About the Competition


"No other vocal contest better targets today's total-package talents."--Opera News, August 2014




In 1998, to honor the centenary of the birth of Lotte Lenya (1898-1981), an extraordinary singer/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.

The competition recognizes talented young singer/actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in repertoire ranging from opera/operetta to contemporary Broadway scores, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. More than a vocal competition, the Lotte Lenya Competition is a theater singing competition that emphasizes wide-ranging repertoire and the acting of songs and arias within a dramatic context.


Previous Lenya Competition winners are making careers playing leading and featured roles in major theaters and opera houses around the globe. They have performed:

  • On Broadway, in London's West End, in national and international tours of Broadway shows, and in major regional theaters.

  • With the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Royal Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Real Madrid, Hamburg Staatsoper, Oper Leipzig, Oper Frankfurt, and many other regional opera companies.

  • At the Tanglewood, Spoleto, Ravinia, Bard, Caramoor, Castleton, Cincinnati May, Aldeburgh, and Glyndebourne Festivals, Festival Aix-en-Provence, and the New York Festival of Song.


LLC 15th Anniversary Program Cover


Watch previous Lenya Competition prizewinners' performances.


More Information

Opera News feature on the Competition (August 2014)

Singing the Story: The Lotte Lenya Competition (documentary film posted on YouTube)

Press release on 2014 Competition winners

15th Anniversary commemorative program

"The Lenya Competition at Fifteen" (from the Spring 2013 Kurt Weill Newsletter)

Peabody Award winner Michael Lasser's profile of the Competition (from the Spring 2009 Kurt Weill Newsletter)

© 2012 The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. All rights reserved.