2019 Season

Each summer Les Azuriales holds a two week season, which is the principal way that we deliver our Young Artists' Programme, which we originally started in 2003.

We are following the format of last year starting with a singing competition, followed by two masterclasses and finishing the season with an opera performance put together from "scratch" in a week. 

This year we have 3 singers from the UK and 1 each from Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Russia and South Africa.


COMPETITION - Monday 12 August

Les Azuriales' season begins with its 18th International Singing Competition. The nine talented young singers will compete to win prizes totalling 10,000 €, including a prize voted by the audience. Past winners have gone on to sing in all of the UK's  major houses and festivals, as well as all over the world.

The competition takes place at the Théâtre de la Citerne, in the Citadelle-Saint-Elme in Villefranche-sur-Mer. As the name suggests, the theatre is the huge water reservoir designed to withstand a long medieval siege. It has been transformed into an intimate theatre of 140 seats very well equipped but also very picturesque. The Citadelle has wonderful views over Villefranche and its bay.


MASTERCLASS - Wednesday 14 August

The first masterclass for our 9 young artists will be given by Dennis O'Neill, who returns, having given our masterclass in 2013. Dennis is one of the world’s leading operatic tenors who has performed in all the major concert halls and opera houses. This will take place in the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild on Cap Ferrat.


There will be a reception with champagne and canapés afterwards in the Villa gardens (included in the ticket price).


MASTERCLASS - Sunday 18 August

On the following Sunday we return to the Citadelle Saint Elme in Villefranche for another masterclass to be given by Sarah-Jane Davies and Bryan Evans MBE. Sarah-Jane is a soprano and Head of Casting at Scottish Opera - she is also a long-term adviser to Les Azuriales and member of our audition panel. Bryan has been our Music Director since we started and he is the Music Director of Diva Opera, our opera partner. 


Booking for dinner after the performance is now closed.

OPERA - IOLANTA by Tchaikovsky - Sunday 25th August

Our season will finish with our young artists performing Tchaikovsky's s last opera Iolanta at the Villa Ephrussi.


The opera wll be performed in Russian with English and French surtitles.


The libretto was written by his brother, Modest, and is based on a Danish play King René's Daughter by Henrik Hertz, a romanticised account of the life of Yolande de Bar. In the original Danish play, the spelling of the princess's name was "Iolanthe", later adopted for the otherwise unrelated Gilbert and Sullivan operetta of that name. Suitably, given our location, it is set in the mountains of Southern France.


This performance will again be under the expert stage direction of our Resident Guest Director Alessandro Talevi and musical direction of Bryan Evans MBE, our Music Director. It will also see the return of the exciting designer, Madeleine Boyd, to Les Azuriales. 


The post-performance dinner is fully booked.


Our four events offer you a unique chance to meet young singers and gain an insight into how they learn their art.


    President: Sarah Holford   Music Director: Bryan Evans MBE
    Comité d'Honneur
    Richard Salter QC (Chairman)  - Sir Vernon Ellis - Christopher Hampson CBE - Dame Antoinette Sibley DBE


    Côte d'Azur (Nice, St Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer) & London



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