Saturday, August 15, 2015

Barihunks Comprise one-third of Queen Sonja finalists

(Clockwise from top left) Leon Košavić, Alexey Lavrov, Andri Björn Róbertsson & Yuriy Yurchuk
When the 12 finalists take the stage at the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Norway on Sunday, August 16th, one-third of the competitors will be barihunks. Yuriy Yurchuk, Leon Košavić, Alexey Lavrov and Andri Björn Róbertsson will be joining soprano Florie Valiquette, tenor Joshua Owen Mills, soprano Anna Rajah, soprano Elsa Dreisig, mezzo Yulia Mazurova, soprano Lise Davidsen, soprano Annika Gerhards and tenor Petr Nekoranec.

The twelve finalists were chosen from 41 contenders. Each of the semifinalists will sing four works from opera and lieder given with piano accompaniment.

Barihunk Audun Iversen, who won the competition in 2007, will also give a recital with mezzo Ingeborg Schübeler Gillebo on Wednesday August 19th. will take place on Friday, August 21 with 5 finalists who will perform with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra on the Main Stage of the Oslo Opera House. The concert will be broadcast live by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation.

Yuriy Yurchuk
Ukrainian baritone Yuriy Yurchuk is a member of Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists Programme. In the 2015-16 season he will appear on Royal Opera stage as Blazes in Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse, Angelotti in Puccini's Tosca, Baron Douphal in Verdi's La traviata and Johann in Massenet's Werther. In 2008. Yurchuk was a Salsa dance champion in his native Ukraine.

Leon Košavić
Leon Košavić began his vocal education at the age of twelveand continued with his studies at The Academy of Music in Zagreb. In 2011 he made his professional debut at The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb as Papageno where he later performed as Moralés. This year,  Kosavic was named Young Musician of the Year by The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra and the Emmerich Smola Award. In October, he will be performing Dr. Malatesta in Donizeetti's L'elisir d'amore at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.

Alexey Lavrov
Russian native Alexey Lavrov studied voice at the Republican Art College and the St. Petersburg State Conservatory. A recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Lavrov made his Met company debut in the 2012-13 season as the Herald in Verdi's Otello and the Flemish Deputy in Verdi's Don Carlo and has since appeared as there as Count Dominik in Strauss' Arabella, the Huntsman in Dvorak's Rusalka and Yamadori in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. He won 1st Prize at the 2014 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition and the 2010 Hariclea Darclée International Voice Competition.

Andri Björn Róbertsson
Icelandic bass-baritone Andri Björn Róbertsson was born in Reykjavík and studied languages at Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík. He studied voice at The Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Artsand then the Royal Academy of Music in London. For the last year, he has been a member of the International Opera Studio in Zürich where he performed the Sprecher and Second Priest in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Der König in Iris Ter Schiphorst's Die Gänsemagd and Brabantische Edle in Wagner's Lohengrin. On September 30 and October 2, he performs the Fifth Jew and Cappadocier In Richard Strauss' Salome with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

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