Thursday, July 16, 2015

Barihunks competing in Operalia finals

Edward Parks, Bongani Justice Kubheka & Tobias Greenhalgh
Three baritones, including two barihunks familiar to readers of this site have advanced the finals of Plácido Domingo's Operalia Competition, which is being held in London this year. Edward Parks and Tobias Greenhalgh, both of the U.S., have been featured on our site before. South African Bongani Justice Kubheka is new to our site.

Edward Parks and Tobias Greenhalgh have both opted to sing Rossini's Largo al factotum from Il barbiere di Siviglia, while Bongani Justice Kubheka has chosen to sing La calunnia from the same opera.

Other finalists include tenor Julien Behr (France); soprano Andrea Carroll (USA); soprano Lise Davidsen (Norway); tenor Ioan Hotea (Romania); soprano Kiandra Howarth (Australia); soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu (South Africa); soprano Hyesang Park (South Korea); and tenor Darren Pene Pati (New Zealand). In addition to vying for the competition’s main prizes, Carroll, Hotea, Howawrth, Park and Pati will also compete for Operalia’s Zarzuela prize.

Sunday evening's Gala concert will feature Plácido Domingo conducting the orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Operalia will award two $30,000 first prizes, two $20,000 second prizes, and two $10,000 third prizes, with one male and one female singer receiving prizes in each category. In addition, one man and woman will each receive a $15,000 Birgit Nilsson prize for his or her performance of an aria by Richard Strauss or Richard Wagner. One male and one female singer will also be awarded the $10,000 Zarzuela prize, which is meant to encourage singers to work in the art form. There is also an Audience Prize.

Past Operalia winners have included Ainhoa Arteta, Nina Stemme, Brian Asawa, José Cura, Elizabeth Futral, Eric Owens, Erwin Schrott, Joyce DiDonato, Rolando Villazon, Joseph Calleja, Susanna Phillips, Ailyn Perez, Olga Peretyatko and Sonya Yoncheva.

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