ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Egyptian soprano Fatma Said won both the first prize and the Doğuş Audience Prize in the 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, which was held in Hagia Eireni museum.
Egyptian soprano Fatma Said was announced the winner of the seventh-annual Leyla Gencer Voice Competition in the finals, held at Istanbul’s Hagia Irene on Sept. 20.
The final competition opened with the overture from Bellini’s “Norma,” performed by the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Pietro Mianiti. Following the opening concert, nine finalists sang arias before an audience. While the jury was voting, the audience heard the overture from Verdi’s “La Forza Del Destino.” The audience was also able to vote for the Doğuş Public Award.
Italian soprano Mirella Freni, acting as jury president, announced the night’s winners. Said, a soprano from Egypt was the big winner of the competition, with soprano Ludmilla Bauerfeldt of Brazil
in second place and Jessica Rose Cambio of Italy and the U.S. coming in third.
Said was also invited to participate in the D-Marin Turgutreis International Classical Music Competition. The Accademia del Teatro alla Scala Special Prize, a new award introduced this year to grant a three-month scholarship to a finalist in the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, went Romanian soprano to Irina Ioana Baiant.
Numerous journalists from Turkey followed the 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition, as well as editors and critics from international opera magazines including Opera Now, Opera Magazine, Opernwelt, Opernglas, Der Neue Merker and Opera Forum. The competition was broadcast live on Skytürk360.
The jury for this year’s Leyla Gencer Voice Competition included Paolo Arca, artistic director of the Quartetto Society; Fortunato Ortombina, artistic director of Teatro la Fenice; Opera Magazine Editor John Allison; Vincenzo Scalera, pianist and teacher at the Accademia Teatro alla Scala; Vincenzo di Vivo, artistic director of the Accademia d’Arte Lirica di Osimo, Teatro Verdi board member, and artistic director of Eurobottega; and Yetka Kara, chief director of Turkey’s State Opera and Ballet.
Preliminary auditions for the 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition were held in London, Vienna, Madrid, Milan and Istanbul. The preliminary jury selected 40 competitors from 22 countries out of a total of 176 applicants, who performed in the Istanbul quarterfinals on Sept. 16-17. Twenty were selected for the semi-finals, from among whom the nine finalists were chosen.