The 8th Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition

Dublin, Ireland | 22nd – 28th January 2016

The Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition is a triennial international competition which next takes place in January 2016 under the aegis of the Friends of the Vocal Arts, a non-for-profit charitable body. The Chairman is Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College Dublin and Dr. Veronica Dunne herself is the Artistic Director. It has been built into a competition of global significance, and is now established as an Irish musical event of international standing, which offers a flagship global stage for the encouragement and development of Irish and international vocal talent. In 2011 the Competition became a member of the Federation of World Competitions.

The Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition was inaugurated in 1995 to honour the lifetime’s work of Dr. Veronica Dunne, Ireland’s Grande Dame of singing. Ireland is known throughout the world as a land of song, and in the classical and operatic field, this is in no small measure due to the unique and dedicated teaching of Dr. Dunne. Dame Joan Sutherland was one of the adjudicators for the first competition, which was won by Orla Boylan. Orla now enjoys a hugely successful international career, aong with subsequent prizewinners including French soprano Norah Ansellem, Irish singers Tara Erraught, Anthony Kearns and Miriam Murphy, Japanese coloratura soprano, Mari Moriya, New Zealand tenor Simon O’Neill, South African sopranos Pumeza Matshikiza and Sarah-Jane Brandon, and the 2013 first prizewinner, American soprano Nadine Sierra.

The Competition takes place over a week in January at the National Concert Hall, Dublin with the Final in the main auditorium of the Concert Hall with full symphony orchestra. All four rounds take place in front of a distinguished international jury. The age limit for both men and women is 32 years of age as of January 1st 2016.

This year, for the first time, we will be holding live auditions in the following cities (dates subject to confirmation):

  • Milan, Friday October 16th
  • Munich, Sunday October 18th
  • New York, Monday October 26th
  • Wexford, Friday October 30th
  • London, Monday November 9th
  • Paris, Wednesday November 11th

If unable to attend a live audition, video-links are to be submitted as part of the online application, as detailed in the form below. The Competition will be in four rounds:

  • Preliminary Round, Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd January 2016
  • Quarter Final, Sunday 24th January 2016
  • Semi Final, Tuesday 26th January 2016
  • Final, with full Symphony Orchestra, Thursday 28th January 2016 at 8pm in the National Concert Hall, Dublin

Official pianists for the first three rounds of the Competition:

Susanna Stranders
Duncan Williams

The conductor for the Final will be internationally acclaimed Swedish conductor,
Patrik Ringborg.


1st Prize €10,000 - Presented by Margaret Quigley
2nd Prize €5,000 - Presented by Dr. T. Pearse and Deirdre Lyons, Alltech
3rd Prize€4,000
4th Prize€3,000
5th Prize€2,000
6th Prize€1,000
  • The Wil Keune Prize of €1,000, presented by his wife, Jane Carty, for the best performance of a Mozart aria in any round of the Competition.
  • The Dame Joan Sutherland Prize of €1,000 for the most promising young singer.
  • The Handel Prize of €500, in memory of William Young, presented by his wife, Alison, for the best performance of an opera or oratorio aria by Handel in any round of the Competition.
  • The Dermot Troy Prize of €500 for the best Irish singer.
  • Each of the semifinalists not to reach the Final will receive €500.


Ms. Jane Carty, (Chair)
Sir. Thomas Allen, internationally acclaimed baritone
Ms. Patricia Bardon, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano
Mr. Richard Bonynge, internationally acclaimed conductor
Mr Christian Carlstedt, Casting director, Theater Basel, Stadttheater Klagenfurt
Mr. Jack Mastroianni, IMG Artists, New York
Mr. David Agler, Artistic Director, Wexford Festival Opera
Mr. Henning Ruhe, Director, Young Artist Programme, Bavarian State Opera, Munich
Mr. Christian Schirm, Director, Atelier Lyrique, Opera Nationale de Paris
Mr. James Vaughan, Recitalist, Head Coach, Teatro alla Scala, Milan


Performance opportunities in Ireland and abroad will be offered, in principle, to successful competitors.

These will include:

  • Wexford Festival Opera
  • Music Network Ireland
  • RTÉ (Irish radio/television orchestras)
  • Wigmore Hall, London