Six finalists rounded off the Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2021 with breathtaking performances in the Grieg Hall in Bergen 20 November. Soprano Maria Motolygina from Russia walked away with the first prize and 50 000 euros.
Maria was awarded the first prize of € 50.000. She has sung herself through three rounds of the competition over the course of 3 months. Both the preliminary round and semi-final were held live and online to accommodate for the ongoing travel restrictions due to the pandemic.
It was an immense pleasure to finally see and hear the six finalists perform live in Bergen - a huge congratulations to all of them!
Maria Motolygina performed arias from Halka by Moniuszko and Il trovatore by Verdi. The 31-year-old soprano has competed among a top-notch team of young opera singers and distinguished jury members. 501 applicants became six finalists who competed in the grand finale in Bergen 20 November. Motolygina left the stage with important career opportunities and 50 000 euros.
– Thank you so much, I am overwhelmed and happy to win the first prize in the Queen Sonja International Music Competition! It has been fantastic to be here and I am excited about the cooperation with a great conductor and a fantastic orchestra.
The second prize of € 10.000, went to baritone Badral Chuluunbaatar from Mongolia, and the third prize of € 5.000 went to soprano Inna Demenkova from Russia.
Chair of the Jury, Birgitta Svendén, presented the prizes, including a diploma with original artwork created by Her Majesty Queen Sonja awarded to the first prize winner. The finalist prizes of € 1.500 each went to soprano Erika Baikoff from USA, soprano Lydia Hoen Tjore from Norway, and bass Brent Michael Smith from USA.
Birgitta Svendén thanked the finalists from the stage:
– Being an opera singer is a difficult career path, and competitions play an important role for young singers. The Queen Sonja International Music Competition is one of the world's leading voice competitions, and attracts the top tier of today's young singers, which we truly have experienced tonight. Thank you so much to the competition and not least the six excellent finalists!
Soprano Liv Redpath from the United States of America won the Lied Award after the semi-final. Liv was originally invited to be one of this year's finalists
, but was unfortunately prevented from coming to Bergen due to another commitment.
The Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship of NOK 100.000 was awarded to the best Norwegian participant, who this year was finalist Lydia Hoen Tjore (27) from Bergen.
The prize-winners and participants have been exposed to international agents, artist managers, casting directors, orchestral programme managers and other music industry representatives during the three rounds of the competition. In the semi-final, the competition panel of Norwegian Casting Directors
listened in and will offer engagements to the singers of their choice.
Were you not in the audience for tonight's final concert? Luckily, you can watch the full livestream of the concert through BergenPhiLive
A huge thank you to the finalists, orchestra, maestro Sir Mark Elder, jury members and everyone involved for making this an evening to remember.
Photo: Helge Skodvin