Winners of the 61st Tenor Viñas Contest

Barcelona, January 19, 2024 - The Tenor Viñas International Singing Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious competitions for young lyrical talents, has proclaimed Marcela Rahal, a 33-year-old Brazilian mezzo-soprano, and Filipe Manu, a 30-year-old tenor from New Zealand, as winners ex aequo of the 61st edition of the competition, founded in 1963.

The first prize ex aequo, sponsored by the Fundació Puig and the Fundació Gran Teatre del Liceu, carries a prize of 16,000 euros for each singer and includes a contract from the Fundació Gran Teatre del Liceu for upcoming seasons.

The second prize, of €15,000 and provided by the Group Friends of the Tenor Viñas Competition, has been awarded to 26-year-old Russian soprano Mira Alkhovik, while the third prize, of €11,000 and offered by Mrs. Cristina Bertran Salvans, has been to 31-year-old Portuguese soprano Sílvia Sequeira. The fourth prize, of €8,000, went to American bass-baritone Christian Pursell, the fifth prize, of €7,000, to the bass-baritone from the United Kingdom Ossian Huskinson, and the sixth prize, of €6,000, to Italian soprano Sabrina Sanza.

The eighteen finalists have been chosen from more than five hundred participants from fifty-six different countries. They performed in the Final Test of the competition held this Friday at the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Following the conclusion of the Final Audition, soprano Gemma Summerfield, the recipient of the Tenor Viñas 2022 first grand prize, presented a recital accompanied by pianist Soojeong Joo.

The jury's verdict was made public in the Foyer of the Gran Teatre del Liceu and was available for streaming through the Liceu+ platform.

An internationally renowned jury 
Comprising the artistic directors of some of the world's most significant opera theaters and distinguished personalities from the singing world, such as:

•    Víctor Garcia de Gomar, artistic director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; 
•    Damià Carbonell Nicolau, artistic administrator of the Dutch National Opera; 
•    Alessandro Galoppini, casting director of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan; 
•    Tobias Hasan, artistic director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin; 
•    Peter Mario Katona, casting director at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London; 
•    Bernd Loebe, mayor and general director of the Oper Frankfurt; 
•    Joan Matabosch, artistic director of the Teatro Real in Madrid; 
•    Brian Speck, artistic administrator of the Metropolitan Opera in New York; 
•    José Van Dam, bass-baritone appointed by the Paris Opéra National to represent said theater
•    The soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who participates thanks to the patronage of the Coca-Cola Company; 
•    The pianist Roger Vignoles.


The Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest

Promoted by the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest is considered one of the most important competitions in the world for young lyrical talents. Its purpose is to discover, support and promote new voices in the lyrical field, in the categories of opera, oratorio and Lied.

The Contest is named after Francisco Viñas (1863-1933), one of the most international Spanish opera figures of his time, who always had the concern of promoting young singers at the beginning of their careers.

The Contest reflects this commitment and has become a platform and source of inspiration for new generations of performers, amplifying the early stages of participants' careers from various international venues to the final phase held in Barcelona. Participation represents more than just the prospect of winning an award and gaining personal recognition; it entails making oneself known and placing one’s talent under the spotlight of the professional environment that can significantly impact any performer’s life.

For more than 60 years, more than 15,000 singers from more than 116 countries have participated in the Contest, averaging more than 500 entries per edition in the last decade. Notably, it has brought attention to individuals who have made or are making significant careers, including names such as: Vicente Sardinero, Elena Obraztsova, Kurt Rydl, Alicia Nafé, Helga Müller-Molinari, Dalmau González, Enedina Lloris, Sumi Jo, Olga Borodina Lado Ataneli, Violeta Urmana, Aquiles Machado, Russell Thomas, Tamara Wilson, Sara Blanch, Carles Pachón, Freddie de Tommaso, Serena Sáenz, and Ivan Ayon-Rivas, among others.

Illustrious figures have graced the Contest’s jury panel, including Victoria de los Ángeles, Renata Tebaldi, Montserrat Caballé, Eva Marton, Teresa Berganza, Giulietta Simionato, Franco Corelli, Giuseppe di Stefano, Joan Sutherland, Virginia Zeani, Magda Olivero, Carlo Bergonzi and Renata Scotto, among many others.

Winners of the 60th Tenor Viñas Contest

Barcelona, ​​January 27th 2023 - The Tenor Viñas International Competition, one of the most important in the world for young lyrical talents, has announced Yewon Han as the First Prize winner of the 60th edition of the competition, in the year that marks six decades since its first edition.

The South Korean soprano, 24 years old, already participated in last year's edition, obtaining the “Mercedes Viñas” Extraordinary Prize -offered by Ms. Teresa Vilardell- and the Internationale OpernWerkstatt scholarship.

Han graduated from the Graduate School of Music at Seoul National University in 2021 and then attended a Young Artist Development Program at the Korean National Opera. She is currently completing her training at the Zurich Opera House.

In hes musical career he has played roles such as Amahl (Opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, by Gian Carlo Menotti at Seoul’s Sejong Center), Lauretta (Opera Gianni Schicchi at Seoul’s Opera) or Papagena (Opera Die Zauberflöte at Art Center Incheon).

The first prize is offered by the Puig Foundation and the Gran Teatre del Liceu Foundation and has an endowment of 25,000€. In addition, it includes a contract for the coming seasons with the Gran Teatre del Liceu Foundation.

The second prize of 15,000€ and offered by the group Amics del Concurs Tenor Viñas, went to the 33-year-old Ukrainian soprano Yulia Merkudinova, while the "Maria Esperança Salvans Piera” third prize, of 11,000€ and offered by Ms. Cristina Bertran Salvans, went to the 23-year-old German soprano Ann-Kathrin Niemczyk.

The fourth prize of 8,000€, offered by Verse, the Real Cercle Artístic de Barcelona, in memoriam of Javier Villavecchia and Marta Obregón and offered by Villasa S.L., went to the United States tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro (31 years old). The fifth prize of 7,000€ and offered by the group Amics del Concurs Tenor Viñas, was for the Russian soprano Julia Muzychenko (28 years old). Finally, the sixth prize of 6,000€, offered by the group Amics del Concurs Tenor Viñas, Mr. Joaquim Zamacois and Ms. Patricia Malet, was won by Erika Baikoff, a 28-year-old soprano born in the United States.

All of them were among the 17 finalists who performed this Friday at the final stage of the competition, which took place at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. These finalists were from 11 different countries, being South Korea, the United States and Germany the most represented, with 3 singers each. 

Once the performances had concluded, the jury deliberated and announced the names of the winners in a verdict that could also be followed by streaming through the Liceu+ platform. Immediately after the finalist’s performances, the soprano Sumi Jo, winner of the competition in 1985, gave a recital accompanied on the piano by Rodrigo de Vera.

Winners of the 59th Tenor Viñas Contest

The British soprano Gemma Summerfield, age 31, has won the First Prize at the 59th edition of the Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest. Summerfield graduated in 2016 from the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio and has continued to work in close collaboration with British singer Rosa Mannion. Among the notable roles she has played are Mimì (La bohème, Northern Ireland Opera), Nanetta (Falstaff, Scottish Opera), Pamina (The Magic Flute, Glyndebourne & Scottish Opera), Paula Jordan (Dinner at Eight, Wexford Festival Opera) Rodelinda (Rodelinda, cover, English National Opera) Michal (Saul, cover, Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Ginevra (Ariodante) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). Three years ago, the British soprano received the First Prize at the Concorso Lirico Internazionale de Portofino.

The Second Prize went to the French mezzo-soprano Eugénie Joneau, 26 years old. The South Korean tenor Seok Jong Baek, 35 years old, won the Third Prize. The official awards have been completed with the Russian bass Aleksei Kulagin (Fourth Prize), the U.S. baritone Blake Denson (Fifth Prize) and the Italian tenor Paride Cataldo (Sixth Prize).

All of them were among the 16 performers from 8 countries who performed in the final round of the competition, which took place this Friday at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Once the performances were over, the jury made the deliberation and announced the winners in a verdict that was broadcasted online. To complete the evening, the Spanish mezzo-soprano Carmen Artaza, winner of the past edition, gave a recital on the same stage.

The international jury was presided by the Liceu’s Artistic Director, Víctor Garcia de Gomar, and also integrated by: Julien Benhamou, artistic consultant and Casting Director of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence; Alessandro Galoppini, Casting Director of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Tobias Hasan, Director of the Staatsoper Unter der Linden in Berlin; Paul Hopper, assistant to the Artistic Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York; Peter Mario Katona, Director of Casting at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London; Simon Lepper, pianist; Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director of the Teatro Real in Madrid; Nelly Miricioiu, soprano (who won the Competition in 1975); Christian Schirm, Artistic Director of the Académie de l'Opéra de Paris; and Ludmila Talikova, Director of the Opera Company of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia in Moscow.

Winners of the 58th Tenor Viñas Contest

The Spanish mezzosoprano Carmen Artaza, 25, is the Grand Prize winner of the 58th Tenor Viñas International Singing Competition. She has becoming the seventh Spanish contestant to win the First Prize of the Viñas Tenor Competition, the last was the soprano Beatriz Díaz González to 2007. Artaza has received also the Mozart Prize and the Best Spanish Singer Prize.

The Second Prize had been awarded to Olga Syniakova, and the Argentinian baritone Germán Enrique Alcántara has received the Third Prize.  The other official awards have been given to the Russian baritone Vasily Sokolov (Fourth Prize), the Chinese tenor Chuan Wang (Fifth Prize), and the Russian soprano Inna Demenkova (Sixth Prize).

18 singers from a total of 477 from 55 countries took part in this year's Tenor Viñas Final Audition.

This year the international jury of the Tenor Viñas Competition has been presided by the Artistic Director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Víctor García de Gomar. The other members of the jury have been Damià Carbonell (Head of Artistic Affairs at the Deutsch National Opera), Alessandro Di Gloria (Head of Casting and Artistic Planning Director for Opera and Concerts at Teatro Massimo of Palermo), Alessandro Gallopini (Casting Manager at Teatro alla Scala of  Milan), Sonia Ganassi (Mezzo Soprano), Tobias Hasan (Director of the Staatsoper of Berlin),  Joan Matabosch (Artistic Director of the Teatro Real of Madrid), Elena Pankratova, (Soprano), Christian Schirm (Artistic Director of the Académie of the Opéra National of Paris), Christoph Seuferle (Director of Opera of the Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Ludmila Talikova (Head of the Opera Company of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia in Moscow).

In this edition up to 115,000 euros has been allocated in prizes: 77,000 euros in 6 Official Prizes; 20,000 euros in 4 Special Prizes (this prize category also includes 2 contracts); 23,000 euros in 4 Extraordinary Prizes, (this prize category also includes 9 contracts and 15 study grants). All awards are given with the intention of promoting the operatic career of young talented and capable singers.