Lotte Lenya Competition

Organization Kurt Weill Foundation
Deadline January 25, 2023

In 1998, to honor the centenary of the birth of Lotte Lenya (1898-1981), an extraordinary singing actress and one of the foremost interpreters of the music of her husband, Kurt Weill (1900-1950), the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music established an annual Lotte Lenya Competition. A one-of-a-kind contest that requires demonstration of both acting and vocal skills, the Lenya Competition celebrates talented singing actors of all nationalities, ages 19-32, who can “do it all” across the dynamic landscape of lyric theater.

In celebration of the Lenya Competition’s 25th anniversary, all prizes will increase in 2023, including the top prize from $20,000 to $25,000 with a total of at least $100,000. This will bring the total of prizes awarded in the competition’s history to more than $1.4 million.

Many winners of the Lenya Competition have gone on to illustrious careers. Recent highlights from alumni include Michael Maliakel (2015) starring in the title role of Aladdin on Broadway, Lauren Michelle (2015) in Teatro alla Scala’s Die sieben Todsünden/Mahagonny Songspiel 2021 double-bill, Zachary James’ (2009) lead role in Akhnaten at the Met and English National Opera, and Briana Elyse Hunter’s (2014) origination of the “Mother” in Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Blue. The roster of past Competition judges features a “who’s who” of acclaimed musical theater and opera figures, among them Teresa Stratas, Harold Prince, Julius Rudel, Patricia Racette, Jack Viertel, and Rebecca Luker.