Posts > Harold Haugh Light Opera Video Contest 2021: no entry fee or travel expenses!

Harold Haugh Light Opera Video Contest 2021: no entry fee or travel expenses!

Harold Haugh Light Opera Video Contest

From its beginning in 2000, the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition has encouraged singers to discover and revel in the great legacy of light opera. It is sponsored by the Comic Opera Guild, whose mission, over nearly 50 years of production, has been to promote interest in those works that combine lightheartedness and sophisticated music.

Most opera singers are familiar with the Italian comic operas of Rossini and Donizetti, but are less familiar with the operetta. From its beginnings in France, the operetta form spread throughout Europe and came to the Americas in the late 19th century. These works were musically related to grand opera, but, through the employment of dialog, comedy and often satire, soon became a separate entity.

Singers who have experienced performing in operettas soon discovered that they needed more than a good voice to succeed. They needed to incorporate acting, movement and a certain stage presence with the vocal skill they already possessed to become the complete performer. The same singers found that these new abilities could also make them a star in the grand opera. It is this recognition that the Guild has tried to provide in the Haugh Vocal Competition.

This year, since in-person competition cannot be held due to Covid 19, the Guild has left it to the singers to provide a video record of their performance. In this way, the Competition can continue, not only to inspire singers to discover the treasures of light opera, but to reward those who have made the best use of the medium.

We look forward to reviewing the video entries that we receive to see some great entertainment, and bring us through the distresses of the past year in flying colors!

Because the Video Contest is in the realm of Light Opera, the following information may be useful to entrants:

Light Opera as a genre stretches over at least three centuries. The subject matter is typically humorous, romantic or a combination of both, and usually not tragic. Light operas for this contest must have dialog. Not only is this repertoire more suited to lighter or younger voices, but, in the acting skills it demands, it is preparation for attaining the highest dramatic level of opera. It is set apart from musical comedy only in the need for classical training in the singer. For purposes of the competition, selections from musical comedy may not be as effective if they do not require operatic vocal skills. The Comic Opera Guild is a resource for sheet music in the light opera genre.

Sample composers of the genre are given below. Keep in mind that not all compositions by these composers fall into the light opera repertory.
GERMAN/VIENNESE: Johann Strauss, Oscar Straus, Franz Lehar, Franz Von Suppe, Wolfgang Mozart, Emmerich Kalman, Otto Nicolai
FRENCH: Jacques Offenbach, Adolph Adam, Ambroise Thomas, Francoise Boieldieu, Charles Lecocq, Robert Planquette, Daniel Auber,
ENGLISH: Gilbert and Sullivan, Wm. Michael Balfe, Edward German, Alfred Cellier, William Shield, Leslie Stuart
AMERICAN: Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, Jerome Kern, John Philip Sousa, Louis Hirsch, Fritz Kreisler, Karl Hoschna,
SPANISH: Ruperto Chapi, Tomas Breton, Jose Serrano etc.

If you have questions about a selection, you may inquire by contacting the Guild at (734) 973-3264 or at

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