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We are now preparing a dynamic and thrilling new edition of Cascais Opera. April and May 2025
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Meet the 2024 Winners!

Step into the promising world of opera excellence with our unique lineup of talented contestants.

Cascais Opera

A Cascais Opera – International Vocal Competition had its inaugural edition in April 2024, at the Centro Cultural de Cascais and the São Carlos National Theatre, in Lisbon. Conceived as a showcase for the most promising new talents in operatic singing, the Cascais Opera – International Vocal Competition received over two hundred applications from 39 countries and of all vocal types, aged between 18 and 32.

From these, 8 brilliant finalists emerged, all worthy of receiving the “Grand-Prix – Égide,” which was finally awarded to an exceptional contestant, a Korean baritone Hae Kang.

Cascais Opera

more than
prize money
for prize-winners
Travel refund
for finalists

Get to know our illustrious panel of Juries. You can learn more about each of them by clicking on the button below.

cascais opera

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Live Competition

Opera Gala “Carmen for Berganza”

We will remember Teresa Berganza outstanding roles in all characters she played, namely the unforgettable Carmen, in a special session at the Casino Estoril, April 11th.

Voice and Acting Master Class

As the Juri of the International Vocal Competition includes great singers who simultaneously are great pedagogues, Cascais Opera has the opportunity to provide open masterclasses , also open to the candidates.

© Alfredo Rocha

Competition Finals

At the TNSC — Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos the chosen finalists will perform on a stage full of glory, where the spirit of Maria Callas, in a memorable Traviata, is always present! 


“Before becoming the Artistic Director São Carlos National Theatre, I was the General Director of the IVC (International Vocal Competition) 's-Hertogenbosch, in the Netherlands for six years. I can share that the first edition of the Cascais Opera International Vocal Competition was a success, with remarkable quality, organisation, and integrity. In this regard, we assure the continuation of the competition in 2025. I hope the competition will be replicated in the coming years, growing and reaching new levels of excellence.”

Ivan van Kalmthout

Artistic Director São Carlos National Theatre

“Cascais Opera has recently launched a new voice competition: already its first edition was a great success that showed not only the great potential and professionalism, but also the authenticity and the character of this promising young organization. With its high-level candidates, impressive jury, great venues and the beautiful surroundings of Cascais and Lisbon, it is an event that will surely grow further and become a major address on the musical map!”

Florian Riem

WFIMC - World Federation of International Music Competitions - Secretary General

“The Cascais International Vocal Competition showcased outstanding planning and precise execution, with logistics managed at the highest level. The team was exceptionally professional, blending their expertise with a wonderful personal touch that created a welcoming atmosphere and an excellent work environment. They truly served as perfect ambassadors for Portugal. Minor issues were handled quickly and discreetly, ensuring a smooth experience for all involved. The selection of candidates was excellent, and the jury members provided invaluable guidance to help participants advance their careers, solidifying the competition’s reputation on an international scale. Overall, the inaugural edition of the competition was conducted at the highest international standard.”

Aleksandar Nikolić

Principal Opera Director Serbian National Theatre

“I was delighted to participate in the first edition of the Cascais Opera Competition. It was a truly great experience. The competition featured wonderful locations, exceptionally talented singers, a highly competent jury, and a professional staff. Overall, I believe it went incredibly well, and I highly recommend this contest to all young singers. Love as always.”

Anna Samuil

Soprano, Berliner Staatsoper - Professor in Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin

"I describe Cascais Opera with one word: humanity. The welcome on the first day was of incredible care, with powerful interventions from the side of the organisation and the jury members, that underlined the importance of each participant and led to each contestant feeling valued. Each detail was thought through, with excellent logistics and communication and a team that was always available to help and elucidate the contestants. The strong suit of Cascais Opera was, for me, the feedback given by the jury after the singing phases: coherent and constructive, without judgement, shared with assertiveness and without forgetting kindness in its delivery. These are the experiences that make us grow artistically and that open doors to great opportunities, such as the ones that participating in Cascais Opera has brought me."

Cláudia Anjos

Soprano - Cascais Opera Selected Singer and Participant

"For me, it was an honour to participate in an international competition in Portugal with the opportunity to be heard by an international panel of jurors such as this one.
The great weather in Portugal, along with the beach in Cascais just 5 minutes away, made this one of the most special competitions I've ever participated in.
Being able to reach the final and sing at the São Carlos National Theatre with the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, the only opera house in Portugal, was a dream come true."

Sílvia Sequeira

Soprano - 1st Prize “Teresa Berganza” for Female Voice or Countertenor, Contract with TNSC & RTP Audience Prize

Visit Cascais

It has probably happened to you: seeing an incredible landscape, taking a photo and realising that the grandiosity of the scenery was impossible to capture.

It’s like trying to describe a strong emotion, but not finding the right words. There is a reason for this: some things are really meant to be experienced. Cascais is one of them.

© Turismo de Cascais

Cascais Opera

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Over the past three decades, primarily in London, Portugal and Amsterdam, Dr Jorge Balça
has developed a strong portfolio of work and a unique combination of skillsets – as a stage
director (of theatre, opera, and hybrid forms), a teacher and workshop leader, a presentation
skills, acting and creativity coach, and practice-based researcher. His work in all these
domains is distinguished by his commitment to and skill in making fantasy and invention
emerge from precise knowledge and training – and by his ability to inspire a similar alchemy
in his collaborators.

Classically trained as an actor and countertenor, he studied theatre directing in London and
Moscow, specialising in Shakespeare, techniques of adaptation, Meyerhold and commedia
dell’arte. Jorge also holds a PhD exploring the dramatic training of opera performers.
With a love for site-specific projects and collaborative forms, and an equal flair for comedy
and drama, his work is dramaturgically inventive, visually striking, and physically engaged.
He was the artistic director of Bloomsbury Opera and associate director of The Opera
Makers, both in London. In Portugal, he has recently directed L’Heure Espagnole and The
Turn of the Screw at Centro Cultural de Belém, and Don Giovanni and La Voix Humaine at
Festival de Ópera de Óbidos.

Jorge is committed to his work as a teacher, having taught at the Dutch National Opera
Academy, Morley College London, Universidade de Évora and other institutions. He
maintains an international coaching private practice and is the acting coach at the Neil
Semer Vocal Institute in Italy.

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