Opera singer Gencer voice competition finals begin in Istanbul

Opera singer Gencer voice competition finals begin in Istanbul

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Opera singer Gencer voice competition finals begin in Istanbul

The public semi-finals in Leyla Gencervoice competition will be held on Sept 18 at Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall.

The seventh-annual Leyla Gencer Voice Competition will continue with the finals, to be held in Istanbul Sept. 16-20. Tickets for the public performances are now on sale.

The internationally acclaimed competition, which has produced such winners as Pretty Yende, Anita Rachvelishvili, Nino Machaidze, and Marcello Alvarez, is organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İSKV) together with the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, under the sponsorship of the Doğuş Group and Garanti Bank, and with support from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and contributions from Borusan Holding.

The public semi-finals in the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition will be held on Sept. 18 at 11 a.m. at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall, and the finals will take place Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Hagia Eirene Museum.

Preliminary auditions for the Leyla Gencer Voice Competition were held in six European countries with specially tailored juries including such figures as the director of the Berlin Staatsoper Opernstudio, Boris Anifantakis; assistant general manager of the Wiener Staatsoper, Rene Zisterer; Royal Opera House pianist Dawid Gowland; and Accademia Teatro alla Scala General Director Luisa Vinci, attracted a record number of young singers. Out of the 176 applicants, 40 quarter-finalists of 22 different nationalities spanning Canada to China and covering a range of almost all
voices – although mostly sopranos and including one countertenor -- were chosen.

The long-awaited final series

The final series in the 7th competition will kick off on Sept. 16 with the singers performing before a jury presided over by the great Italian diva Mirella Freni and also including Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Vice-Director Vincenzo de Vivo; the artistic director of Teatro la Fenice, Fortunato Ortombina; Opera Magazine Editor John Allison; pianist Vincenzo Scalera; and Turkish State Opera and Ballet Chief Director Yekta Kara.

Following the quarterfinals, which are closed to the public, the competition will open its doors to audiences for the semi-final Sept. 18. The grand final of the competition will take place in the historical and magnificent atmosphere of the Hagia Eirene Museum on Sept. 20. The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Italian conductor Pietro Mianiti, will accompany the finalists.