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Marmande International
Competition Rules

This Competition, organised 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 comprises two categories.

Candidates may compete in one or two categories:


In this category are also accepted arias from Comic Operas, Operettas ”à voix”, Zarzuelas or Musicals (especially English or American) allowing the vocal, musical and interpretative qualities of the candidates to be appreciated. Arias generally pertaining to variety will not be accepted, the Competition being reserved for singers with a basic operatic training.


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 that are generally of a variety nature. In case of doubt about the definition of the work, candidates may refer to the repertoire of the Centre International de la Mélodie Française to check whether the title(s) they intend to perform are included in it:


– The candidate’s registration implies his or her unreserved acceptance of these rules and any changes that may occur between the sending of his or her application and the date of the competition. In case of dispute, only the version written in French and posted in the place of the Competition on the day of the tests will be authoritative.

– Contracts of engagement may be offered to candidates, whether or not they are successful, to take part in the Nuits Lyriques de Marmande (edition 2022 or following) or in other productions of the Organization.- All the members of the Jury are likely to propose engagements to candidates or to help in their promotion.

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


The entry criteria for both categories are as follows:

– be born after August 28, 1988 and before August 24, 2003. Exceptional exemptions may be granted. Any request for derogation will be examined by the President of the Organization who is sovereign in his decision.

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

– have submitted a complete registration file (with all supporting documents) and paid the registration fee corresponding to the category(ies) chosen before the deadline set by these regulations. Candidates who are admitted (and whose applications are accepted) will receive a confirmation of registration, sent by the Organization, which will serve as proof.

A registration fee (see amount on attached registration form), per category, is required to take part in the competition. This fee must be paid, in Euros, at the time of registration and is an integral part of the application form. For European and foreign candidates, money orders, transfers, etc… must include 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 application, the registration fee is no longer refundable and is forfeited, even in the event of the candidate’s absence (for whatever reason) and even if the candidate’s 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 passport size photograph (width 3.5 cm – height 4.5 cm) is mandatory.

– A photocopy of the identity document

– the registration fee (or proof of payment)

Confirmation of registration will be sent to the candidate upon receipt of the complete application.

All attachments sent by email or via the website must be named in the following format :

NAME OF APPLICANT+ description of document . Doc or Pdf or Jpg


Candidates will be accompanied exclusively by the piano. No other form of accompaniment will be accepted (other instrument than the piano, recorded music, etc.). A cappella singing will not be accepted unless all or part of a piece has been written in this way by the composer. Several accompanying pianists will be provided by the Organization (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 will only have access to the backstage area for the candidate’s passage and must leave it at the end of the performance. The Organization does not organise rehearsals with accompanying pianists (whether external or provided by the organisation) prior to the competition rounds. Candidates must provide the pianists with legible piano/vocals scores in good condition of the works they have chosen. The Organization reserve the right to cancel the participation of a candidate who is unable to provide his or her scores or if one of them proves to be illegible or unusable by the pianist. French law prohibits the use of illegal photocopies of scores or printouts via the internet, and the candidate will be held responsible if he or she contravenes these provisions.


Candidates may not sing the same aria twice. The works must be performed without score. A candidate’s performance may be interrupted if the allotted time is exceeded. The programme indicated on the registration form may exceptionally be modified up to four weeks before the start of the preselections. The Organization must be duly notified in writing of any such changes.

Pre-selections :

The candidate will perform 1 piece of music he or she chooses from the programme he or she has proposed in his or her application. Maximum duration: 4 minutes (only one cut allowed).

Semi-final :

The candidate sings 1 piece he chooses among the works proposed in his programme and which he has not already performed. Maximum length: 6 mn (only one cut allowed). If necessary, a second aria may be requested by the Jury,

Final :

The candidate must perform 2 pieces. The first he chooses from among the arias in his programme that he has not yet performed. The second that the Jury chooses from among the arias on its programme that the candidate has not yet sung.

In the OPERA category, the Jury reserves the right to sing only one aria if the number of finalists exceeds a dozen. In this case, the aria performed will be chosen by the Jury. Maximum duration of each piece: 8 to 10 minutes.

Opera category :

In their application form, each candidate proposes a programme of 5 arias, including at least 1 in French. At the end of the competition, candidates must have performed at least 1 aria in French. Transpositions are forbidden (except when they are customary or planned by the composer). Translation into French is authorised for Viennese operettas.

French Melody category:

In the application form, each candidate proposes a programme of 5 French melodies. In the case of a cycle, only one melody is sung in the eliminatory and semi-final rounds, even if it is shorter than the time allowed. In the rare case of very short melody cycles (e.g. Poulenc’s Bestiaire), it is possible to perform several melodies from the same cycle, within the time limit.


For each category, the competition is held in three phases:              Pre-selection – Semi-final – Final

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

The pre-selections will be made by a pre-selection committee during the 2 days preceding the semi-final. To take part in the pre-selection tests, the singers who have duly registered will have to attend the reception of the candidates and the group photo, on the first day of the competition, at 9.00 am, at the Espace Expo: RN 113 – Route de Bordeaux – 47200 MARMANDE – FRANCE (venue for all the tests, subject to change).

A sequential number will be given to each candidate by drawing lots and will remain the same throughout the competition. Candidates must evaluate their passage time in order to appear in the order displayed. Each candidate is responsible for his/her punctuality, time management, and respect of his/her 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/her passage loses the possibility of competing in this event and will therefore be excluded from the competition. Only the Jury may decide to reinstate him/her in the contest and choose to hear him/her when possible. Before each round, candidates will be required to present their candidate card.

The deliberations of the Pre-Selection Committee, the Juries of Professionals and High School Students are secret. Their decisions are sovereign and cannot be appealed.

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


The 2020 finalists of a category are directly admitted to the semi-finals of the same category in 2021.

The Organization has signed specific partnerships with other competitions or opera structures abroad (Young Lyric Ambassadors in Canada, Concurso San Miguel in Mexico, Minsk Singing Competition, Singing Competition in China), which allows the candidates selected in these competitions to advance directly to the semi-finals. These partnerships may derogate from one or more points of the present rules, without the other candidates being able to make a claim or being prejudiced in any way whatsoever.

All candidates admitted directly to the semi-finals may, at their duly expressed request, compete in the pre-selections. If they arrive in the semi-final, they must collect their pass card imperatively on Friday 27 August 2021 before 9.30 am.

COMPETITION SCHEDULE (subject to modifications)

Wenesday 26th August, 2020

09.00* a.m.: Welcome of candidates –  10.00* a.m. : Beginning of the Rounds in front of the Preselections Committee

Thursday 27th AUGUST, 2020

10 a.m. : Continuation and completion of Preselection Rounds.

Friday 28th AUGUST, 2020

10 a.m. : Semi-Finals

Saturday 29th AUGUST, 2020

5 p.m. : Final French Melodie  –  8 p.m. : Final Opera

The announcement of the results and the presentation of the Prizes will take place at the end of the deliberations.

*Subject to modifications


The prizes represent a total value of €21,600 in Prizes and Cost Sharing for non-winning Finalists (subject to change).

The Jury may, if necessary, decide to award or not to award the Prizes as well as the distribution of the prizes for the Special Prizes. In the event of a tie, the value of the Prize will be divided by the number of candidates.

As far as possible, the ”Michèle Herbé” Young Promising Singer Prize should not be combined with any other Prize awarded by the Jury of Professionals. The recipient of this Prize, awarded by the Pre-Selection Committee, must be at least 18 and 23 years of age on the day of the Competition Final for high-pitched voices and up to 25 years of age for low-pitched voices, having reached the day of the Final of the Competition.

Prizes are paid by cheque in the envelope provided at the announcement of the results, including a certificate of the Prize or Finalist. If a laureate asks to be paid by bank transfer, any expenses will be charged to him/her and deducted from the amount. This request must be made within one month of the Final.

The Social Network Prize and the Audience Prize are awarded among the candidates present at the Final, only in the Opera category. The Prix des Lycéens may be awarded to a candidate also entered in the Mélodie Française category or to a semi-finalist.

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

If they so wish, candidates who are not finalists will receive, on request, a certificate of participation in the competition, mentioning the level of the round they have reached.


By registering and adhering to the present rules, candidates expressly authorise the Organization to capture, reproduce and broadcast their image, performances and interpretations. This authorisation is subject to the following conditions:

– recording and fixation on all known or unknown media (photographs, audio and audiovisual recordings, etc.),

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

– broadcasting (live or deferred), presentation and reproduction of photographs, recordings and recordings for non-commercial purposes of communication, information, promotion and archiving, on all media known or unknown to date, including the Internet, and by all means (hertzian, digital, analogue, etc.).

This authorisation and transfer of recording, recording, use and broadcasting rights is granted to the Organization or to third parties appointed by them, free of charge, for an unlimited period of time and for the whole world.

Within the framework of the RGPD regulations, candidates are informed that the information collected on this form is recorded in a computerised file by the Organization for their registration in the International Singing Competition. The legal basis of the processing is the administrative management of their file as well as their promotion to Personnalités Lyriques Internationales. The data collected will only be communicated to the following recipients: Members of the Jury and the Jury of the High School Students; Professionals and all persons wishing to propose engagements or to contact them and, in part, to the Spectators of the Competition. The data is kept for a minimum period of 5 years in order to allow the accompaniment and promotion of the candidates who can access them, rectify them, request their deletion or exercise their right to limit their processing. For more information on your rights, please visit To exercise your rights or for questions concerning the processing of data in this system, contact: If, after contacting us, you feel that your “Information Technology and Freedom” rights have not been respected, you may file a complaint with the CNIL.


In the event of any change in the duration, suspension, postponement or cancellation of the International Singing Competition, without notice, for any reason whatsoever, including lack of funding, epidemic, conflict, force majeure, fortuitous event, the Organization shall not be held responsible vis-à-vis the candidates, and shall, therefore, be released from all charges, reimbursement of expenses and/or compensation vis-à-vis any person.


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

Tél. : 33 (0) 5 53 89 68 75    –    –