• Twenty six candidates from seven countries applied for Italy auditions
• Applications for the VI CICAK 2017 closed on 1 July, with 100 entries from 22 countries received for all the rounds
• The next stage of the competition will be held on 21 and 22 September at Auditorio Alfredo Kraus, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, venue for the third preliminary round
Fundación Internacional Alfredo Kraus and Gran Canaria Island Council have announced that 12 applicants were chosen at the preliminary round of the VI Concurso Internacional de Canto Alfredo Kraus 2017 at the Opera of Florence (Italy), held on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 July. The successful applicants join the seven singers chosen at the Madrid auditions.
All of these candidates, plus the applicants who pass the third preliminary round at Auditorio Alfredo Kraus (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), on 21 and 22 September, will go on to the semi-final, on 25 and 26 September at the same venue. More than 30 candidates who qualified as finalists in other international competitions have entered the semi-final directly, as they are exempt from participating in the preliminary rounds in accordance with the rules. This brings the estimated number of contestants who will perform before the jury chaired by mezzo-soprano Teresa Berganza to 50.
For the auditions of the second preliminary round of VI CICAK 2017, at the Opera of Florence, 26 candidates of seven nationalities applied. After 24 had performed (two stood down due to illness), the judges cast votes from two to nine points and considered applicants with a score of seven or more eligible to enter the semi-final round in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The 12 contestants chosen by the judges were Eunhee Kim (Soprano / South Korea), Tommaso Barea (Bass-baritone / Italy), Eleonora Bellocci, (Soprano / Italy), Hoerim Park (Tenor / South Korea), Benjamin Cho (Baritone / South Korea), Eduardo Pialli (Baritone / Colombia – Italy), Yauci Yanes (Tenor / Spain), Lena Kutzner (Soprano / Germany), Qianming Dou (Baritone / China), Cecilia Gaetani (Mezzo-soprano / Italy), Chiara Mogini (Soprano / Italy) and Manuel Rodríguez Remiro (Tenor / Spain).
The judging panel comprised Rosa Kraus Ley, Chair of Fundación Internacional Alfredo Kraus, and Mario Pontiggia, artistic director of the Foundation, and from the Opera of Florence, maestro Gianni Tangucci, coordinator of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Academy, and Giovanni Vitali, head of cultural promotion. The judges were joined by Laura Kraus Ley, member of the Alfredo Kraus Foundation.
During the first day of auditions, Rosa and Laura Kraus Ley were received by the intendant of the Opera of Florence, Cristiano Chiarot, with whom they reminisced about the artistic links of Alfredo Kraus with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theatre: two tours to Spain in 1961, 19 productions starting in 1962 and four recitals, the last in 1996. They also had the chance to learn about the project to recover the sound recordings of historic evenings by Alfredo Kraus at Teatro Comunale, such as Werther and Lucrezia Borgia, which MMF is retrieving from its archives to make available to today’s public. Intendant Chiarot, a great admirer of Kraus, indicated his firm intention of collaborating with Fundación Internacional Alfredo Kraus by providing MMF archive material about the tenor and raising interest among other Italian theatres where Kraus performed, including Milan, Venice, Parma, Naples and Palermo.
Candidates chosen in Madrid
The first preliminary round of VI CICAK 2017 was held on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 June in the theatre at the Madrid School of Singing. Sixteen applicants from five countries took part.
The seven contestants chosen by the judging panel were sopranos Berna Perles, Blanca Valido, María del Alba Moreno Chantar and Anna Niebla Guarinos from Spain and Olena Sloia from Ukraine; and mezzo-sopranos Olga Syniakova from Ukraine and Elizabeth Gillming from France.
The judging panel comprised the Chair of the Fundación Internacional Alfredo Kraus and the VI CICAK, Rosa Kraus Ley; the artistic director of the Singing Competition and the Foundation, Mario Pontiggia; the director of the Madrid School of Singing, Julio Alexis Muñoz, and the School's deputy director, Sara Matarranz. After hearing the applicants and casting votes from two to nine points, the judges considered those with a score of seven or more eligible to enter the semi-final round in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Applicants for all rounds total 100
Applications for all the rounds of the VI CICAK 2017 closed on 1 July. In total, 100 applications were received, far exceeding the figures for the five previous competitions. One hundred singers applied from 22 countries: Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy, Malta, Mexico, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.
After the third preliminary round at Auditorio Alfredo Kraus (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), on 21 and 22 September, the semi-final will be held at the same venue on 25 and 26 September. The finalists chosen at this event will take part in the final round, on 29 September, where the prize winners will be announced.