1 The Finnish Cultural Foundation is organising the sixth Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki, Finland, on 1 - 12 August 2009. There will be two categories: one for women and one for men.
2 The competition is open, regardless of nationality, to women born in l978 or later and men born in 1976 or later.
3 Applicants for this competition undertake to abide by the competition rules, the regulations on performance and the decisions of the Jury, and to refrain from all professional engagements or duties during the competition.
4 The completed application form, together with enclosures and an audition recording (DVD recording with both image and sound) for the pre-selection procedure (see How to apply), should be sent to the Competition Committee to arrive by 16 February 2009.
The application form, all enclosures and other notifica¬tions mentioned later in the Rules must reach the Competition Office by the dates indicated. Applications that are incomplete or that do not reach the Competition Office by the date specified will not be considered.
5 Should the number of participants have to be restricted, adjudicators nominated by the Competition Committee will carry out a pre-selection procedure on the basis of the received application documentation and audition tapes.
Applicants selected for the competition will be informed in writing by 3 April 2009.
6 Amendments to the repertoire stated by the applicant will be accepted up to 20 April 2009.
7 Participants accepted for the competition must register in person with the Competition Secretariat between 2 and 5 pm on 1 August 2009 and be present at 6 pm for the ballot for the order of performance. (See Information for competitors/Ballot)
8 The application form, enclosures and audition tape will not be returned.
9 The following regulations apply to competitors without their own pianist:
a) Clear and easily readable sheet music must be provided for the official competition pianist.
b) In special cases the Competition Committee may request that the music be submitted in advance for preliminary study.
10 Any necessary orchestral scores and parts will be provided by the Competition Committee. If the work with orchestral accompaniment chosen by the competitor has no publisher and if the work is not generally obtainable, the competitor must on request send the orches¬tral scores and parts to the Competition Committee by 20 April 2009.
11 A competitor who intends to perform unpublished or other works outside the standard European repertoire must bring a copy of the music for the Jury.
12 Any queries should be addressed to the Secretariat.
13 The competition will be divided into three rounds:
Preliminary round 3-6 August 2009
Semifinals 8-9 August 2009
Finals 12 August 2009
14 Sixteen to twenty contestants will be selected in the Preliminary round to take part in the Semifinals. Eight semifinalists will be selected for the Finals.
15 The order of performance decided by ballot for the Preliminary round will be the same in each round of the competition.
16 Any contestant who is not ready to appear at the allotted time may be disqualified. A singer who falls ill during the contest may be allowed to sing at a later stage during the round in question, on production of a certificate from the Competition Doctor.
17 A competitor wishing to leave the Helsinki region while still taking part in the competition must notify the Secretariat.
18 The Competition Committee will place a pianist at the disposal of each competitor. Each competitor is entitled to one rehearsal (maximum 60 minutes) before the Preliminary round and to one before the Semifinals. The finalists will be entitled to one orchestral rehearsal on the day before the Finals. Any additional rehearsals must be arranged and paid for by the competitor.
19 Each competitor must enter his/her competition repertoire on the application form. The Competition Secretariat must be informed of any changes to the repertoire. The repertoire cannot be changed after 20 April 2009.
20 Competition repertoire
1. An aria from a passion, oratorio, mass or cantata from the 17th or 18th centuries (but not in the Viennese Classical style).
2. Two solo songs of which at least one must be a Lied.
3. An opera or concert aria.
Each competitor will have a maximum of 20 minutes at his/her disposal.
1. A song by a Finnish composer.
2. A group of solo songs (lasting 15 20 minutes).
3. An opera or concert aria.
Each competitor will have a maximum of 30 minutes at his/her disposal.
Two works with orchestral accompaniment, of which at least one must be an opera, oratorio, cantata or concert aria
Each competitor will have a maximum of 20 minutes at his/her disposal.
The group of solo songs in the Semifinals may, for example, consist of an entity comprising a song cycle or part of one, a group of songs by one composer or a group of songs by different composers but having a common theme.
21 The competitor's repertoire must include works sung in at least three languages. No piece may appear twice in the contestant's repertoire.
RULES FOR THE PERFORMANCE
22 In each round each competitor will perform his/her entire programme without interruption.
23 Each competitor will decide the order of his/her pieces. The indicated maximum duration must not be exceeded.
24 All competition pieces, including the oratorio arias, must be performed from memory. All arias must be sung in the original key or in a generally used transposition. Solo songs may be transposed. All songs must be performed in the original language, except for the songs by Finnish composers, which may be sung in translation.
25 The Jury may, regardless of Rule 21, request a competitor to repeat a piece already performed.
26 All the competition events will be open to the public. The audience is required to observe any instructions announced at the beginning of each competition event.
27 The competition will be adjudged according to the principles and procedures laid down in the Regula¬tions for the Competition Jury, approved by the Competition Committee.
28 In choosing the finalists and in adjudicating the Finals, the overall impression given by each competitor in all the rounds will be taken into account.
29 The decisions of the Jury will be final.
30 An honorary diploma will be awarded to all the finalists and a diploma to all the semifinalists. The value of the prizes, in euros, is as follows:
I €25,000 I €25,000
II €20,000 II €20,000
III €15,000 III €15,000
IV €10,000 IV €10,000
The Jury reserves the right to distribute the prizes differently.
31 The Jury may also award other prizes approved by the Competition Committee.
32 The prize-giving ceremony will be held after the Finals on the same evening. Each prize-winner must be present to receive his/her prize in person.
33 A Prize-winners' Concert at which all the finalists will sing will be held on 14 August 2009. The Competition Committee may also request other competitors to appear. The programme for the concert will be selected by the Competition Committee from the competitors' repertoires.
OTHER RULES AND REGULATIONS
34 The competition organisers have unlimited rights to broadcast and record, videotape, televise, film and photograph the competition events and the Prize-w¬inners' Concert, and to make audio or visual recor¬dings of them and to broadcast them on the internet and other information networks, without any payment to the competitors or their pianists. The organisers reserve the right to publish information about the competitors disclosed in their application (including name and age, photograph, country of residence and nationality, voice type, competition repertoire and general repertoire and CV) on the Mirjam Helin Singing Competition website.
35 Contestants eliminated in the Preliminary round or Semifinals will be given a chance to discuss their results with members of the Jury.
36 Any competitor who fails to abide by these rules and regulations may be disqualified from the competition.
37 The original language of these rules is Finnish. Any disagreements will be decided by reference to the original Finnish text.
INFORMATION FOR COMPETITORS
Applicants accepted for the competition must report in person to the Competition Secretariat between 2 and 5 pm on 1 August 2008 and present their passport or some other internationally acceptable proof of identity. The registration and ballot will take place at the Sibelius Academy (Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9, Helsinki).
Any candidate who has not registered with the Secretariat by the appointed time will be allowed to take part in the competition only by special dispensation of the Competition Committee.
The Preliminary round and Semifinals will be held at the Sibelius Academy and the Finals at the Finnish National Opera (Helsinginkatu 58, Helsinki). The finalists will be accompanied by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
The Secretariat will be based at the Sibelius Academy (Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu 9, Helsinki).
Each competitor will be responsible for his/her own fares and those of his/her own pianist to and from Helsinki. The Competition Committee may, however, at its discretion award travel bursaries to competitors travelling from outside Europe.
Any competitor requiring a visa for entry to Finland is advised to apply for one in good time at a Finnish Consulate or Embassy.
All competitors and accompanists will be provided with an identity card entitling them to free entry to all competition events and rehearsal venues.
Competitors will be offered free accommodation with private families in Helsinki.The accommodation will be available from two days before the beginning of the competition until the day after the Prize-winners' Concert. The accommoda¬tion includes bed and breakfast. Free accommoda¬tion in a family is intended for participating singers only.
Participants from abroad are requested to let the Secretariat know in advance their means of transport and expected time of arrival in Helsinki.
Competitors will be paid a daily allowance of €30 for those days they are taking part in the competition. This allowance may be claimed by participants in person from the Competition Office after the Preliminary round or Semifinals or on the day after the Finals.
The competitors must be present in person at the ballot at 6 pm on 1 August 2009.
The order of singing in the Preliminary round will be decided by ballot in the following manner: The youngest competitor will, in the presence of the other competitors, draw from an urn a slip with the name of a contestant. This contestant will be the first to perform in the Preliminary round; the others will follow in alphabetical order beginning with the first singer's name and according to the Finnish alphabet, where Z is followed by Å, Ä and Ö before returning to A.
The order of performance will be the same in each round of the competition.
Only legal sheet music may be used in the competition.
Two collections of Finnish vocal music have been published for the competition by the Finnish Cultural Foundation, titled "Finnish Solo Songs" Volumes I & II. They are available in music college libraries or at leading music shops. The collections can also be ordered from Ostinato Oy, Tykistönkatu 7, 00260 Helsinki, Finland, tel. +358 9 443116, fax +358 9 441305, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Competitors may naturally perform other Finnish songs.
After the Preliminary round and Semifinals, the decisions of the Jury will be posted on the same evening.
HOW TO APPLY
The application and all its enclosures must be received by 16 February 2009 at the latest.
1. Electronic application form
Entry to the competition is by electronic application form, available at www.mirjamhelin.fi. Details of the competition repertoire and a short biography, including details of educational establishments attended and names of teachers; dates of any diplomas awarded, most important public performances (including place and date) and any previous prizes at international competitions, should be attached to the application. The application form can be printed off from the website for convenience.
2. Enclosures submitted by post
The following enclosures must be submitted by post:
- Copy of ID card or other official form of identification
- Two photographs (high-quality, resolution 300 dpi, black and white, postcard size). The photographs may also be submitted electronically with application form.
- High-quality recording (DVD recording with both sound and image for pre-selection purposes) containing one aria and two solo songs in different styles and in different languages.
These should be submitted by post to the following address:
The Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition
Finnish Cultural Foundation
Bulevardi 5 A
P.O. Box 203