Between May and July, the not-for-profit institution will hold eight singing, guitar and dancing competitions in the new theatre in its premises in Seville. Flamenco Talent lands in Madrid with a dance competition, supported by the Montemadrid Foundation. The winners will received study scholarships in the Flamenco School and cash prizes

The future of flamenco is in the hands of the youth. And the Cristina Heeren Foundation continues to support them in their training. The not-for-profit entity has called the 2018 Flamenco Talent Competitions, with the collaboration of Acciona and the Andalusian Institute of Flamenco. The second edition, held between May and July, will include a total of eight competitions: five for singing different styles, one for guitar accompaniment and two for dancing. The venue for the competitions will be the theatre in the Foundation’s new site in Seville, where the series will commence on May 24th with the Flamenco Talent Competition for Singing Soleá “Naranjito de Triana”. The novelty will be the arrival in Madrid, with a competition for dancing, which will take place May 29th in the Montemadrid Foundation. The young artists, between 16 and 30 years, will receive cash prizes, “Acciona Scholarships” to study in the Flamenco School and an artisan trophy made in the pottery studios of Triana, as Pepa Sánchez, Academic Director of the Cristina Heeren Foundation explained in a press conference. By her side were the singer and singing teacher José de la Tomasa, a student with the “Acciona Scholarship” Marcos Martínez and Joaquin Mollinedo, Director of Institutional Relationships, Sustainability and Brand from ACCIONA, who noted that “the initiative to discover new talents in singing, dance and guitar is a bet on talent, for the future, and in a way, contributing to make a better world”. In the first edition, Talent Flamenco awarded scholarships to nine emerging artists and prizes to a total of 30 candidates, in the majority, Andalusians. Furthermore, the three absolute winners - the singer Lela Soto ‘Sordera’, the dancing Adrián Domínguez and the guitarists Blas Martínez - debuted on the 8th of May in the series ‘Flamenco Comes from the South’. The scholarship recipients are now in the classrooms of this prestigious training centre, with more than twenty years of history, following the steps of young successful flamencos such as India Martínez, Argentina, Jeromo Segura, Luisa Palicio and Antonio Molina ‘El Choro’, whose talents were discovered in previous competitions. The rules, conditions and registrations deadlines are available on the official website

The 2018 Flamenco Talent Competitions, organised by the Cristina Heeren Foundation in collaboration with Acciona and the Andalusian Institute for Flamenco from the Ministry of Culture in the Government of Andalusia, begin Thursday 24 May in Seville. The theatre of the Foundation’s new site at 76 Pureza Street will be the setting for the Competition for Singing Soleá ‘Naranjito de Triana’. Next, Flamenco Talent will land in Madrid. On Tuesday, May 29, the final of the 2018 Flamenco Talent Contest for Dance will be held at the Casa de las Alhajas Auditorium in the Montemadrid Foundation.

On return to Triana, during the month of June, there will be a competition every week in the Foundation’s theatre. On the 7th of June the focus will be “Songs of Málaga and Granada”. Next, held on Thursday 14th of June, the final of the competition which groups “Songs of Tarantas and Tarantos”; meanwhile Wednesday 20th of June candidates for the Flamenco Talent Competition for Songs of Cantiñas will take to the stage. The last final of the month will be Thursday 28th of June, dedicated to guitar: the Flamenco Talent Competition for Guitar Accompaniment. During the first  two weeks of July, coinciding with the 2018 Intensive Summer Course, the Cristina Heeren Foundation will host on Thursday 5 July the Competition for Songs of Fandangos from Huelva; and Thursday 12th of July, the new Competition for Flamenco Dance “Manolo Soler”, dedicated to the remembered dancer and compás teacher of this school.

In the presentation of the 2018 Flamenco Talent Competitions, Pepa Sánchez, Academic Director of the Cristina Heeren Foundation, explained that “the future of flamenco is in the youth and betting on them is passing them the tradition, enhancing their faculties, promoting their creativity and facilitating access to professional circuits”. Furthermore, she stressed that “the opportunity that ACCIONA offers us, with its support for the Flamenco Talent Competitions, translates into the creation of new talents that, at the hand of our faculty of teachers - all veteran artists - without a doubt contributes to the conservation, promotion and enhancement of the most universal Andalusian art”. Joaquín Mollinedo, Director of Institutional Relationships, Sustainability and Brand of ACCIONA, stressed: “The initiative of discovering new talents of singing, dance and guitar is directly associated with the vocation of ACCIONA as a company that bets on the future and creates value. The Flamenco Talent Competitions, that ACCIONA already supported in its 2017 edition, represent for the company an ideal opportunity to collaborate with the Cristina Heeren Foundation”. ACCIONA, has an important cultural sponsorship program that includes initiatives as diverse as its membership of the Prado Museum Board, the "Art and sustainability" itinerary at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the ACCIONA Chair in Sur, the School of Artistic Professions in Madrid. 

On behalf of the faculty of the Cristina Heeren Foundation, the teacher José de la Tomasa declared “as the scholarship recipients of Flamenco Talent improve day by day, the great respect that they have for me and me for them, I am very happy not to be taking to the grave the essence that my family has passed to me, but pass it on to them. And, above all, I intend to convey to them that they be humble people, that they continue studying and become exquisite human beings”. Furthermore, taking the floor in the press conference, on behalf of the youth scholarship recipients from the past edition, the student Marcos Martínez thanked the Cristina Heeren Foundation and Acciona for their initiative, stressing that this experience “marks a before and after in my artistic life and at a personal level, offering me the necessary means” for my artistic career. The singer from Barcelona explained that “these competitions are very important at a motivational level, they help you to have a knowledge of our musical culture and keep our legacy alive.” And he encouraged young aficionados to present in the new edition of the 2018 Flamenco Talent Competitions.

The rules establish a period of two weeks of enrolment online at Once the applications have been received, the teaching staff of the Cristina Heeren Foundation will undertake a selection of finalists from the recordings provided by the contestants themselves. Those selected will receive a direct communication about their passing to the final, which will take the form of a gala with participation from all the finalists, a performance by artists from the Foundation while the panel decides, communication of the award and delivery of the awards. The winners will receive cash prizes, scholarships to study in the Flamenco School at the Foundation and artesanal trophies. In the dissemination of this initiative the newspapers of Grupo Joly, Cadena SER and Globalflamenco will participate as collaborating media.

The Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art has consolidated throughout its 20 years of history a valuable source of new talents for flamenco. Some come to the school because of the brilliant results of its academic plan, but others are discovered in the competitions of singing, dance and guitar which, between 1997 and 2011, the Foundation organised throughout Andalusia in collaboration with different private sponsorships and public institutions. The prize for the winners is to train under the prestigious teachers in the school’s teaching faculty, following a rigorous didactic methodology never before applied to disciplines such as singing. And this is how young figures from the flamenco and current music scene were trained such as India Martínez, Virginia Gámez, Rocío Bazán, María José Pérez, Jeromo Segura, Pedro Barragán and the dancer Antonio Molina ‘El Choro’, among many others. All of them, succeed today on international stages, backed by critics, the public and the highest distinctions of the genre. In the 2017 Flamenco Talent twenty-seven new talents from guitar, singing and dance appear on the winners list, featuring the singers Marcos Martínez, Tomás García, Lela Soto ‘Sordera’, Antonio Mena, Araceli Campillos, Cristina Álvarez and Marta García, the guitarist Blas Martínez and the dancer Adrián Domínguez. The edition toured nine Andalusian cities with the collaboration of Acciona, the Junta of Andalusia, City of Granada, City of Úbeda, City of Jerez, City of Cádiz, City of Almeria and Peña El Taranto, City of Huelva and the IMAE of the City of Cordoba.

The new stage undertaken by the Cristina Heeren Foundation with the celebration of its twentieth anniversary, with recognitions such as the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise or the Flamenco in the Classroom Prize, and with the inauguration of its new headquarters in Triana, also means the reactivation of the contests and, therefore, the uncovering of new diamonds in the rough from singing, dancing and guitar, which can be polished at school and become the future of flamenco. The next young scholarship recipients will be incorporated into the Annual Flamenco Course 2018/2019, which, in the specialties of Singing, Dance y Guitar, will start on September 24 at the new school's headquarters in Seville's Pureza Street. Around 100 students, both Andalusian and Spanish, as well as international students, will spend nine months training in their classrooms to become future professionals of this art declared on the World Heritage List by UNESCO, under the prestigious teachers of the school’s faculty, which includes artists such as Javier Barón, Milagros Menjíbar, Pedro Sierra, Niño de Pura, José de la Tomasa, Carmelilla Montoya, Juan José Amador and María José Pérez, among others. In addition, the newly opened centre aims to become a new cultural hub in Seville, with future activities around the dissemination, conservation and teaching of singing, dancing and guitar.