Semi-Finalists of Placido Domingo’s Operalia Are Announced

25 names of semifinalists of the world’s most famous classical vocal competition, which for the first time in its 25-year history is held in Kazakhstan within the framework of the cultural program of the EXPO-2017 under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan, were announced.


During the two days of quarterfinals, the competent international jury evaluated the performances of 40 best young singers from 17 countries. On Wednesday, July 26, 25 participants of the semi-final round will compete for the chance to go all the way through to the final.

The semi-final round, which will take place at the Astana Opera’s main Hall, will be broadcast live on Tengrinews TV and Operalia’s official page in Facebook, beginning at 16:30.


The list of semi-finalists includes three participants from Kazakhstan – the soloist of the Astana Opera, laureate of numerous international competitions, magnificent soprano Maria Mudryak, and wonderful baritones Stanislav Li and Rassul Zharmagambetov. Mihail Mihaylov (tenor, Bulgaria), Boris Prýgl (bass-baritone, Czech Republic), Damiana Mizzi (soprano), Marco Ciaponi, Davide Giusti (tenors), Emanuele Cordaro (bass, Italy), Nozomi Kato (mezzo-soprano, Japan), Joanna Zawartko (soprano, Poland), Sooyeon Lee, So Young Park (sopranos), Seungju Bahg (tenor), Leon Kim (baritone, Republic of Korea), Adela Zaharia (soprano, Romania), Vlada Borovko, Elena Guseva, Kristina Mkhitaryan, Oksana Sekerina (sopranos), Victoria Yarovaya (mezzo-soprano, Russia), Levy Sekgapane (tenor, South Africa), Rupert Enticknap (countertenor, UK), Ruslana Koval (soprano, Ukraine), Emmett O’Hanlon (baritone, USA) will also continue to compete for victory.

Maria Mudryak (soprano) and Stanislav Li (baritone, Kazakhstan), Damiana Mizzi (soprano), Marco Ciaponi, Davide Giusti (tenors, Italy), Sooyeon Lee, So Young Park (sopranos), Seungju Bahg (tenor), Leon Kim (baritone, Republic of Korea), Adela Zaharia (soprano, Romania) and Levy Sekgapane (tenor, South Africa) will be competing for Pepita Embil de Domingo and Don Plácido Domingo Ferrer Prizes of Zarzuela (Spanish lyric-dramatic genre).


Director of Casting of the Royal Opera House (London, United Kingdom) Peter Mario Katona has been a member of the jury since 1999, and for the last 19 years he has been traveling with the competition to the world’s leading opera houses. P.M. Katona notes that the 25th anniversary season, held in Astana, has the same stable level of excellence, which distinguishes Operalia from all other competitions.

It was definitely tough to choose the semi-finalists, because there are very fine singers that we have here in Astana. There is a particularly strong league of sopranos and it will be very difficult to reduce their number to four for the finals. It is very impressive to hear the talented participants from Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe and it is particularly good that they are strongly represented here this time. I am sure that we will have very strong results at the end,” said Peter Mario Katona.

Rolex is proud to present Operalia, the World Opera Competition, for the 16th consecutive year, perpetuating its commitment to the arts. Plácido Domingo has been a Rolex Testimonee since 1982, and Rolex is delighted to extend its support to the exceptionally gifted young performers who share its quest for excellence and perfection.

Learn the competition guidelines and follow the news on the Operalia website (

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