Two Korean sopranos participate in Domingo opera competition

August 27, 2014
Placido Domingo, second from right, discusses the Placido Domingo Operalia competition at a press conference held Tuesday. (Kim Young-jae / The Korea Times)

Placido Domingo, second from right, discusses the Placido Domingo’s Operalia competition at a press conference held Tuesday. (Kim Young-jae / The Korea Times)

Two Korean sopranos are competing in a worldwide opera competition, Placido Domingo’s Operalia, which kicked off Monday and ends Saturday.

Held inside Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles and hosted by Los Angeles Opera, the annual competition is in its 22nd year and has seen numerous Korean opera stars on its stage, including bass Yoon Kwang-chul, soprano Kim Sung-eun, tenor Kim Woo-kyung and baritone Yang Tae-joong.

This year marks the first time since 2004 that the competition has returned to Los Angeles.

Forty applicants from 17 countries were chosen out of 1,000, among them sopranos Choi Jung-won, 29, and Park So-young, 28.

The final 10 competitors will perform at a final gala concert on Saturday. The top prize, awarded to one male and one female, is $30,000; second place is $20,000; and third place is $10,000. In addition, the Birgit Nilsson prize, also awarded to one male and one female, is $15,000. Other prizes include the Pepita Embil Domingo Prize of Zarzuela and the Don Placido Domingo, Sr., Prize of Zarzuela, both $10,000.

The Operalia was founded in 1993 by Placido Domingo.

“The Operalia is a competition all opera singers want to participate in the most,” Choi said. “Now that I’m here, I have a lot to learn from the competitors, who are all professionals performing around the world.”

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