The 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition continues with the final series to be held in Istanbul on 16-20 September 2012 and the tickets are now on sale.

The internationally acclaimed competition, which has produced such winners as Pretty Yende, Anita Rachvelishvili, Nino Machaidze, and Marcello Alvarez, is organised by the İstanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts together with the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, under the sponsorship of Doğuş Group and Garanti Bank, with the support of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and with the contributions of the Borusan Holding.

Public semi-finals of the 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition will be held on 18 September Tuesday at 11:00 at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, and the grand final will be on 20 September Thursday at 20:00 at the Hagia Eirene Museum.

The preliminary auditions of the 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, held in 6 European countries with specially tailored juries that included such figures as the Director of the Berlin Staatsoper Opernstudio Boris Anifantakis, Assistant General Manager of the Wiener Staatsoper Rene Zisterer, Pianist of the London's Royal Opera House Dawid Gowland, General Director of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala Luisa Vinci, attracted a record number of young singers. Out of the 176 applicants, 40 quarter-finalists of 22 different nationalities spanning from Canada to China and covering a range of almost all voices - mostly sopranos and with one countertenor - were determined.

The final series of the 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition will kick off on 16 September Monday with the singers performing before the jury presided by the great Italian diva Mirella Freni and comprising the Vice-Director of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Vincenzo de Vivo, Artistic Director of Teatro la Fenice Fortunato Ortombina, Opera Magazine Editor John Allison, pianist Vincenzo Scalera, and Turkish State Opera and Ballet Chief Director Yekta Kara.

Following the non-public quarterfinals, the competition will open its doors to audiences with the semi-final on 18 September Tuesday, starting at 11:00 at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall. This leg, where the contestants will sing two arias with piano accompaniment, will announce the 8 finalists.

The grand final of the competition will be in the historical and magnificent atmosphere of the Hagia Eirene Museum on September 20, Thursday at 20:00. The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of the Italian conductor Pietro Mianiti, will accompany the finalists.

The first Prize of the competition is 12,500 Euros, Second Prize 7,500 Euros, and the Third Prize 3.500 Euros. A new award is introduced this year by the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, which will grant a three-month scholarship to a finalist. The final night will be even more exciting and interactive on the audience's part with another newly introduced award: the Doğuş Special Public Award, which will be given solely on the votes of the audience.

Tickets are available at and main box office at İKSV (Nejat Eczacibasi Binasi Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No. 5 Şişhane)