MACBETH / Verdi – Banquo – Come dal ciel precipita

LA TRAVIATA / Verdi – Germont – Di Provenza il mar, il suol

TANNHAUSER / Wagner – Wolfram – O, du mein holder Abendstern (sans l’introduction de l’air)