OPERA NEWS - Guatemalan Soprano Adriana Gonzalez and Spanish Tenor Xabier Anduaga Take Top Prizes at This Year's Operalia Competition
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26 July 2019

Guatemalan Soprano Adriana Gonzalez and Spanish Tenor Xabier Anduaga Take Top Prizes at This Year's Operalia Competition

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Gonzalez, Domingo and Anduaga following the finals of this year's Operalia Competition in Prague
José Domingo

GUATEMALAN SOPRANO Adriana Gonzalez, 27, and Spanish tenor Xabier Anduaga, 24, both won the top prizes in the general division as well as the Zarzuela portion of this year’s Operalia competition finals, which took place in Prague on Friday night. 

American soprano Felicia Moore, 31, and Swedish soprano Christina Nilsson, 29, were both named as the winners of the competition’s Birgit Nilsson Prize, which is awarded to a singer or singers who perform repertoire by Richard Strauss or Wagner during the competition.

The competition’s final round, which was streamed live on medici.tv and Facebook, featured twelve singers performing one aria each alongside a full orchestra conducted by Plácido Domingo at Prague’s National Theater. Singers competing in Operalia's Zarzuela category also presented a zarzuela aria. A jury of ten distinguished opera experts adjudicated the competition.

In total, Gonzalez and Anduaga will each depart from the competition with $40,000, while Moore and Nilsson will receive $15,000 each for the Nilsson prizes. 

Russian mezzo Maria Kataeva, 32, was named as the second-prize winner among the women in the general division, and South Korean baritone Gihoon Kim, 27, was named as the second-prize winner among the men; each will receive $20,000. Christina Nilsson and German-American countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, 25, were named as the recipients of the competition’s third prizes and will receive $10,000 prizes each. 

Kataeva and Kim were also named as the recipients of the competition’s Audience prize, for which they will each receive a a Rolex wristwatch. Anna Shapovalova, 31, was named as the winner of the CulturArte Prize, amounting to $10,000, which each year is chosen and offered by Bertita & Guillermo Martinez from CulturArte de Puerto Rico 

The twelve finalists who performed on Friday were selected from forty young singers who traveled to Prague to take part in two days of quarterfinals beginning on July 21. Founded in 1993 by Domingo to discover and launch the careers of young singers of every voice type from every country, Operalia annually receives some 1,000 applications from artists between the ages of 18 and 32 at the time of entry. A jury of three opera professionals assesses every recording, and the top forty singers are invited to participate in the competition, which each year is located in a different international host city. This year’s Operalia was the twenty-seventh edition of the competition. 

Past Operalia winners include Joseph Calleja, Giuseppe Filianoti, Rolando Villazón, José Cura, Joyce DiDonato, Susanna Phillips, Nina Stemme, Elizabeth Futral, Ana María Martínez, Olga Peretyatko, Lisette Oropesa, Angel Blue, Sonya Yoncheva, Ryan McKinny, Pretty Yende, René Barbera, Janai Brugger, Anthony Roth Costanzo and Aida Garifullina. spacer 

More information can be found at Operalia

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