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XI Concurso San Miguel 2019

1st prize: Ángel Macías

2nd prize: Alejandro López

3rd prize: Rodrigo Urrutia

4th prize: Denis Vélez


Finalists: Carlos Arámbula, Esteban Baltazar, Francisco Bedoy-Solórzano, Ana Luisa Morelos, Frida Portillo, Jennifer Velasco.


Invitadas especiales: Ingrid Gabriela Fuentes, Damaris Lezama, Diana Rojas.

At the start of the second decade of one of the most important operatic singing contests in Mexico, there was a group of 10 finalists, among the almost one hundred who traveled to San Miguel from all corners of the country at the beginning of January to audition.


Several characteristics distinguish Concurso San Miguel from others that are organized in the country. To begin with, its artistic director, John Bills, was a singer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for 26 years. his wife, Shari Alexander, as director of the OSM “Angels”, raises the funds that a generous and enthusiastic group of private, individual and corporate donors grants to encourage talented Mexican singers who are starting their professional careers.


For this reason, once they have been selected as finalists, they are already winners, because in the final concert absolutely everyone receives various incentives and prizes, both in cash and in kind, for their performance. In addition, during the week leading up to the contest final, everyone —including this year's three special guests: Diana Rojas, Ingrid Gabriela Fuentes and Damaris Lezama, who did not compete but sang for the audience at the end of the competition— received master classes from master-teacher Maureen O'Flynn and piano accompaniment by maestro Mario Alberto Hernández, as well as guidance for their professional development by the New York artistic representative Ken Benson, one of the members of the jury.


Other jury members included Cori Ellison, dramaturg at the Santa Fe Opera, New Mexico, and teacher at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, as well as Charles Oppenheim, editor of Pro Opera magazine and member of OSM honorary advisory board since 2012. Two additional members of the jury, Alain Nonat, founder and director of Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, a program for the development of young artists in Montreal, Quebec, and Jens Neundorff von Enzberg, intendant of Theater Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany, offered prizes, contracts and additional job opportunities for the finalists.


These were the results for 2019:


“Marion M. Kelley Foundation” first prize, $100,000 pesos: Ángel Macías, tenor, 25-years old.


“Amistad Canada” second prize, $75,000: Alejandro López, bass, 30.


Third prize, $50,000: Rodrigo Urrutia, bass-baritone, 32.


Fourth prize, $40,000: Denis Vélez, soprano, 26.


“Director's Award,” $30,000: Frida Portillo, mezzo-soprano, 30.


“Lee & Victoria Tashjian Award”, $20,000: Carlos Arámbula, baritone, 27.


“Oliver Deehan Memorial Award,” $40,000: Ana Luisa Morelos, soprano, 24.


“Herman Marcus Memorial Award,” $30,000: Esteban Baltazar, bass-baritone, 26.


Award for “Exceptional Integrity, Strength, Discipline, Tenacity and Positive Outlook”, $20,000: Ana Luisa Morelos.


“Youth Potential Award,” $15,000: Jennifer Velasco, soprano, 24.


Award for “Excellent Interpretation and Style”, $15,000: Francisco Bedoy Solórzano, tenor, 32.


“Stimulus Awards”, $10,000 each: Carlos Arámbula, Jennifer Velasco and Esteban Baltazar.


“Rosewood Audience Award”, $10,000: Ana Luis Morelos.


The following scholarships and interpreting opportunities were also offered:


Banff Center for Arts and Creativity (from Alberta, Canada), summer 2019, to sing roles in two world premieres in the program “Opera in the 21st Century”: Carlos Arámbula.


Highlands Opera Studio (from Haliburton, Ontario, Canada), to sing the role of the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss: Frida Portillo.


Conservatorio del Liceo de Barcelona (from Barcelona, Spain), master's program in opera, to sing the title role of Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti: Rodrigo Urrutia.


Direct participation in the semifinal round of the 2019 Carlo Morelli National Singing Contest (at the Palacio de Bellas Artes), presented courtesy of the director of said contest, Francisco Méndez Padilla, to: Ángel Macías.


“Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques Award”, $15,000 pesos for transportation. It offers the opportunity to audition in Montreal for opera house directors from 10 countries, and to compete for the International Prize, presented by the jury member, Alain Nonat to: Ángel Macías.


Direct participation in the semifinal round of the International Voice Contest in Marmande, France, with the opportunity to win a cash prize, as well as auditions for 20 European opera house directors, presented by the artistic director John Bills and the member of the jury Alain Nonat to: Angel Macias.


Invitation to participate in a quartet of singers for an opera gala at the St. Eustache Opera Festival (Québec) in the summer of 2019, as well as the opportunity to audition for Canadian agents, presented by artistic director John Bills and jury member Alain Nonat to: Rodrigo Urrutia.


Invitation to celebrate a six-month “Fest” contract with the Theater Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany, offered by the theater manager and jury member Jens Neundorff von Enzberg to: Alejandro López.


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