Placido Domingo's World Opera Competition OPERALIA Comes To The Czech Republic For The First Time

By: Jun. 12, 2019

OPERALIA, the international Opera competition founded by Plácido Domingo in 1993, will be presented in the Czech Republic for the very first time this summer. The competition will take place at the historical National Theatre in Prague, considered the prime stage in the Czech Republic. The theatre is one of the symbols of the country's national identity and counts more than 130 years of independent artistic performances. The theatre has welcomed many renowned international artists onto its stage and thanks to a long-term partnership with the Domingo-Mozart-Prague organization; exceptional events with Plácido Domingo have been taking place since 2017. The Domingo-Mozart-Prague organization and the National Theatre now welcome the 27th edition of the prestigious OPERALIA competition from 21 to 26 July, 2019. The competition will feature 40 competitors from 20 different countries, including Czech soprano, Zdislava Bockova.

OPERALIA has been searching for new generations of talented young opera singers for more than 25 years. The first Edition was held in Paris in 1993 and the competition has since traveled across the globe to cities including Madrid, Bordeaux, Mexico City, Tokyo, Hamburg, Quebec, Budapest, Milan, Moscow, Beijing, Verona, Los Angeles, London and Guadalajara. Last year, OPERALIA was hosted by the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon, as part of the celebrations of the theatre's 225th year anniversary.

The worldwide competition has already served as a launch pad for many world-renowned artists. The long list of artists who have won OPERALIA awards naturally, attest to its success in discovering, nurturing and launching the careers of great and talented artists. Some of the winners who have firmly established themselves in the world of opera include the great Swedish soprano Nina Stemme, the enchanting mezzo-soprano from the United States, Joyce DiDonato, the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, Puerto-Rican soprano Ana María Martínez, the Mexican tenors Rolando Villazón and Arturo Chacón-Cruz and of course, one of today's most sought-after soprano from Bulgaria, Sonya Yoncheva.

Operalia draws singers from around the world, ranging in ages from 18 to 32, in all the voice categories, so they may be heard by a panel of judges formed by distinguished international opera artistic administrators and casting directors. Hundreds of eager applicants submit their applications every year, out of which only 40 are chosen to compete before a jury of 10 industry professionals, such as Jonathan Friend, Peter Katona and Joan Matabosch, Artistic Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, Casting Director of the Royal Opera House in London, and the Artistic Director of the Teatro Real in Madrid, respectively.

The 40 contestants this year come from 20 different countries, including Argentina, Canada, Guatemala, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Sweden, South Africa and the United States. The group is prominently formed by sopranos and tenors, with a good representation of mezzo-sopranos and baritones. Three basses, a bass-baritone, a contralto and countertenor complete the roster. The accommodation for the contestants and Operalia guests will be provided by the InterContinental hotel in Prague.

The Jury, presided over by Plácido Domingo as a non-voting mediator, will gather in Prague to listen to the 40 singers during the two days of quarterfinals, followed by a semi-final of 20 contestants. The number will then be reduced to 10 finalists who will compete at the Final Round held on 26 July at the National Theatre in Prague, accompanied by the National Theatre Orchestra. Maestro Plácido Domingo will conduct this concert.

Rolex is once again proud to present OPERALIA, the World Opera Competition, for the 18th consecutive year, perpetuating its commitment to the arts. Plácido Domingo has been a Rolex Testimonee since 1982, and Rolex is delighted to extend its support to the exceptionally gifted young performers who share its quest for excellence and perfection.

The OPERALIA competition organized by the National Theatre and the Domingo-Mozart-Prague organization will be supported by the Czech Republic's Ministry of Culture, Prague City Hall, ?EPS, CzechTourism and the State Fund for Culture of the Czech Republic.