OPERA NEWS - Norwegian Soprano Lise Davidsen and Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea Win Top Prizes in Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition in London
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20 July 2015

Norwegian Soprano Lise Davidsen and Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea Win Top Prizes in Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition in London

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The winners of this year's Operalia competition: Kiandra Howarth, Edward Parks, Noluvuyiso Mpofu, Lise Davidsen, Plácido Domingo, Hyesang Park, Ioan Hotea and Darren Pene Pati

Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, 28, and Romanian tenor Ioan Hotea, 25, took the top prizes in the general division of Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition last night in London, with Davidsen also emerging victorious as the lone recipient of the competition’s Birgit Nilsson Prize in addition to winning the Rolex-sponsored audience prize. 

Davidsen, who sang Tannhäuser’s "Dich teure Halle” in the final-round concert held in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, won a total of $45,000 in prize money at the competition between her $30,000 first-place finish and the $15,000 Nilsson prize, making her the competition’s clear frontrunner. The soprano also received a Rolex watch for her audience-prize win. 

Following Davidsen in the women’s general division were South Korean soprano Hyesang Park, and South African soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu, who won $20,000 and $10,000 for their respective second- and third-place finishes in the women’s general competition.

Hotea received $30,000 for his first-place finish in the men’s general division, while the runners up, New Zealand tenor Darren Pene Pati and U.S. baritone Edward Parks, received $20,000 and $10,000 for their second- and third-place finishes. 

Hotea and Park each received $10,000 for winning the competition’s Zarzuela prizes, for which they prepared Zarzuela arias, and Australian soprano Kiandra Howarth was the recipient of the competition’s $10,000 CulturArte Prize, which is endowed by Bertita & Guillermo Martinez from CulturArte de Puerto Rico. Alongside Davidsen, tenor Pati was the men’s recipient of the audience prize’s Rolex watch. 

Davidsen, 28, has performed at Norwegian National Opera, Danish National Opera and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. In November, she makes her Bayerische Staatsoper debut as Ortlinde. Hotea, 25, has been a member of the Bucharest National Opera, and has sung at Theater an der Wien, Opera de Monte Carlo, Opera National de Paris, Düsseldorf Opera and Wiesbaden.  

At Sunday evening’s final-round Gala concert, the eleven finalists performed arias on the stage of the Royal Opera House, accompanied by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with Plácido Domingo conducting.

One of the world's most prestigious competitions for classical voices, Operalia is 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 which forty candidates were selected to travel to London on July 13 as semifinalists. Twenty singers were then advanced into the semi-finals, out of which eleven singers emerged to take part in last evening's finals concert. 

Founded by Domingo in 1993 to identify and launch the careers of emerging young singers, this year’s competition marked the twenty-third edition of Operalia, which annually takes place in a different host city. Past Operalia winners have included Ainhoa Arteta, Nina Stemme, Brian Asawa, José Cura, Elizabeth Futral, Eric Owens, Erwin Schrott, Joyce DiDonato, Rolando Villazon, Joseph Calleja, Susanna Phillips, Ailyn Perez, Olga Peretyatko and Sonya Yoncheva. spacer 

More information can be found at Operalia.

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