From the 8th to the 18th of August 2017, Oslo hosted some of the world’s most talented young singers as they competed for a place in the grand finale at the stunning Norwegian Opera & Ballet.
When the International Jury had cast their votes after the final concert, the calculations showed that the young talent Seungju Bahg, a tenor from South Korea, was the First Prize winner of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2017. The Italian tenor Giovanni Sala and the Belarusian bass Alexander Roslavets won the Second and Third Prizes, respectively. The Finalist Prizes went to soprano Ruslana Koval from Ukraine and tenor Pavel Petrov from Belarus. The award for best interpretation of Norwegian music went to Alexander Roslavets, and Christian Valle (bass-baritone, Norway) received Ingrid Bjoner's scholarship as the best Norwegian participant.
The finalists were accompanied by the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra, conducted by John Helmer Fiore. The concert was broadcast at NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation).
H.M Queen Sonja thanked the finalists from the stage:
- Dear Finalists, I am full of admiration. You have touched our hearts. Let me thank each and every one of you for your great performances tonight. We have all been thrilled. Success in this competition can be measured not only by the prizes won, but by the confidence in your artistic abilities that I hope you have gained during this competition.
The 2017 Competition
There was great international interest in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition among young singers this year, too. There were 241 applicants from 49 countries, the highest-ever number of applicants. Of these, 37 registered contestants from 20 countries participated in the preliminary rounds in Oslo. This also created interest among several embassies in Norway.
In addition to the final concert at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, the Competition hosted an Opening Ceremony in Oslo City Hall, preliminary rounds, semifinal, a masterclass in vocal technique and a concert with the Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, who won the First Prize in the 2015 Competition.
The Competition's preliminary rounds and semifinal took place at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and all rounds were open to the public. The rounds were also live streamed on our website, so that viewers from all over the world could keep up with the Competition. The announcing of the results was streamed in social media, allowing the audience to track the results.
The masterclass with the internationally acclaimed tenor, and one of the jury members in this year's Competition, Ben Hepner, and the concert with Lise Davidsen took place at the beautiful Oscarshall Palace, hosted by HM Queen Sonja. The masterclass was also live streamed on our website.
Hans Olav Brenner was the compère of the final concert at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet. The concert was also broadcast on NRK's channels. The broadcast is available in most countries via NRK's video player.
The Competition also organized two international Opera Gala concerts in Copenhagen and Moscow in November, in collaboration with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Bolshoi Theatre. Among the soloists were four of the 2017 finalists, the 2017 winner of the Ingrid Bjoner Scholarship and two previous prizewinners.
In the photo, from left to right: Giovanni Sebastiano Sala, HM Queen Sonja, Seungju Bahg, Alexander Roslavets
Photo: Marius Nyheim Kristoffersen