The award ceremony and gala concert of the winners of the International Hibla Gerzmava Singers and Accompanists Competition was held on January 22, at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre. The Grand Prix went to Alexey Kulagin, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. First prize winners are Olga Maslova and Vyacheslav Vasilyev (Russia), second prize went to Gleb Peryazev and Liwei Hou (China), third prize was shared between Ekaterina Savinkova and Maria Lupareva (Russia). Prize winners among accompanists are Russian pianists Vasily Popov (First Prize) and Mark Vaza (Second Prize) as well as Elena Vardazaryan from Armenia (Third Prize).
The in-person stage of the Competition included three rounds, held from January 13 to 20. Thirty-five opera singers and sixteen accompanists from Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Brazil, China, France, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and South Africa performed at the stage of the General Partner of the Competition, the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre. The Competition received 800 applications from young singers from 38 countries.
The judging panel for the competition included Dmitry Bertman, People’s Artist of Russia, theatre director, founder and artistic director of the Helikon Opera in Moscow, and Dmitry Vdovin, head of the Young Artist Programme of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Andrea di Amici, founder of the InArt Agency, Olga Kapanina, Casting Director of the opera troupe of the Bolshoi Theatre, Alessandro Ariosi, General Director of the Ariosi Management agency, Irina Soboleva, Honoured Artist of Russia, Artistic Director of the Opera Company of the Mariinsky Theatre, Associate Professor of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre, Alexander Titel, Artistic Director of the Opera Company and Chief Stage Director of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Music Theatre, Vasco Fracanzani, opera agent of Lerín Artists Management, and Alexey Shalashov, General Director of the Moscow State Academic Philharmonic Society. The jury was chaired by People’s Artist of Russia Hibla Gerzmava.
Hibla Gerzmava comments:
– I know firsthand how difficult it is to participate in such competitions, where you must show and prove that you are the best, so today I was worried together with each of the finalists. I am absolutely delighted that I have my team, my home theatre, an amazing jury and wonderful experts who have chosen truly worthy winners. We have had a very strong singers competition. I am also very pleased that we have managed to establish a separate competition for accompanists; we have so many young, talented accompanists, and the level of accompanists’ skills is very important for any opera performer.
The total prize fund of the Hibla Gerzmava Competition was over 12,000,000 roubles. Under the terms of the Competition organised by the Hibla Gerzmava Foundation with support of the Presidential Foundation for Cultural Initiatives, the Grand Prix winner is awarded 2.5 million roubles, and laureates in the singers category receive: First Prize – 1.5 million roubles, Second Prize – 1 million roubles, and Third Prize – 800,000 roubles each. The prizes for accompanists are distributed as follows: First Prize – 400,000 roubles, Second Prize – 300,000 roubles, and Third Prize – 200,000 roubles. In addition to the prizes for the laureates, special prizes in the form of cash awards were awarded.
At the awards ceremony on January 22, at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, the finalists received twenty-one special prizes, awarded both in monetary value and in the opportunity to make their debuts on the country’s best stages. Each of the awards will serve as a kind of career jump-start in the lives of young performers, helping them to realise their creative potential.
Special awards of the Hibla Gerzmava Competition:
1. Invitation to the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre troupe:
Alexey Kulagin, bass / Russia
2. Debut at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre:
– Olympia in Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann” – soprano from Buryatia, Zhargal Tsyrendagbaeva
– Lucia in Donizetti’s opera “Lucia di Lammermoor” – soprano from Kazakhstan, Guldana Aldadosova
– Scarpia in Puccini’s opera “Tosca” – bass-baritone from China, Yongheng Dong
– Leporello in Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni”, bass from China, Liwei Hou
– Don Giovanni in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Dappertutto/Miracle/Coppelius in Offenbach’s “The Tales of Hoffmann”: bass from St Petersburg, Gleb Peryazev
– Shaklovity in Mussorgsky’s opera “Khovanshchina” – baritone from St Petersburg, Vyacheslav Vasilyev
– Macbeth in Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” – baritone from St Petersburg, Vyacheslav Vasilyev
– Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” – soprano from Russia, Vladivostok, Olga Maslova
3. Debut at the Helikon Opera:
– Debut in Verdi’s opera “Nabucco” – Olga Maslova, soprano / Russia
– Debut in Tukhmanov’s opera “Tzarina” – Artush Poleyan, countertenor / Russia
– Debut in Verdi’s opera “La Traviata” – Dzambolat Dulaev, baritone / Russia
4. Debut on the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre:
Alexey Kulagin, bass / Russia
5. Debut on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia:
Performance on the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre – Olga Maslova, soprano / Russia
6. Special award from Andrei Konchalovsky:
Alexey Kulagin, bass / Russia and Kirill Pavlov / Russia
7. Special award from the Moscow Philharmonic – a performance at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall:
Alexey Kulagin, Olga Maslova, Vyacheslav Vasilyev, Gleb Peryazev, Liwei Hou, Ekaterina Savinkova, Maria Lupareva, Guldana Aldadosova, Jargal Zyrendagbaeva, Yongheng Dong, Damir Saduahasov.
8. Special award from the Rector of the Moscow Conservatory – concert in the Great Hall of the Conservatory accompanied by the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra:
Alexey Kulagin, bass / Russia and Olga Maslova, soprano / Russia.
Special Prize to the accompanist – German Tarazanov / Russia.
9. Special award from the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia – performance with the orchestra under the direction of Vladimir Spivakov during the festival “Vladimir Spivakov Invites”:
Liza Pakhomova, soprano / Russia, Moscow
10. Special award and cash prize of 200,000 roubles each from the Keleshbei Chachba Foundation:
Jargal Zyrendagbaeva, soprano / Russia, Moscow and Damir Saduahasov, tenor / Kazakhstan
11. Special award cash prize of 200,000 roubles each to the accompanists from L. A. Gergieva and E. M. Arefieva:
Vasily Popov, Russia / St. Petersburg and Mark Vaza, Russia / Moscow
12. Special awards from the Accompanists Guild:
participation in master classes and a collection of recordings with outstanding accompanists – Dmitry Trofimov / Russia, Elena Vardazaryan / Armenia, Marina Altukhova / Kazakhstan.
Vasily Popov / Russia – awarded with a special prize – a performance at the A.N. Skryabin Museum.
13. The Audience Award:
Jargal Zyrendagbaeva, soprano / Russia and German Tarazanov / Russia
14. Jury Prize for unique talent and a cash prize of 500,000 roubles:
Artush Poleyan, countertenor / Russia
15. Special Jury Award for extraordinary interpretation:
Dzambolat Dulaev, baritone / Russia
16. Special Prize from the Onegin National Opera Award :
Yongheng Dong / China, Damir Saduakhasov / Kazakhstan, Guldana Aldadosova / Kazakhstan, Dzambolat Dulaev / Russia
17. Special prize from Sati Spivakova:
Filming in the TV program “Sati. Not Boring Classic” – Alexey Kulagin / Russia, Mark Vaza / Russia, Olga Maslova / Russia, Artush Poleyan / Russia
18. Special prize from “Musical Life” magazine – interview in the magazine:
Alexey Kulagin, bass / Russia and Vasily Popov / Russia
19. Special prize from “Melodia” firm – recording of a chamber programme:
Alexey Kulagin, bass / Russia and Vasily Popov, Russia
20. Special Hibla Gerzmava Accompanist Award and cash prize of 300,000 roubles each:
Evgeny Sergeev / Russia and Kirill Pavlov / Russia
21. Special Hibla Gerzmava Accompanist Award and cash prize of 500,000 roubles each:
Guldana Aldadosova, soprano / Kazakhstan and Yongheng Dong, bass-baritone / China