Plácido Domingo was on hand at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion this week to break the champagne bottle (metaphorically speaking) across the bow of his annual Operalia competition, being held in Los Angeles for the first time in 10 years. The competition introduces the best emerging young opera singers of our day.
Most importantly, the gala finals concert will be streamed live online by Medici TV. It will actually be the first live simulcast from the Dorothy Chandler stage.
A world famous tenor and general director of L.A. Opera, Domingo founded this prestigious competition 21 years ago, in 1993, an event he describes as “a friendly competition — the Olympics of the opera.” The tenor said he’d always hoped one day he could usher new groups of singers to their careers.
Attending press members were also treated to a brief ensemble performance by twenty of this year’s contestants, in full voice and all smiles.
Indeed, while it’s a tense and grueling competition for opera hopefuls (ages 18 to 32), audience members can discover tomorrow’s opera stars. The event is scheduled to run through Saturday at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with forty young singers from around the world — the talented and hard working finalists —- vying for the top prizes, including a $30,000 money prize.
Around 1,000 classical singers applied from all over the world and forty competitors were selected. That group will be narrowed down over the next few days to ten finalists, all of whom will compete in a climactic final round this Saturday, in front of a paying audience. The finale takes the form of a concert with Plácido Domingo conducting the LA Opera Orchestra. An international panel of judges will then announce the winners.
Domingo stressed the competition’s importance as an important path for talented and aspiring young singers to secure employment in the highly competitive world of opera, adding that many members of the 14-person jury are the heads of opera companies.
Operalia’s goal is clear: highlight the young talents and help them in their professional career. Commented Plácido Domingo: “Talent alone is not enough; it is also essential for young singers to come to the attention of those impresarios, managers, casting directors, conductors and stage directors who can further their professional careers. 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. This is why the jury is not exclusively made up of great singers but also includes general managers, stage directors and casting directors”.
L.A. Opera’s new season is scheduled to begin on September 13 with a production of Verdi’s La Traviata starring Domingo opposite soprano Nino Machaidze. More information here.
Gala Finals Concert
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Saturday August 30, 2014
*** 7:00 PM ***
The 2014 Operalia finalists are:
Mario Chang (tenor, Guatemala, 24)
Anaïs Constans (soprano, France, 26)
Carol Garcia (mezzo-soprano, Spain 30)
Joshua Guerrero (tenor, USA/Mexico, 31)
John Holiday (countertenor, USA, 29)
Alisa Kolosova (mezzo-soprano, Russia, 27)
Abdellah Lasri (tenor, Morocco, 32)
Yi Li (tenor, China, 30)
Andrey Nemzer (countertenor, Russia, 31)
Christina Poulitsi (soprano, Greece, 31)
Mariangela Sicilia (soprano, Italy, 28)
Rachel Willis-Sørenson (soprano, USA, 30)
Amanda Woodbury (soprano, USA, 26)
For a full listing of all of the 2014 Operalia competitors and the judges, please click here.