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Operalia, The World Opera Competition is an annual international competition for young opera singers. Founded in 1993 by renowned tenor Plácido Domingo, the competition has helped launch the careers of several important artists, such as Brian Asawa, José Cura, Joyce DiDonato, Elizabeth Futral, Inva Mula and Ana María Martínez. Overview Operalia is based in Paris, France but hosts its competition in a different city each year. Cities which have hosted the competition include Paris at both the Palais Garnier and Théâtre du Châtelet, Mexico City at the Televisa Recording Studios, Madrid at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Bordeaux at the Grand Théâtre, Tokyo at the Kan-I Hoken Hall, Hamburg at the Hamburg Music Hall, Puerto Rico at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles at both UCLA's Royce Hall and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Washington, D.C. at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium, the Lake Constance region in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Madrid at the Teatro Real, Valencia at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, and Québec at the Palais Montcalm and Grand Théâtre de Québec. The competition is open to singers between the ages of 18 and 30 who are already performing at a highly skilled level. All voice types of both sexes are able to compete. Participants in the competition are selected by audition through a submitted recording to Operalia. A panel of three judges listens and evaluates the audition tapes. Only the top 40 submissions are invited to compete in the competition. Typically the organization receives 800 to 1,000 submissions each year, making entry into the competition alone an honor. The competition is presided over every year by Plácido Domingo, although he himself does not judge the competition. A jury of 10 opera directors from important opera houses all over the world is assembled to judge the competition. Competitors must prepare 4 arias for the competition which consists of four rounds. In the first round each singer gets to choose one aria they want to sing and then the jury selects the other aria from their list of four for them to perform. Singers can also compete in a separate zarzuela competition. If they choose to do so they would perform an additional zarzuela piece in each round. Of the 40 singers, half of them are eliminated in the first round. The second round involves the performance of one more aria, after which only 10 singers move on to the next round. Likewise, the third round eliminates half of the singers, leaving only five participants in the final round. The first three rounds are performed with piano accompaniment and the final round is sung with a symphonic orchestra conducted by Plácido Domingo. Although only five singers make it into the final round, the competition has a total of 10 prizes which total up to 175,000 US dollars. In the general competition 1st prize, 2nd prize, and 3rd prize are awarded, one of each to both sexes, making a total of 6 prizes. Within the zarazuela competition two prizes are awarded, one to a male singer and one to a female singer. There is also a prize awarded by the audience of the final competition to one female singer and one male singer. It is possible for a singer to win more than one award. More important than the money received by the prize is the recognition and career boost given by the competition. It is normal for the opera directors judging the competition to engage competition winners for future opera performances with their companies, or for them to connect artists with other opera directors. List of winners Name Voice type Country Prize Competition place and year Simone Alberghini bass Italy Winner 1994, Mexico City Maria Teresa Alberola Banuls soprano Spain 3rd Prize & Zarzuela Prize 2006, Valencia Kate Aldrich mezzo-soprano United States CulturArte — Puerto Rico 2002, Paris Orlin Anastassov bass Bulgaria 1st Prize 1999, Puerto Rico Konstyantyn Andreyev tenor Ukraine 3rd Prize & Zarzuela Prize 2000, Los Angeles Thiago Arancam tenor Brazil 2nd Place & Zarzuela Prize & Audience Award 2008, Québec Oxana Arkaeva soprano Ukraine Winner 2008, Québec Ainhoa Arteta soprano Spain Winner — Audience 1993, Paris Brian Asawa countertenor United States Winner 1994, Mexico City Jae Chul Bae tenor South Korea CulturArte 1998, Hamburg Isabel Bayrakdarian soprano Canada 1st Prize- Zarzuela 2000, Los Angeles Vitaly Bilyy baritone Ukraine 4th Prize 2004, Los Angeles David Bizic bass-baritone Serbia / Israel 2nd Prize 2007, Paris Angel Blue soprano United States 2nd Prize & Zarzuela Prize 2009, Pécs/Budapest Andrei Breous baritone Israel Russie Zarzuela 2000, Los Angeles Joseph Calleja tenor Malta CulturArte 1999, Puerto Rico Mariola Cantarero soprano Spain Zarzuela 1999, Puerto Rico Marco Caria baritone Italy 2nd Prize & Audience Prize 2007, Paris Mario Cassi baritone Italy Zarzuela 2003, Bodensee Arturo Chacón Cruz tenor Mexico Zarzuela & CulturArte 2005, Madrid Jennifer Check soprano United States Zarzuela 2003, Bodensee Carlos Cosías tenor Spain Zarzuela 1998, Hamburg José Cura tenor Argentina Winner — Audience 1994, Mexico City Adriana Damato soprano Italy 1st Prize 2003, Bodensee Maya Daskuk soprano Russia 3rd Prize 2001, Washington, D.C. Stéphane Degout baritone France 2nd Prize 2002, Paris Maria Cecilia Diaz mezzo-soprano Argentina Winner 1994, Mexico Joyce DiDonato mezzo-soprano United States 2nd Prize 1998, Hamburg Kinga Dobay mezzo-soprano Germany Zarzuela 2005, Madrid Andión Fernández soprano Philippines Zarzuela 1998, Hamburg Giuseppe Filianoti tenor Italy 2nd Prize 1999, Puerto Rico Maria Fontosh soprano Russia 3rd Prize 2002, Paris Bruce Fowler tenor United States Winner 1994, Mexico Elizabeth Futral soprano United States 2nd Prize 1995, Madrid Aurelio Gabaldon tenor Spain Zarzuela 2007, Paris Antonio Gandia tenor Spain Zarzuela 2001, Washington, D.C. Jesus Garcia tenor United States 3rd Prize 2003, Bodensee Eugenia Garza soprano Mexico Zarzuela 2001, Washington, D.C. Oziel Garza-Ornelas baritone Mexico Zarzuela 1996, Bordeaux Carmen Giannattasio soprano Italy 1st Prize 2002, Paris Rachele Gilmore soprano United States Zarzuela 2007, Paris Jozef Gjipali tenor Albania 2nd Prize 2003, Bodensee Nancy Herrera mezzo-soprano Spain Zarzuela 1996, Bordeaux He Hui soprano China 2nd Prize 2000, Los Angeles Carla Maria Izzo soprano Italy 1st Prize & Audience Prize 1997, Tokyo Maria Jooste soprano South Africa 4th Prize 2004, Los Angeles Joseph Kaiser tenor Canada 2nd Prize 2005, Madrid Hyoung-Kyoo Kang baritone South Korea 2nd Prize 2001, Washington, D.C. María Katzarava soprano Mexico 1st Prize & Zarzuela 2008, Québec Ketevan Kemoklidze mezzo-soprano Georgia Zarzuela 2008, Québec Jae Hyoung Kim tenor South Korea Zarzuela 2002, Paris Sung Eun Kim soprano South Korea 1st Prize 1995, Madrid Woo Kyung Kim tenor South Korea 1st Prize 2004, Los Angeles Anna Kiknadze mezzo-soprano Georgia Zarzuela 2002, Paris Arnold Kocharyan baritone Armenia Zarzuela 2000, Los Angeles Dmitry Korchak tenor Russia 4th Place & Zarzuela 2004, Los Angeles Maija Kovalevska soprano Latvia 1st Place 2006, Valencia Nataliya Kovalova soprano Ukraine 2nd Place & Audience Award 2004, Los Angeles Vitalij Kowaljow bass Ukraine CulturArte 1999, Puerto Rico Oksana Kramaryeva soprano Ukraine 2nd Place & Audience Award 2008, Québec Vasily Ladyuk baritone Russia 1st Place 2005, Madrid Valeriano Lanchas bass Colombia Zarzuela 2001, Washington Joshua Langston Hopkins baritone Canada 3rd Place 2005, Madrid Ekaterina Lekhina soprano Russia 1st Place 2007, Paris Chang Yong Liao baritone China 1st Place 1997, Tokyo David Lomeli tenor United States 1st Place & Zarzuela Award 2006, Valencia Israel Lozano tenor Spain 3rd Place & Zarzuela Award & Audience Award 2003, Bodensee Irina Lungu soprano Russia CulturArte 2004, Los Angeles Aquiles Machado tenor Venezuela 2nd Place & Zarzuela Award 1997, Tokyo Elena Manistina mezzo-soprano Russia 1st Place 2002, Paris Ana María Martínez soprano Puerto Rico Zarzuela 1995, Madrid Elisaveta Martirosyan soprano Georgia Audience Award 2001, Washington, D.C. John Matz tenor United States 2nd Place & Zarzuela Award 2002, Paris David Menendez Diaz baritone Spain 3rd Place 2005, Madrid Carlos Moreno tenor Spain 3rd Place 1996, Bordeaux Maki Mori soprano Japan 3rd Place 1998, Hamburg Inva Mula soprano Albania Winner 1993, Paris Lasha Nikabadze tenor Georgia CulturArte 2001, Washington Julia Novikova soprano Russia 1st Prize & Prize of the Audience 2009, Pécs/Budapest Carmen Oprisanu mezzo-soprano Romania 3rd Place 1995, Madrid Lisette Oropesa soprano United States 3rd Place & Zarzuela Award 2007, Paris John Osborn tenor United States 1st Place 1996, Bordeaux Eric Owens bass United States 2nd Place 1996, Bordeaux Phyllis Pancella mezzo-soprano United States 2nd Place 1996, Bordeaux Olga Peretyatko soprano Russia 2nd Place 2007, Paris Ailyn Perez soprano United States 2nd Place 2006, Valencia Jossie Perez mezzo-soprano United States Zarzuela Award 2001, Washington Mikhail Petrenko bass Russia 4th Place 2004, Los Angeles Susanna Phillips soprano United States 1st Place & Audience award 2005, Madrid Robert Pomakov bass Canada 3rd Place 2000, Los Angeles Dmytro Popov tenor Ukraine 2nd Place 2007, Paris Joel Prieto tenor Spain / Puerto Rico 1st Place & Zarzuela Award & CulturArte 2008, Québec Sabina Puertolas soprano Spain Zarzuela Award 2003, Bodensee Diogenes Randes bass Brazil 2nd Place 2005, Madrid Alessandra Rezza soprano Italy 2nd Place 2001, Washington Angel Rodriguez Rivero tenor Spain Zarzuela Award 1997, Tokyo Rafael Rojas tenor Mexico Zarzuela Award 1995, Madrid Trevor Scheunemann baritone United States 3rd Place 2006, Valencia Erwin Schrott bass Uruguay 1st Place & Audience Award 1998, Hamburg Carine Sechehaye mezzo-soprano Switzerland Zarzuela Award 2007, Paris Jung-Hack Seo baritone South Korea 2nd Place 1997, Tokyo In-Sung Sim baritone South Korea Zarzuela Award 2004, Los Angeles Daniil Shtoda tenor Russia 2nd Place 2000, Los Angeles Carmen Solis Gonzalez soprano Spain CulturArte 2007, Paris Nina Stemme mezzo-soprano Sweden Winner 1993, Paris Xiu Wei Sun soprano China 3rd Place 1997, Tokyo Karoly Szemeredy baritone Hungary 3rd Place 2008, Québec Lynette Tapia soprano United States 1st Place & Audience Award 1996, Bordeaux Masako Teshima mezzo-soprano Japan Winner 1994, Mexico City Ludovic Tezier baritone France 2nd Place 1998, Hamburg Dimitra Theodossiou soprano Greece 2nd Place & Audience Award 1995, Madrid Virginia Tola soprano Argentina Zarzuela & Audience Awards 2000, Los Angeles Rolando Villazón tenor Mexico 2nd Place & Audience & Zarzuela Awards 1999, Puerto Rico Vittorio Vitelli baritone Italy 3rd Place 1996, Bordeaux Dimitry Voropaev tenor Russia 3rd Place 2004, Los Angeles Karen Vuong soprano United States Cultuarte 2006, Valencia Yali-Marie Williams soprano Puerto Rico 3rd Place 1999, Puerto Rico Elena Xanthoudakis soprano Greece / Australia 3rd Place 2008, Québec Guang Yang mezzo-soprano China 1st Place 2001, Washington, D.C. Tae Joong Yang baritone South Korea 1st Place 2007, Paris Kwangchul Youn bass South Korea Winner 1993, Paris Miguel Angel Zapater bass Spain 1st Place 1995, Madrid Official website Official Website of Operalia, The World Opera Competition