Operalia is won by … past winners

Operalia is won by … past winners


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2016

The male prize in Placido Domingo’s Operalia last night went to Keonwoo Kim, winner of the 2015 the Montreal International Musical Competition.

The female prize went to Elsa Dreisig, runner-up in the 2015 Queen Sonja Competition and winner of other prizes.

Both are considerable talents, one Korean, the other French.

But there are simply too many competitions and the same faces and voices turn up again and again.

There ought to be a rule that past winners cannot enter further competitions.

elsa dreisig

However, like Russia at the Olympics, no-one has the guts to act on principle.




  • someone says:

    Many many many congratulations!!!

    I visited the Medici website to see something else, but this competition was streamed live at the time.
    I saw only three competitors and haven’t seen any more as I was so busy.
    I’ll check it out all again soon !

    • someone says:

      If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, go to medici.tv and see it.
      I enjoyed it very much.
      They are much better than some of the ‘just famous’ singers on stage now, seriously.

      And it was a bit different.
      It was quite like a gala concert at a festival rather than a competition, every competitor seemed to enjoy it.

      If anyone wants to complain about the faces turning up again and again at competitions, kick the ‘just-famous’ ones out and give them a job.
      Then they’ll happily disappear from the competition stage to appear on the real stage.

  • someone says:

    It’s not a having-the-guts-or-not problem, I think.
    This is the reality.
    Not everyone has connections or supporters like only some have.

    They need to have their names known, and they want to have opportunities to perform on stage, which are often given as part of the prizes.
    That’s why they enter a competition and another competition, and again another after that.

    Who can throw stones at them?
    If you want to criticise them, your first target should Trifonov, whom you call the pianist for the rest of our lives, as he entered even more competitions and won.

  • Fernando says:

    Ms. Dreisig’s performance yesterday was impressive indeed, both the Roméo et Juliette aria (Amour, ranime mon courage) and the zarzuela piece. Overall level was high, with many interesting voices. Russian tenor Bogdan Volkov, for example, sang Lensky’s aria beautifully, a role he has already performed at the Bolshoi. Keonwoo Kim chose Rossini’s difficult aria Asile héréditaire, from Guillaume Tell, a safe way to win a contest, if it’s well sung.

  • Fiona Janes says:

    So does that mean if you’ve won a sporting event or medal at the Olympics you can’t enter again? What if you’ve won Wimbledon or the US open? How ridiculous. This is a killer of a profession and you need all the help you can get, and money, to survive and maintain a career. Good luck to them and their careers I say. Enter what you like.
    One competition win does not always make a career.

  • John Whitehead says:

    Though I don’t know as much as I think I do about the business side of opera (LOL), it seems to me that multiple wins can be of value to managers in assessing consistency and, honestly, the ability to engage an audience.

  • OperaGene says:

    I’d like to put in a word for the opera fan. I think opera singers get way to little promotion and build up. How about Slipped Disc doing an annual review of the year’s competitions and point out the top ten young male and female talents emerging. Right now when I look at the singers who will be performing at an opera I will be attending in my region of the country, other than for known big stars, I have very little information to know if I should be excited to have a chance to hear them or not. Right I mainly have to judge whether I want to hear a specific opera. I’d like to be more able to look forward to hearing specific singers