21 March 2022

At last, after a four-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic, the fourth International Competition for Young Opera Singers “Zinka Milanov” will be held again in July this year at the Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka. This competition dedicated to one of the greatest sopranos of the twentieth century, the legendary Zinka Milanov (better known in our Croatia and the region as Zinka Kunc), will once again provide an opportunity for young opera singers from around the world to present themselves to an international jury as well as the Rijeka audience.


The fourth “Zinka Milanov” International Competition for Young Opera Singers will be held from 9 to 15 July.

There is much news about this year’s competition!

Instead of the previous seven, this year we have invited nine members to the Competition Jury, prominent artists, opera house artistic directors and managers from the world of opera. Competitors will perform before Cheryl Studer, the famous American dramatic soprano; Iva Hraste Sočo, soprano and new general manager and artistic director of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb; Vlatka Oršanić, artistic director of the Competition as well as professor at the Department of Singing at the Music Academy in Zagreb; agents Silvana Sintow, founder of Classicalia International Promotions and Management and Marian Horak, founder of the Ammann-Horak Agency in Zurich; Patrick Wurzel, artistic director of the Chemnitz Opera House; Tobias Truniger, music director of the Bayerische Staatsoper Opera Studio; Christian Carlstedt, casting advisor to a number of opera houses in Germany; and Valentin Egel, chief-conductor of the Rijeka Opera and the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra.

This year’s competition will also include additional awards for the best candidates, which we are awarding in cooperation with four opera houses in the region in which Zinka Milanov (then Kunc) regularly performed before the start of her fascinating international career, marked by three decades of reigning at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. In addition to the prizes for the first, second and third place, as voted by the Jury, as well as the Audience Awards, four additional awards will be presented at the end of the Competition: the Award of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb (presented by the general manager and artistic director Iva Hraste Sočo), the Award of the Slovenian National Theatre in Ljubljana (presented by the artistic director of Ljubljana Opera, maestro Marko Hribernik), the SNG Maribor Opera Award (presented by the artistic director of the Maribor Opera, maestro Simon Krečič) and the Rijeka Opera Award (presented by the artistic director of Rijeka Opera, Filip Fak). Special prizes will include the selection of one or more singers to perform in opera or concert productions of four opera houses over the next two seasons.

The concert of the Competition finals will be conducted by maestro Simon Krečič, director of the SNG Opera in Maribor. The winners of the Competition (first three prizes) and selected finalists will be invited to perform with the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra and maestro Krečić at the Gala Concert in Zagreb, for the audience of the Croatian National Theatre, in the 2022/23 season.

An exciting accompanying program also awaits you during the Competition. The Rijeka Opera will perform three productions that will tour to the Savonlinna Opera Festival this summer: Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Gianni Schicchi and Arlecchino. For all interested participants of the Competition, we will also organize two MasterClasses with the famous Italian-American director Fabrizio Melano and opera diva Cheryl Studer.

Dear singers, Rijeka awaits you!