Operalia winners onstage in Verona with Domingo
© FOTO ENNEVI 2013
1 and 2. On August 25, Russian soprano AIDA GARIFULLINA and Chinese bass-baritone AO LI took the top prizes of $30,000 each at the 2013 edition of OPERALIA in Verona, Italy. Other prize-winners in the competition, founded by PLÁCIDO DOMINGO and now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, were French soprano Julie Fuchs and Italian baritone Simone Piazzola, who each received second prizes of $20,000, and American soprano Kathryn Lewek and American tenor Zach Borichevsky, who each received a third prize of $10,000. Lewek and Piazzola were also awarded the audience prizes of a watch from competition sponsor ROLEX. The winners of the two $10,000 zarzuela prizes, given in memory of Domingo's parents, were American tenor Benjamin Bliss and South Korean soprano Hae Ji Chang. The competition's two Birgit Nilsson prizes, each worth $15,000, were awarded to American soprano Tracy Cox and British contralto Claudia Huckle. The CulturArte prize of $10,000, offered by Bertita and Guillermo L. Martínez from CulturArte de Puerto Rico, was awarded to Belarusian tenor Vladimir Dmitruk. The finals concert in Verona's Teatro Filarmonico, with Domingo conducting the Orchestra dell'Arena di Verona, was broadcast live by Medici.tv.
3. On August 5, at Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Santa Fe, SUSAN GRAHAM hosted the launch of Children and Fish Don't Talk, a memoir by LESHEK ZAVISTOVSKI, a cellist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1966 to 2002. Zavistovski's book, which recounts his life in Europe during World War II and the Cold War as well as his work in music, was written in collaboration with his daughter, filmmaker Monique Zavistovski, and his wife, Toni Rapport Zavistovski, former violinist in the Met Orchestra (1968–2002). For more information about the book, visit www.childrenandfish.com.
4. SARAH COBURN, who finishes up a run this month as Marie in Seattle Opera's Fille du Régiment, will sing Adina in Washington National Opera's March 2014 revival of L'Elisir d'Amore. In summer 2014, the soprano travels to Copenhagen for performances as Elvira to Lawrence Brownlee's Arturo in I Puritani at the Tivoli Festival.
5. On December 2 at 6 P.M., SAMUEL RAMEY will appear in conversation at the Opera Learning Center of the Samuel B. and David Rose Building at Lincoln Center as part of Musical Chairs, a series hosted by Paul Gruber, executive director, program development, for the Metropolitan Opera Guild. For tickets, call 212-769-7028 or visit metguild.org.
6. In celebration of the centennial of RICHARD TUCKER, Sony Classical has issued two multi-CD sets of the beloved tenor's best work. The ten-CD Opera Recital Album Collection offers Tucker in solos and duets from his opera-house repertoire. The Song and Cantorial Album Collection gathers Tucker performances of Broadway show tunes, Neapolitan songs, Viennese operetta and Jewish "cantorial jewels" in a fourteen-CD set.
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