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I can't tell from the website if tomorrow's Operalia finals are restricted (live) to medici.tv subscribers tomorrow,July 19 at 10am PT/1pm ET (from London):


If so, then they should be available in the future. (Yesterday's opening concert from the Verbier Festival, ẃith Joyce DiDonato, was open.)

There are 11 finalists from eight countries -- five sopranos, three tenors, two baritones, one bass-baritone -- down from 40 -- all five mezzos and the countertenor were cut -- and five of them three sopranos and to tenors ore the Zarzuela finalists.


They are competing for 1st-3rd place, the Birgit Nilsson prizes (Wagner and R. Strauss rep) -- two, not gender-specific -- and Zarzuela prizes named for Domingo's parents, who were Zarzuela singers, and the (in-house) audience prizes --one for each gender -- and a Consulate Prize from Puerto Rico. All but the audience prizes, watches from sponsor Rolex, are cash:


The Nilsson prize tends to have fewer competing for it, since most singers, especially at their ages, opt for Italian and French staples.

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In the end only one singer, Lise Davidsen, sang Wagner, winning the Nilsson prize and she was also the overall female winner of the competition. We were allowed to vote (she was my choice by a mile) and so won the audience female prize as well. She sang 'Dich, teure Halle' from Tannhauser on the basis of which I imagine she will shortly be engaged worldwide. She was really impressive with absolute self assurance as well as a beautiful voice. A very tall girl, she towered over Domingo when she collected her prize: A future Brunhilde?

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We can only hope.

Over the air, Davidsen was very impressive, and it was similar to last year's results, where Rachel Willis-Sorenson also won top prize fora women and the Birgit Nilsson prize singing "Dich Teure Halle.". (She, like this year's male winner, Ioan Hotea, and last year's male winner, Mario Chang,also won her gender's Zarzuela prize, while Davidsen did not compete or was not a finalist in Zarzuela.) I like her voice a lot better than Willis-Sorensen's.

Given the age range, it's not surprising to hear such little Wagner and a lot of Donizetti.

How did the tenors, Hotea and Pati, the male audience winner, compare live? Did they announce the 2016 venue?

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To be honest I was more impressed by the ladies on this occasion. Hotea, the winner, sang Ah mes amies , a brave choice as I once heard a tenor come to grief in a competition (Cardiff?) attempting this aria. I thought he sang efficiently enough but his Zarzuela performance impressed me far more as he sang with real feeling and passion. Pati sang well too and I felt he was more at ease on stage than Hotea.

I should also mention Hyesang Park. She sang the mad scene from Lucia di Lammermoor like a real pro but there were a couple of technical glitches, being young they should be ironed out before long, but her stage presence was remarkable and with the figure of a catwalk model this beautiful looking girl will make the ideal operatic heroine before long.

If the next venue was announced I may have missed it as I was sitting on the end of a row and distracted by people leaving before the end after the prize giving.

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I was sure Park had it in the bag, but I'm terrible at picking winners in singing competitions.

They call all of the 1-4 prize winners "Operalia winners," and there have been notable 2-4 prize winners who've gone on to bigger careers than many of the winners, like Joyce DiDonato, Eric Owens, Olga Peretyatko, Lisette Oropesa, Ailyn Perez, Joseph Kaiser, Mikhail Petrenko, Rolando Villazon, Ludovic Tezier -- 1998 was a bumper crop, with winner Erwin Shrott, JDD,and Tezier,

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They're there to scout talent. It's like the Met Opera Council Auditions or in ballet, like YAGP, where the judges are generally school and company directors. The difference is that fewer opera company directors come from the singing ranks, while all, or almost all, ballet company directors come from the dancing ranks, although some opera directors come from the stage direction ranks.

I wouldn't want to be a singer on the panel arguing with Marta Domingo, either :)

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