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This biennial international competition was established in 2000 in London to promote Czech opera and provide a platform to showcase young talent. For a number of years we held the finals in Prague, the birthplace of Emmy Destinn. The competition is now held primarily in London. It has become increasingly  popular among young vocalists, wishing to broaden their Czech repertoire. 

To commemorate 10 years of the Foundation and the 130th anniversary of Emmy Destinn’s birth we have created two new awards in 2008, the Czech Song Prize and Dvořák Society for Czech and Slovak Music Prize, which we hope will inspire young singers to further explore the great wealth of Czech and Slovak songs. We have since also added an Accompanist's Prize, sponsored by Lady Grenfell-Baines.

The competition is open to young singers of any nationality, involved in the advanced study of classical singing. Participants are required to present a contrasting programme of Czech arias and songs. For Czech and Slovak nationals, one aria must be in English. 

In 1998, the first Emmy Destinn International Award ‘the divine voice’, created by  Irena Sedlecká FRBS, was given to the celebrated Australian diva Dame Joan Sutherland at our Opera Gala Benefit Concert, at St John's Smith Square. In September 2001 it was awarded to the great Czech soprano Gabriela Beňačková at An Evening of Czech Opera, at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Registered Charity No: 1072071
© Emmy Destinn Foundation 2023

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Patron - the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic

Original Artwork Dora Martinkova

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