Just in: Domingo to stage Operalia at Covent Garden

Just in: Domingo to stage Operalia at Covent Garden


norman lebrecht

May 05, 2015

The competition, which has yielded some major talents – Sonya Yoncheva (2010), Erwn Schrott (1998) – is coming to London for the first time in July. The finals will clash with the opening weekend of the BBC Proms.

Bad timing, Plácido. (Oh, he’s conducting, too).

domingo operalia

Press release:



“My purpose in Operalia is to help identify not only the best voices, but also to discover those singers whose personalities, characters and powers of interpretation show that they have the potential to become complete artists. Individuals such as these become tomorrow’s stars.” Plácido Domingo

Operalia, Plácido Domingo’s major international singing competition, is being hosted by Covent Garden for the first time in its 22 year history.  The competition starts on Monday 13 July with a public final at the Royal Opera House at 6pm on Sunday 19 July.

Founded in 1993 to discover and help launch the careers of today’s most promising young opera singers, Operalia is open to singers of all voice types between the ages of 18 and 32.  The competition has for over 20 years promoted artists of the calibre of Angel Blue, Joseph Calleja, José Cura, Joyce DiDonato, Carmen Giannattasio, Ana María Martínez, Ailyn Pérez, Erwin Schrott, Nina Stemme, Rolando Villazón and Sonya Yoncheva.  Contralto Claudia Huckle, who won the Birgit Nilsson Prize in 2013, is the first British singer to have been awarded a prize.

The competition – which is hosted by a different city every year – receives hundreds of applications, from which only 40 are chosen to participate and compete in front of a jury of 10 leading industry professionals including general managers and casting directors from some of the most important international opera houses.  Although Plácido Domingo does not vote himself, he is actively present throughout the competition offering advice on artistic and career development to all of the participants.  While the quarter-finals and semi-finals are closed to the public and are carried out in audition form, the competition final on Sunday 19 July will see Plácido Domingo conduct the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a Gala Concert on Covent Garden’s main stage.

Committed to excellence, elegance and consistency, Rolex is once again proud to present Plaìcido Domingo’s Operalia, the World Opera Competition, marking its 14th consecutive collaboration since 2001.

“Plácido has created this legacy of defining what our generation of singers should be about…  We watch him giving back to us as young artists and we think ok, not only are we hopefully lucky enough to have a career but there’s also an afterlife to that and we need to make sure that we’re bringing along the next generation behind us.” Joyce DiDonato



  • Alexander says:

    Hardly “just in”. Tickets for this went on sale as early as 17 February!

  • Jon says:

    The fact that the Operalia final was being held at the Opera House on 19 July was included in the Royal Opera’s season announcement over a year ago. Details have been available on the Opera House web site since then, so I am not sure why this counts as breaking news.

  • melisande says:

    Nice to read the names of so many winners of the Operalia Competition. However, I would like to add and draw the attention to the winner of 2005, viz. the American soprano Susanna Phillips, who was also awarded the Audience Prize. At that time this remarkable singer had the tender age of 24 years! Perhaps not a singer well-known in Europe, but in the U.S. and other continents her remarkable performances in opera as well as Lied are loudly applauded.