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The winners of Armel Opera Competition 2019

The winners of Armel Opera Competition 2019

The winners of this year’s competition have been announced.

When founded 12 years ago, Armel Opera Festival undertook a bold venture. Its goal was to create an international opera event featuring opera rarities and, above all, contemporary works, combined with an international talent competition for opera singers.

This year the festival organized five productions again – one each from Iceland, Belgium, Ecuador, and two from Hungary - in Müpa in Budapest and in MuTh Theater in Vienna from July 2 to July 6.

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Don Giovanni

Like every year, an international jury evaluated the performances and the opera singers in the competition roles.

Members of the Jury:

Bernard Faivre D'Arcier, former President of Avignon Festival, Deputy Director of the Lyon Biennale, President of the Carolyn Carlson Company - France.

Jose Correia, Program Director, ARTE and ARTE CONCERT - France, Paris

Julia Desbruslais, Director, London Mozart Players - United Kingdom, London

Joel Fram, International Music Sound Engineer, Conductor - United States

David Sulkin, OBE, Director of Artist Development, British National Opera Studio - London

Gergely Vajda, Music Director of Huntsville Symphony, Permanent Guest Conductor of the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Program Director of Eötvös Péter Contemporary Music Foundation, Artistic Director of Armel Opera Festival - Budapest / Huntsville

Chairman of the Jury:

Henry Little, CEO of Opera RARA, Chairman of the National Opera Coordination Committee - London.

The opening performance on July 2 was the production of the Icelandic Opera House at the MÜPA Festival Theater. Daníel Bjarnason’s contemporary opera Brothers was directed by Kasper Holten.

On the second day, we saw a performance by the Muziktheater Transparant (Belgium), again at the Müpa. The opera The Diary of One Who Disappeared was written by  Janáček-Ivo van Hove-Annelies Van Parys, the director was Ivo van Hove.

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The Diary of One Who Disappeared

On the third and fourth day in Vienna, Armel presented two Hungarian productions. Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro was performed by the Symphony Orchestra of the National Theater of Győr, in the directon of Máté Szabó, under the baton of Ádám Medveczky. The premiere of Marcell Dargay’s and Csaba Horváth’s opera Away, no matter where was held at the MuTh Theater, with the artists of the Forte Company, directed by Csaba Horváth.

On the closing day, on July 6, Mozart's Don Giovanni was presented at the Müpa by a company from a distant country. The director was Róbert Alföldi, the performance was a co-production of the Ecuadorian-Hungarian Art Foundation and Armel Opera Festival. At the Budapest performance, the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Tibor Bogányi. This performance featured the three singers who received their roles at the Armel Opera Competition last year: Katharine Dain as Donna Anna, Ricardo Panela as Leporello and Mark van Arsdale as Don Ottavio.



Janáček - Ivo van Hove - Annelies Van Parys: The Diary of One Who Disappeared

Muziktheater Transparant (Belgium)

Director: Ivo van Hove

The award was presented by Henry Little, President of the Jury.

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Ricardo Panela - Leporello

Mozart: Don Giovanni

Co-production of MusArtEH (Ecuador) and Armel Opera Festival

Director: Róbert Alföldi

The award was presented by Julia Desbruslais, Director of London Mozart Players.

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Based on votes cast on ARTE Concert channel

Mozart: Don Giovanni

Director: Róbert Alföldi

The award was presented by Bernard Faivre D'Arcier.

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For creating the production of Mozart's Don Giovanni, and for the promotion of opera genre in Ecuador. The jury recognized the historic significance of this commitment.

The award was received by Xavier Rivadeneira, President of the Ecuadorian-Hungarian Art Foundation, from the Chairman of the Jury.


photos: Anett Kállay-Tóth