First Prizes of US $30,000 – Ioan Hotea, Romania/Lise Davidsen, Norway
Second Prizes of US $20,000 – Darren Pene Pati, New Zealand/Hye Sang Park, South Korea
Third Prizes of US $10,000 – Edward Parks, USA/Noluvuyiso Mpofu, South Africa
Birgit Nilsson Prize of US $15,000 – Lise Davidsen, Norway
The Pepita Embil Domingo Prize of Zarzuela of US $10,000 – Hye Sang Park, South Korea
The Don Plácido Domingo, Sr., Prize of Zarzuela of US $10,000 – Ioan Hotea, Romania
Audience Prizes, Rolex Wristwatches – Darren Pene Pati, New Zealand/Lise Davidsen, Norway
The Culturarte Prize of US $ 10,000 – Kiandra Howarth, Australia
Ioan Hotea and Lisa Davidsen have just been announced as First Prize winners of the 2015 edition of Operalia, Plácido Domingo’s international singing competition, hosted in London by the Royal Opera House for the first time in its 22 year history. Hotea also received The Don Plácido Domingo, Sr., Prize of Zarzuela, and Davidsen also received both the Birgit Nilsson Prize and the Rolex Audience Prize. The public final, during which the 11 finalists competed, took place as a Gala Concert on Covent Garden’s main stage accompanied by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House conducted by Plácido Domingo. Live streamed by Medici TV, the Gala Concert was followed by an awards ceremony during which Plácido Domingo presented prizes from the competition’s seven award categories. French tenor Julien Behr, South African bass-baritone Bongani Justice Kubheka, American soprano Andrea Carroll and American baritone Tobias Greenhalgh were all also finalists in this year’s edition of Operalia.
From 2011-2013, Ioan Hotea was an ensemble member of the Bucharest National Opera, with roles including Nemorino in L’elisir d’amoreand Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia. Future engagements include Ferrando in Così fan tutte and Nemorino in Wiesbaden, and Dorvil in La scala di seta in Liège. A recent graduate of The Royal Danish Opera Academy in Copenhagen, Lise Davidsen made her debut at the Norwegian National Opera earlier this year as Susanna in Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna. In November, she will make her debut at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich as Ortlinde in Die Walküre.
This year’s 40 quarterfinalists were drawn from 21 countries including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and Thailand, as well as several European countries and North American territories. The preliminary rounds of Operalia took place over three days with contestants performing in front of the competition’s 14-strong international jury representing the opera houses of Chicago and New York, Bayreuth, Bordeaux, London, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Paris, Verona, Santiago, as well the Editor-in-Chief of Opera News, consultants Ioan Holender and Pål Moe, and stage director Marta Domingo.
Founded in 1993 with the aim of discovering and helping launch the careers of today’s most promising young opera singers, Operalia is open to singers of all voice types between the ages of 18 and 32. Amongst the winners from the last 22 years are artists of the calibre of Angel Blue, Joseph Calleja, José Cura, Joyce DiDonato, Carmen Giannattasio, Ana María Martínez, Ailyn Pérez, Erwin Schrott, Nina Stemme, Rolando Villazón and Sonya Yoncheva.
The competition – which is hosted by a different city every year - receives hundreds of applications from which only 40 are chosen to compete in front of a jury of leading industry professionals including general managers and casting directors from the world’s most prestigious opera houses. Plácido Domingo does not vote himself but is actively present throughout the competition offering guidance on artistic and career development to each of the participants. Singers at earlier stages of their careers may be chosen to join one of the Young Artist programmes established by Plácido Domingo in Washington, Los Angeles and Valencia.
Rolex is proud to present Operalia, the World Opera Competition, for the 14th consecutive year, perpetuating its commitment to the arts. Plácido Domingo has been a Rolex Testimonee since 1982 and Rolex is delighted to extend its support to the exceptionally gifted young performers that share its quest for excellence and perfection.
Please see the attached press release for the full list of arias sung during the competition final, of this year’s Operalia judges and for more information on the award categories.
“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. Individuals such as these become tomorrow’s stars.”Plácido Domingo
Photo © Alaister Muir