The French Song Exchange 2019/20

Wigmore Hall launches the second year of The French Song Exchange, in partnership with the École Normale de Musique de Paris.

The French Song Exchange has been devised by François le Roux and Dame Felicity Lott, with Wigmore Hall’s Director John Gilhooly. The premise of the Song Academy is described by François and Dame Felicity as follows:

“We would like to encourage applications to The French Song Exchange from young singers in the UK and in France, who are interested in furthering their knowledge and appreciation of French song. We will hold auditions in Paris and London, and four singers from each country will be selected. They will each receive coaching throughout the year with François and Felicity. The coaching will take place in London and Paris (during the 19/20 season) and at the end of the year there will be the opportunity of shared showcase recitals at Wigmore Hall in London and at the Salle Cortot in Paris.

For the audition, we ask the singers to prepare two Mélodies: one classical style, Berlioz to Fauré, and one Debussy to Poulenc.

We are looking forward to exploring French poetry and French song together with a new generation of recitalists.”

To apply:

  • Deadline of Friday 1 November, 10am.
  • Age limit of 33 at the time of application.
  • Applications open to singers of all nationalities. A good understanding of French is required.
  • Applications to include: CV, letter of recommendation from a prominent musician regarding this specific application, and one audio recording on CD (made within the last year) of a performance of a French Mélodie. (The audition recording must be certified by a recognised musician or the recording engineer as the recent work of the named performers. Applicants are advised to have the recording made professionally otherwise it may not do justice to their performance.)
  • Applications to be submitted by post to: French Song Academy, Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP, UK; or by email to Jon Carvell: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For the auditions:

  • Singers to prepare two Mélodies: one classical style, Berlioz to Fauré, and one Debussy to Poulenc. (The repertoire performed at the live auditions must be different from the applicant’s audition CD)
  • Songs to be performed from memory.
  • Transpositions allowed.
  • Paris audition dates to be confirmed, at the École Normale.
  • London audition dates: 15 and 19 November, at Wigmore Hall.
  • A pianist will be provided for the auditions. Successful applicants will work with Sebastian Wybrew, the official pianist for the French Song Exchange.
  • Applications from singer and pianist duos are also welcome.

Programme:

  • The French Song Exchange involves a series of coaching sessions, seminars and masterclasses at Wigmore Hall from January to September 2020, with some sessions in Paris at the École Normale.
  • The programme culminates with showcase recitals in London and Paris in autumn 2020.
  • Participation in the different elements of the programme is flexible and can be built around existing study and recital commitments.

For any questions regarding the auditions, please contact Jon Carvell: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.