Paris, capital of culture and art in all its forms, hosted for the first time the great lyric competition, “Paris International Opera competition”. The Finals took place on 17th October 2011 at the Theatre of Champs Elysées.
This adventure, which started 18 months before the gala concert, brought together as candidates 350 young artists from the whole world. Over 56 nationalities were represented!
The Artistic Committee of the competition made a first selection of only 20 candidates for the semi-finals. The choice was difficult, since the quality of the candidates was exceptionally high.
The semi-finals took place on the 15th October 2010 in the historic setting of the theatre of the Conservatoire d’art dramatique. It was here that in 1828 Parisians first heard the music of Beethoven: In 1830, Berlioz himself directed the creation of his Symphonie Fantastique. So, the 20 candidates sang in an extraordinary place with perfect acoustics.
By the evening of the 15th, only 8 talented finalists remained, who were then on the programme for the Theatre du Champs-Elysees, another great and prestigious concert hall; in the art-deco style and having its place alongside the auditorium of the Conservatoire d’art dramatique in historic creations, notably the Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring”, which was a scandal at the time.
The Conductor, Philippe Hui, and the Pasdeloup orchestra (which celebrated its 150th anniversary) accompanied the candidates in this final and difficult test.
The Jury, composed of both European Theatre Directors and famous international Opera-singers, such as Gabriel Bacquier, had to be prepared to make difficult choices, as for the semi-finals. The President of the Jury was Michel Frank, Director of the Theatre des Champs-Elysees.
The hall was full, the public attentive and warm, and the performances were magnificent.
Panel of judges
Michel Franck, General Director of the Théâtre des Champs Elysées - France
Patrick Marie Aubert, Chorus Master of Opéra National de Paris - France
Gabriel Bacquier, opera singer
Benoit Dratwicki, Artistic Director of the Fondazione Palazzetto Bru Zane
Toni Gradsack, Casting Director at the Zurich Opera - Switzerland
Michael Hocks, Director of the Alte Oper Francfort - Germany
Eva Kleinitz, Until July 2010, Director of the Planning and the Artistic Production at La Monnaie, from 2011-2012 season, Designated Artistic Director of the Opera of Stuttgart- Germany
Fulvio Macciardi, Head of the Artistic Department of Teatro Comunale di Bologna - Italy
Inva Mula, opera singer
Alain Perroux, Artistic Consultant and dramaturgic Consultant for the Festival of Aix en Provence – France
Emilio Sagi, Director of Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao
Sylvie Valayre, opera singer
Pierre Vernes, Founder and President of the Competition
First Prize Julia Lezhneva, soprano, Russia
Sombre forêt (Mathilda) Guillaume Tell Rossini
Tanti affetti ...Fra il padre (Elena) La Donna del Lago Rossini
Second Prize Kihwan Sim, bass, Korea
Quand la flamme de l'amour (Ralph) La jolie fille de Perth Bizet
La calunnia (Basilio) Il Barbiere di Siviglia Rossini
Third Prize Medet Chotabaev, Tenor, Kazakhstan
Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther) Werther Massenet
E lucevan le stelle (Cavaradossi) Tosca Puccini
Prix Palazzetto Bru Zane Julie Fuchs, soprano, France
Tiger (Zaïde) Zaïde Mozart
Je suis Titania la blonde (Philinne) Mignon Thomas