28 August 2014

Thirteen Singers Enter Final Round of Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition Hosted by Los Angeles Opera

Operalia, the international opera competition founded in 1993 by Plácido Domingo to identify and launch the careers of emerging young singers, has announced the list of finalists for this year's competition. Thirteen singers will vie for prizes amounting to as much as $30,000 in the final-round concert, which will take place on Saturday evening at Los Angeles Opera's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  

The contest's finalists, who were selected by a panel of fourteen judges from prominent posts within the opera industry, include: tenor Mario Chang, 24, from Guatemala; soprano Anaïs Constans, 26, from France; mezzo Carol Garcia, 30, from Spain; tenor Joshua Guerrero, 31, from USA/Mexico; countertenor John Holiday, 29, from the United States; mezzo Alisa Kolosova, 27, from Russia; tenor Abdellah Lasri, 32, from Morocco; tenor Yi Li, 30, from China; countertenor Andrey Nemzer, 31, from Russia; soprano Christina Poulitsi, 31, from Greece; soprano Mariangela Sicilia, 28, from Italy; soprano Rachel Willis-Sørenson, 30, from the United States; and soprano Amanda Woodbury, 26, from the United States. 

Open to singers between the ages of 18 and 32 from every country and of every voice type, this year's competition drew more than one-thousand initial applicants. From those applicants, forty candidates were invited to Los Angeles, and twenty-one were advanced into the semi-finals. On Saturday evening's Gala concert, the thirteen finalists will be accompanied by the LA Opera Orchestra, conducted by Plácido Domingo. The competition finals will bestow two $30,000 first prizes, two $20,000 second prizes, and two $10,000 third prizes, with one male and one female singer receiving prizes in each category. In addition, one male  and one female singer will each receive a $15,000 Birgit Nilsson prize for his or her performance of an aria by Richard Strauss or Richard Wagner. Likewise, one male and one female singer will each receive a $10,000 Zarzuela prize, given and named in honor of Plácido Domingo's parents — who were stars of the Spanish form of operetta — and meant to encourage singers to work in the art form. Two audience-prize winners, awarded by a polling of the audience attending the finals concert, will garner watches offered by Rolex, the competition's sponsor. Finally, Bertita & Guillermo Martinez from CulturArte de Puerto Rico will select a finalist to receive the $10,000 Culturarte Prize. 

This year marks the third time that the Operalia finals have taken place in Los Angeles. Since its inception in 1993, the annual competition, one of the most distinguished in the industry, has also visited Paris, Mexico City, Madrid, Bordeaux, Tokyo, Quebec, Hamburg, Milan, Moscow and Verona. Prominent singers who have won prizes at Operalia include Joyce DiDonato, Erwin Schrott, Eric Owens, Ana María Martínez, Rolando Villazón, Nina Stemme, Elizabeth Futral, Joseph Calleja, Susanna Phillips, Ailyn Perez and Anthony Roth Costanzo.

Saturday evening's finals concert will also be broadcast live on Medici.tvspacer 

More information can be found at OperaliaCompetition.org and LA Opera

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