I am exceptionally glad that after a four-year break due to the unfortunate COVID-19 pandemic, we have once again managed to organize this extremely important competition, as much for theatres in the region as for the young singers who wish to present their qualities and launch their careers. This type of international event, especially this one named after one of the world’s greatest prima donnas of the 20th century, attracts a large number of excellent young artists from all over the world who can greatly contribute to the quality of theatrical performances, as we had the opportunity to experience in the three competitions held in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Engaging the winners of the Competition in its productions is a good practice the Rijeka Theatre has made the most of, and I believe others in the area will follow suit. That is why this year, in addition to the jury which includes new general manager of the Zagreb Theatre Iva Hraste Sočo, general manager and artistic director of the Rijeka Theatre Marin Blažević and chief conductor of the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra Valentin Egel, we have also invited the director of the Ljubljana Opera, Marko Hribernik, as well as the director of the Maribor Opera, Simon Krečić, who will conduct the final concert. The doors of the “Zinka Milanov” International Competition for Young Singers are, of course, open to all interested participants between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-six.
We tried to put together a jury that would include both opera directors and casting managers and opera agents, thus offering young singers the opportunity to embark on diverse paths in their unique careers.
This type of competition helps inform and orient young people regarding their own qualities, while at the same time it is a big audition that would otherwise be far more costly for everyone involved.
The Zinka Milanov International Competition is also special in that it is accompanied by additional content such as opera performances and masterclasses, held this year by the famous opera diva Cheryl Studer and director Fabrizio Melano from the Metropolitan.
Furthermore, since all stages of the competition are open to the public, it is also an opportunity for candidates to interact with the audience, which is the most important element of the singing vocation, anyway. I therefore cordially invite all opera lovers to join us at this extraordinary and interesting event, the only one of its kind in Croatia.