30 June 2022

Of over a hundred applications from all over the world, seventy candidates will be participating in this year’s “Zinka Milanov” International Competition for Young Singers! This year is the fourth installment of the competition named after one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century, the longtime prima donna of the New York Metropolitan and one of the famous five sopranos: Callas-Milanov-Tebaldi-Schwarzkopf-Nilsson.

We are pleased to publish this list of the many countries from which this year’s candidates will come to Rijeka to compete for prestigious awards from July 8 to 14, 2022: Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Moldova, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United States!

All will have the opportunity not only to get to know our Theatre and to collaborate with the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra, but also to experience the beauties and culture of Rijeka and Kvarner, thanks to the co-financiers of the Competition and sponsors of the 2nd and 3rd prizes, the Kvarner Tourist Board and the Tourist Board of the City of Rijeka. The company PK-Palfinger Kran d.o.o., which has been following and supporting the work of the Theatre for years, is now the sponsor of the valuable 1st prize of the “Zinka Milanov” Competition. The competition is also co-financed by the Ministry of Culture, and the media sponsors are La Voce del popolo and Novi list.

The jury of this year’s Competition consists of eleven prominent opera artists, directors of opera houses and agents from the world of opera: Cheryl Studer, the famous American dramatic soprano, Iva Hraste Sočo, soprano and new general manager of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Vlatka Oršanić, artistic director of the Competition as well as a soprano and professor at the Department of Singing at the Music Academy in Zagreb, agents Silvana Sintow Behrens, founder of Classicalia International Promotions and Management, and Mariano Horak, founder of the Ammann-Horak Agency in Zurich, Patrick Wurzel, artistic director of the Chemnitz Opera House, Tobias Truniger, musical director of the Bayerische Staatsoper Opera Studio, Christian Carlstedt, casting advisor to numerous opera houses in Germany, Fabrizio Melano, director and witness to the time in the Metropolitan Opera in which great stars such as Zinka Milanov, Maria Callas, Richard Tucker and others sang, Marin Blažević, general manager and artistic director of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc, and Valentin Egel, chief conductor of the Rijeka Opera and the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra.

In addition to valuable cash prizes, as well as the traditional Audience Awards, this year’s competition will also include special awards for the best candidates that will be awarded in cooperation with three opera houses in the region, including the opera houses in Zagreb and Ljubljana, at which Zinka Milanov (then Kunc) performed extensively in the 1930s prior to her departure to the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The special prizes, the performance of one or more selected singes in opera or concert productions, will be awarded by:
-Newly-appointed general manager Iva Hraste Sočo – Award of the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb
-Artistic director maestro Marko Hribernik – Award of the Opera of the Slovenian National Theatre in Ljubljana
-Artistic director maestro Simon Krečić – Award of the Opera of the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor
-Chief conductor of the Rijeka Symphony Orchestra, maestro Valentin Egel – Award of the Opera of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in Rijeka

All finalists of the Competition will be invited to perform at the gala concert dedicated to Zinka Milanov in June 2023 at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb.

During the competition days, the candidates will have the opportunity to participate in masterclasses provided by Fabrizio Melano and Cheryl Studer, which will also be a prize for the first prize winners.

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