The Fulham Opera Robert Presley Memorial Verdi Prize

NEWS: 2019 Competition: Sunday 6th October 2019. Entries accepted from 1st March until 31st July.


Robert Presley was a much-loved founding member of Fulham Opera.

He was a Verdi enthusiast and sang many Verdi roles throughout his career, and was our Alberich in Das Rheingold and Siegfried, and indeed, we credit him with having the idea of doing Der Ring at all.

Money has been given in his name to begin a bi-annual Verdi Singing Prize, for which there is no age limit.

The 2017 competition was won by Nicola Said (soprano), who also won the audience prize.  The runner up was Siv Iren Misund (mezzo), and the Judges’ Discretionary Prize went to tenor Satriya Krisna.

The Judges were David Syrus (Head of Music, Royal Opera House), John Rawnsley (ENO’s legendary Rigoletto) and Pamela Kuhn (US Spinto soprano, Aida for Scottish Opera).

The 2015 competition was won by Nadine Benjamin (soprano). The runner up was Alberto Sousa, who also won the audience prize. The Judges’ Discretionary Prize went to Benjamin Lewis.

The Judges were Sir Thomas Allen (patron), David Syrus and Yvonne Howard (“Verdi” mezzo - Ms Quickly for Garsington etc).

The 2019 competition final will take place on Sunday 6th October. The entry form will go live on 1st March 2019. Entries will be then be accepted until 31st July. Finalists will be notified on 1st September.

Application process is by recordings, as links either by YouTube, SoundCloud or Dropbox. Entry fee is £40.

Three recordings are required.  At least two of which must be by Verdi from at least two different works. 

The Board of Fulham Opera will select between 8-10 singers to take place in a public live final.

Images from the 2017 competition, at Conway Hall