- Soprano shares international opera prize

- Soprano shares international opera prize

Twenty-five year old South African soprano, Pretty Yende, shares top honours in the Savonlinna Opera Festival International Singing Competition with 28-year old tenor, Michele Angelini, from the United States. The announcement was made following the competition’s final round in Finland on Sunday.

This award comes one year after another huge international achievement for Yende: winning all the prizes in the prestigious International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna in July 2009, thus becoming the first singer in the history of the competition to do so.

On Sunday, the Savonlinna jury decided to combine the first (20,000 euros) and the second prizes (10,000 euros from Jorma Ollila foundation) and share them between the two winners. The third prize, 5,000 euros, was won by a 24-year-old Russian soprano Elena Guseva.

In the finals Yende sang Juliet’s aria Ah! Je veux vivre from Charles Gounod’s (1818-1893) opera Romeo and Juliet, and Berenice’s recitative, aria and cabaletta from Gioachino Rossini’s (1792-1868) opera L’occassione fa il ladro. Michele Angelini sang Tonio’s aria Ah! Mes amis from Gaetano Donizetti’s (1797-1848) opera The Daughter of the Regiment and Don Ramiro’s aria Principe più non sei..Si, ritrovarla io giuro from Gioachino Rossini’s (1792-1868) opera La cenerentola.

Three other finalists, Mari Eriksmoen from Norway, Igor Bakan from Lithuania and Simon Lim from South Korea each received a consolation prize of 1,000 euros.

According to the Chairman of the Jury, the Artistic Director of Savonlinna Opera Festival Jari Hämäläinen, the profile of this competition was very high and the Jury was very pleased with the competitors already from the preliminary rounds. The 2010 Jury consisted of: ARI HÄMÄLÄINEN - Artistic Director, Savonlinna Opera Festival, ELAINE PADMORE - Director of the Royal Opera, VINCENZO DE VIVO - Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova, JONATHAN FRIEND - Artistic Administrator, Metropolitan Opera, BRUNO MICHEL - Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, ANDRÉS RODRÍGUEZ - General Director and Artistic Director, Teatro Municipal de Santiago.

Yende recently performed with superstars Andrea Bocelli and Bryan Adams in the FIFA 2010 World Cup Closing Concert. She will participate in an Opera Gala Fundraiser, Pretty Yende & Friends, in Cape Town on 11 August. Consult our What’s On calendar for details.

What's On

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