Seungju Bahg (First Prize winner 2017)
Seungju Bahg is a South Korean tenor and the First Prize winner of The Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2017. He is 27 years old and comes from South Korea's second largest city, Busan. Today, he lives in Mannheim, where he attends Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.
Bahg mainly performs within the lyrical tenor repertoire. At home in South Korea, he performed in e.g. Mozart's The Magic Flute and in oratories such as Haydn's The Creation and Mendelssohn's Elijah. At The Queen Sonja International Music Competition earlier this year, he sang lyrical arias by Mozart, Donizetti, Gounod and Puccini.
In 2016, Seungju Bahg won the International Opera Singers Contest in Alcamo, Italy and the second prize at the Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition in Norrköping, Sweden. His greatest gain so far is the First Prize of 40 000 euros in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2017.
Elsa Dreisig (Second Prize winner 2015)
Photo: Camilla Sophie Storvollen
The Danish-French soprano Elsa Dreisig won the Second Prize at The Queen Sonja International Music Competition in oslo in 2015 and the first prize at Operalia in 2015. This summer, she was nominated as this year's opera talent at the Copenhagen Opera Festival.
Elsa Dreisig is raised in France and educated in Lyon and Paris. In 2015, she joined Staatsoper Berlin under the leadership of Daniel Barenboim, where she is now employed. She has also performed at l'Opéra Bastille in Paris and Opernhaus Zurich, and was a soloist at the Berliner Philharmonic's season opening with Haydn's The Creation, under the leadership of chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle.
Elsa comes from a family of singers and is the niece of the well-known Danish sopano Elsebeth Dreisig.
Ruslana Koval (Finalist Prize winner 2017)
The soprano Ruslana Koval is 27 years old and from Ukraine. She is educated at the Petro Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kiev and became part of the Young Artists Opera Programme at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2014.
At the Bolshoi Theatre, she has sung the role as Barbarina in Mozart’s Figaro’s Wedding. This summer, she debuted the role of Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto at Opernhaus Wuppertal. Her dream role is the Queen of Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, because the music from this opera is what made her wish to become a singer as a child.
Earlier this year, Ruslana was a finalist in both The Queen Sonja International Music Competition and Operalia.
Mélissa Petit (Third Prize winner 2013)
The 27-year-old French soprano Mélissa Petit is currently employed at Opernhaus Zurich. She got her breakthrough a few of years ago, with her participation in singing competitions in France and Italy, in addition to winning the Third Prize in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2013.
From 2010 to 2013, she was employed at Staatsoper Hamburg's Opera Academy, and she has performed in Hamburg several times since. She sings a wide repertoire, from baroque music by Telemann and Purcell to the 20th century operas.
This summer, Mélissa has sung the role of Micaela in Bizets Carmen
at the Bregenz Opera Festival. Upcoming performances are in the role of Marzelline in Beethoven's Fidelio
and a guest appearance in Beijing where she will sing Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette
Alexander Roslavets (Third Prize winner 2017)
Alexander Roslavets is a bass singer from Belarus. He already performed as a singer in school, but got a degree in psychology before being admitted to the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. In 2014, he became part of the Young Artists Opera Programme at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.
During his three years at the Bolshoi Theatre, he also participated in a wide range of competitions, including The Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2017, where he became the Third Prize winner. He also won the first prize at the national singing contest in Russia and the International Eva Marton Singing Competition in Budapest.
Alexander shares his time between Russia, where he performs at the Bolshoi Theater, and Germany, where he has been employed at Staatsoper Hamburg since 2016. There, he sings a wide repertoire of bass roles, from Mozart to Wagner and Puccini.
Giovanni Sebastiano Sala (Second Prize winner 2017)
The Italian tenor Giovanni Sala is 25 years old and comes from a musical family in Como. He started with music at a very early stage and performed as a boy soprano. As a 15-year-old tenor, he joined his family’s vocal group Famiglia Sala
, where he, together with his parents and four sisters, sings a mixed repertoire, from ancient church music to folk songs and evergreens.
He was educated as a classical singer in Milan, and in 2014 he debuted as Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Juan and as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. Since then, he has performed on several Italian music scenes, and under the leadership of the famous conductor Riccardo Muti.
Last year, he won the talent award at the La Scala opera house in Milan for his performance as Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Giovanni won the Second Prize in The Queen Sonja International Music Competition 2017.
Bror Magnus Tødenes (tenor, Norway)
The Norwegian tenor Bror Magnus Tødenes got his professional opera debut at the age of 21. He has already recorded a solo album, and was affiliated with Wiener Staatsoper in 2016.
Bror Magnus Tødenes played guitar before discovering his singing talent. He first graduated from Trondheim, but later on, he moved to Rome and graduated from the renowned Santa Cecilia Academy.
He got his breakthrough In 2015, when he won both the first prize and the audience prize in the Renata Tebaldi International Voice Competition, in addition to his debut at the Salzburg Festival. In 2016, he returned to Salzburg and performed in Verdis Othello
, conducted by Christian Thielemann. The same year, he performed as Steuermann in Wagner's The Flying Dutchman
at the Copenhagen Opera Festival.