Operalia, Plácido Domingo’s international singing competition, is coming to London, with the final of the 2015 edition held at the Royal Opera House on 19 July – the first time it has ever been held in the UK.
Preliminary rounds, held earlier this week, have narrowed the field down from 40 to 11 singers who will take the stage for the final. They will be accompanied by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with Domingo conducting. Sponsored by Rolex, the competition is seen as a significant stepping-stone in the careers of up and coming opera singers.
‘My purpose in Operalia is to help identify not only the best voices, but also to discover those singers whose personalities, characters and powers of interpretation show that they have the potential to become complete artists,’ explained Domingo.
The finalists are: Australian soprano Kiandra Howarth; French tenor Julien Behr; New Zealand tenor Darren Pene Pati; American baritone Tobias Greenhalgh; Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen; Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea; South African bassbaritone Bongani Justice Kubheka; American soprano Andrea Carroll; South African soprano Noluvyuiso Mpofu; South Korean soprano Hye Sang Park and American baritone Edward Parks.
Prizes are awarded in seven categories: First, Second, Third, Birgit Nilsson, Zarzuela, Audience and Culturarte. This year’s jury includes Anthony Freud, general director of Lyric Opera Chicago; Paolo Gavazzeni, artistic director of Fondazione Arena di Verona; and of course Domingo himself.
The concert will be live streamed by Medici TV, followed an awards presentation ceremony hosted by the illustrious tenor.
Since its foundation in 1993 Operalia has helped launch the careers of artists like Joseph Calleja, Joyce DiDonato, Carmen Giannattasio, Rolando Villazón and Sonya Yoncheva. It is open to singers aged 18-32 and all voice types.