Plácido Domingo announces Operalia winners

Romanian soprano Adela Zaharia and South African tenor Levy Sekgapane have triumphed in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition. The two singers each take home USD30,000 (€25,000) in prize money as well as an Operalia trophy.

Hosted in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 24-29 July as part of the EXPO-2017 fair, the 25th edition of the competition featured 40 singers from 17 countries. Domingo conducted the orchestra for the final round, with contestants performing one operatic aria each.

“Many singers can work hard and be well-prepared, but who knows when their names would become known to the world if it were not for Operalia,” commented Domingo. “This is Operalia’s main mission – to show the world the new artists, to make them famous.”

Second prize honours were awarded to Kristina Mkhitaryan (soprano, Russia) and Davide Giusti (tenor, Italy), each earning USD20,000. The two Zarzuela prizes for best Spanish lyric-dramatic song went to Zaharia and Italian tenor Marco Ciaponi.

Other awards were the Birgit Nilsson Prize for best performance in the repertoire of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, which went to Russian soprano Oksana Sekerina; the Audience Prize, which was shared by Kazakhstani soprano Maria Mudryak and Korean baritone Leon Kim; and the Culturarte Prize, which went to Korean soprano Sooyeon Lee.