Domingo cancels Tel Aviv Operalia

Domingo cancels Tel Aviv Operalia


norman lebrecht

June 13, 2020

Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition for young singers, due to have been held in Israel this October, has been called off owing to the Covid pandemic.

Israel is virtually Covid-free, but there are likely to be constraints on contestants arriving from other countries.

The Operalia organisation posted:


Due to the ongoing health concerns and global uncertainty generated by the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Operalia Edition until 2021.

We are deeply saddened by this resolution but the safety and well-being of everyone involved in the planning, traveling and overall development of any given Operalia Edition, especially that of our competitors, jurors and staff are our first and foremost priorities.

To our dear audience, our friends and followers, we wish you good health and safety above all, and we hope that you will also return next year.


  • Brian L says:

    Great news, 1 year with no PD imposed singers on the opera stages and hopefully with some real talents who will make themselves noticed this time…

    • Do you mean that Operalia winners Sonya Yoncheva, Joyce DiDonato, Erwin Shrott, Nina Stemme, Rolando Villazón, Joseph Calleja, Irina Lungu, Ailyn Pérez, Lisette Oropesa, Olga Peretyatko, Angel Blue, Pretty Yende, Aida Garifullina, Lise Davidsen are not talented singers?

      Please explain why you consider these singers as not talented.

      • Peter says:

        The condition today to become a singer that performs on important stages is to go through this Operalia contest, all so many other singers do not have any “space” left, so I tend to also believe that something is not quite right there.
        Has anyone wondered why the jury is composed only by opera intendants (the same ones, who are switching places every 4-5-10 years), but with no opera singer in the jury?
        Does everybody think this is right, considering this is, after all, a singing competition…?

      • Over 32 seeking equality says:

        This contest (like too many antiquated ones) enforce AGEISM.

        Having a cutoff of 32 is HIGHLY OFFENSIVE to any adult who wishes to participate.

        Considering Placido Domingo’s HIGHLY advanced age and mountain of legal problems he should set a better example instead of slithering away.

        Today one’s talents and aptitude are superseded by youth, race, pc culture and the endless sob stories of poverty, single motherhood, jailed father, racial discrimination, etc, etc. It’s sure not producing but a handful of good singers who can’t hold a candle to those of the past. Norman bemoans this point constantly.

    • Simon M says:

      Very much agree

    • HugoPreuss says:

      Really? How exactly will “some real talents … make themselves noticed this time”? By flooding youtube? By sending tapes to the directors of closed opera houses?

      And how exactly did Doming “impose” singers onto opera stages? Are you sure that he had that amazing power, a virtual Don Corleone of the opera world? Blackmail on a global scale, with Domingo knowing dirty secrets from just about every director of opera houses worldwide?

    • sandeling says:

      and there is Brian L. again attacking Domingo. Why am I not surprised?????

    • C Rogers says:

      It’s more than pathetic that you’ve got a bug up your arse about PD. Clearly it’s an issue for you. This is why your comment says nothing and will bore or irritate people. OPERALIA is a competition to promote operatic careers. Are you a frustrated singer or a pseudo critic? You need to look at yourself. Has anyone ever told you that? How unhappy do you need to be before you look in the right direction……?

      • Shanice says:

        You need to look at the source of your own enmity as a no-talent hack.

        If you haven’t noticed, Domingo is a mere womanizer on a power trip. His voice is shot and the only baton he can barely hold these days is a stick.

        He’s been thrown out of every major opera house that used to adore him because he’s trash and waaaay too many women have come forward to expose him.

        Spain won’t even give him the time of day either.

        Mr. Rogers you are not.

  • S. Rombough says:

    I am sorry the event is cancelled. But given the nature of this virus it is for the well-being of everyone that it be cancelled

  • Anon. says:

    “Israel is virtually Covid-free”? Realy?! please check your source. With 177 new patients diagnosed in the last 24 hrs, 154 patients hospitalized (26 are in intensive care) you can hardly say that “Israel is virtually Covid-free”,7340,L-5747409,00.html

  • Mari says:

    Hope I can visit Israel next year for Operalia 2021!
    I was happy to attend Operalia 2017 in Astana and 2018 in Lisbon. So many talented young singers!
    Thanks Mr Domingo for supporting young talents.

  • Cassandra says:

    So sorry to learn about this, realising what an immense disappointment it must be for everyone concerned; myself included, enjoying the livestreamed finals.

    Yet in hindsight it might prove well-advised, given the huge logistical apparatus surrounding an enterprise like Operalia.

    Tel Aviv is hardly covid-free to date and unpredictable outbreaks of second wave C19 are likely to flare up just about anywhere over foreseeable time.

    So much is being postponed now to 2021. Let’s hope by then we’ll see a breakthrough for a vaccine and/or remedy.

  • Patrick G says:

    Cancelled 5 months in advance. Where are we going continuing like this, to bankruptcy?

    • N Barendregt says:

      Such an event needs a lot of time to organize: theater and orchester and rehearsal facilities have to be booked in advance. Hotels/flights and local transport for about 45 participators, jury-members, rehearsal- pianists and technical crew from all over the world, have to be booked for a week. So to my opinion it would have been stupid and irresponsible not to postpone it.

  • Daniela says:

    Norman Lebrecht I have always been amazed how it is possible that one blog attracts so much evil, bitterness and frustration as one can see in the comments here. Nevertheless, I would have expected that you would do something about despicable comments like the one of m31!
    Or perhaps that is “freedom of speech”??

  • Thinking aloud says:

    The venom the name of Placido Domingo generates every time it is mentioned on this forum never ceases to amaze me. I did not see the comment by m31, but the comment from Shanice does the contributor no favours. If these comments were made about the contributors they would be mortally offended. I suspect the really vehement ones would not know Domingo if they met him in the street, so why their opprobrium is so intense I cannot fathom.

    For those complaining about Operalia, it is to help young singers further their careers. The complaint about ageism is ridiculous. There has to be a cut off point if the competition is for young singers – most of whom are in their twenties.

    Some of the singers are in young artists programmes at opera houses around the world, having a panel of opera intendants and casting directors means these people see singers that they perhaps would not otherwise learn about.
    If the singers do not met the standard they are not invited to participate in the competition.
    The comment was answered perfectly about Domingo imposed singers from Operalia having no talent. The winners of the competition sometimes do not succeed in their careers for a variety of reasons,. Yet others who came second or third go on to have stellar careers-Joyce Di Donato being a good example.

    Instead of berating Domingo on a personal level, try to think of the benefit Operalia has made to opera.

    It must be a great disappointment to everyone that the competition has been postponed until2021, but the safety of everyone has to be the prime concern.