Korean soprano and tenor win the 51st Francesc Viñas International Singing Contest
The first prize of the 51st Francesc Viñas International Singing Contest, which rewards young opera performers from all over the world, was awarded recently ex aequo to Korean soprano Seyoung Park, aged 31, and Korean tenor Junghoon Kim, aged 25. British singer Anna Patalong won the second prize, while Peruvian Ximena Agurto came in third place. The award ceremony, which was held in Barcelona’s Liceu Theatre last weekend, included a concert with performances by all the winners conducted by internationally-renowned director Guerassim Voronkov and accompanied by the Liceu Symphonic Orchestra.
Barcelona (ACN).– Korean soprano Seyoung Park, aged 31, and Korean tenor Junghoon Kim are the winners ex aequo of the 51st Francesc Viñas International Singing Contest, an internationally renowned award given to young opera performers organized by Barcelona’s Liceu Opera Theatre. British performer Anna Patalong and Peruvian Ximena Argurto came in second and third place respectively. Arguto was also the winner of both audience awards: Sarsuela and Sabadell. The final ceremony consisted of a concert with the participation of all the winners conducted by famous Russian Director Guerrassim Voronkov and accompanied by the music of the Liceu Symphonic Orchestra.
Russian soprano Irina Churilova won the fourth prize, while Moldavian singer Ana Dimitriu was awarded fifth place, in memoriam of Maria Llopis. Finally, the top six was rounded off by another Korean, the baritone Joo Won Kang. This year’s jury was made up of many celebrated professionals such as Liceu’s former Artistic Director Joan Matabosch, German tenor Siegfried Jerusalem, Italian soprano Gabriella Tucci, Programming Director of Paris’ National Opera Elisabeth Pezzino, Casting Director of London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden Peter Mario Katona and Càsting Manager of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala Ilias Tzempetonidis.
The contest honors the memory of Francesc Viñas, a Catalan tenor who gained international notoriety at the end of the 19th century by playing many lead roles, mainly in Wagner operas, at concert halls and theatres all over the globe. Founded in 1963 by Doctor Jacint Vilardell, Viñas’ son in law, this competition has become one of the most important contests in the opera world. Besides the financial incentive, contestants might also obtain scholarships and contracts with prestigious classical venues.