New Arias Contest

Maratona Ópera XXI

Staged Final

Maratona Ópera XXI


9 SEP | 21h30

Garden National Museum for Ancient Art


The contest Maratona Opera XXI wants to bring new dynamics to the Portuguese contemporary opera, enhancing and showcasing new composers, new repertoire, new operas, new interpreters, to create the opera of the future and bring opera closer to the world and the audience of today!


This second edition invests in the artistry of composing arias - the key moment in opera, in which the power of music together with the intensity of lyric singing in all its splendor, strikes you the most, lasting and being performed beyond the opera itself.


Selected composers are invited to compose arias based on texts and plots of their choice, who will be presented in staged version in a Final. They will also attend masterclasses focusing on prosody and other specific themes and work with singers to improve their knowledge and praxis in writing for lyric voice.


These brand new opera arias will be evaluated by a jury of mixed personalities from various artistic fields, where the audience also participates. Carlos de Pontes Leça Award will be attributed to the winner with a new commission.

This is not an academic contest, composers are chosen by their musical identity and skills, nor even a CV is required. All composers are invited to participate fostering  equality of opportunities and talent coming from unexpected backgrounds. We hope soon to open up the contest, to an international level.


Instead of a Song Contest, we propose an Aria Contest!


Francisco Lima da Silva, João Ricardo, Nelson Jesus, Rúben Borges and Tiago Cabrita are the chosen composers to enchant this Final of New Arias.


From a scientist despairing at his immortal condition, to the doubts within the complex life of a couple, or one unadapted who thinks to be Sisiphus, searching for a meaning in a unintelligible world, or a lullaby sung by the mother of a well know politician, to the evocation of a diary in shadows, until the scream for freedom of Mariana Janeiro’s. Six arias for soprano, mezzo, tenor and baritone with themes, atmospheres, filled with intense and diverse characters, who will make you fly over the sonorities and life of today’s world.


Stage direction: Ricardo Pereira

Light design: Gi Carvalho



Rafaela Albuquerque, soprano

Ana Rita Coelho, mezzo-soprano

Alberto Sousa, teno

Tiago Amado Gomes, baritone

Philippe Marques, piano

other musicians to be announced