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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 Fulham Opera is proud to credit him with having the idea of staging Der Ring.

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

The Fulham Opera Robert Presley Memorial Verdi Prize

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

The Competition will take place with 11-piece orchestra at the Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music.

The judges will be Richard Hetherington (Head of Music, Royal Opera House), John Rawnsley (ENO’s Rigoletto in the 1980s among many Verdi roles) and Gweneth Ann Rand (ENO’s Aida in their most recent production).

Prizes this year have been increased:

First Prize: £2000

Runner Up: £750

Judges’ Special Mention: £250 (to either a young singer, or someone showing special promise as a Verdi Baritone at the Judges’ discretion)

Audience Prize: £250

Click here for Rules, Regulations and Guidance about the Competition.

When you have read that, please click here to enter.

If you would like to buy a ticket to the Competition Final, please go to our tickets page.

Entries will be be accepted until midnight 31st July. Finalists will be notified on or before 1st September, and must confirm their participation in the final within 48 hours of notification.

Application process is by recordings, as links either to 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 live public final.


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).

Images from the 2017 competition, at Conway Hall