Wirth Vocal Prize

2018-2019 Competition Dates

  • Nomination deadline: September 28, 2018
  • Preliminary round: November 16, 2018 in Wirth Opera Studio (non-public)
  • Final competition: Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 7:00pm in Pollack Hall (open to the public).


President in the Final Round:  Dr. Janet Schmalfeldt

  • Mr. Michel Beaulac, Artistic Director of Opera de Montréal
  • Mrs. Donna Brown, World renowned Soprano and voice teacher.
  • Valerie Kinslow is the internal adjudicator.

Overview and Prizes

  • The Wirth Prize, established as a result of Elizabeth Wirth’s landmark gift in 2015, is awarded annually to an outstanding voice student at Schulich who demonstrates exceptional skill and artistry.


  • $25,000 for first place
  • $1,000 for each runner-up (maximum of three)

As part of the Wirth Vocal Prize, 2018-2019 winner will perform at the Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur on April 25, 2019.

Information for Applicants


Voice students registered in all Schulich School of Music study programs who have completed one year of study at McGill may be considered for nomination.

Nomination Process

Voice faculty of the Schulich School of Music submit nominations for the award to the Voice Area Chair. Professors are encouraged to nominate only those students who, in their opinion, demonstrate the very highest level of accomplishment throughout the Voice Area.  While faculty are at liberty to nominate their own students, they should aim to recommend only the most outstanding students currently enrolled in the voice program, across all studios.

Shortly after receipt of nominations, candidates will be asked to submit their program, as well as a current CV.

Competition Rounds

Preliminary round: The panel, consisting of members of the voice and coaching faculty, will select approximately 20 minutes excerpted from the full 25-minute competition program. A maximum of 4 candidates will move to the final round.

Final round: Finalists will present their full 25-minute program in public performance. The jury will consist of three members: two external members and one member from the Schulich School of Music faculty. 

Repertoire Requirements

Nominated students should prepare a varied 25-minute program that includes at least one opera aria, demonstrating ability in at least three languages. No change of repertoire will be allowed once the  program has been submitted.