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Soprano Olga Zharikova wins the first prize of the VI International Ópera de Tenerife Competition

The turkish soprano Mine Kurtoğlu won second prize and the third place for the venezuelan Gustavo Castillo, plus the recognition of best zarzuela aria and Audience Award. The event had 50 participants from 25 nationalities and a renowned international jury.


The Russian soprano Olga Zharikova won the first prize of the sixth edition of the International Competition Ópera de Tenerife, whose final was held at the Auditorio de Tenerife. The second prize went to the Turkish soprano Mine Kurtoğlu and the third to the Venezuelan baritone Gustavo Castillo, who also won the Maria Orán Prize, for the best interpretation of aria de zarzuela with which the memory of the Tenerife artist is honored, and the Extraordinary Audience Award.

Olga Zharikova, who performed in the final the aria “Der hölle Rache” of the opera Die Zauberflöte, joins a list of winners that has had as winners in the previous editions Larissa Alice Wissel (2018), Julia Muzychenko (2017), Leonor Bonilla (2015), Laura Verrecchia (2014) and Alexander Vassiliev (2013).

To these winners must be added the special prizes that the jury awards in the form of contracts in productions of their respective seasons such as that obtained by Andrei Nicoara (Romania) with the Municipal Theater of Piacenza, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Teatro Massimo de Palermo; Laura Brasó (Spain), with the Teatro Maestranza de Sevilla; Lara Lagni (Italy), with the Teatro Regio de Parma, auditions at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and a contract for a concert at the Cia. Ópera de São Paulo; Margarita Levchuk (Belarus), with the Massimo Theater in Palermo and Mine Kurtoğlu (Turkey), contract for a concert at the Teatro del Lago of Frutillar. 

Ópera de Tenerife also awarded special prizes to the Spanish tenor Gillen Mungía for a contract during the lyrical season and to the Guatemalan tenor Gustavo Palomo for a role of zarzuela.

Ganadores de Concurso Ópera de Tenerife 2019: Mine Kurtoğlu, Olga Zharikova y Gustavo Castillo. © Miguel Barreto

The contest was attended by 50 participants from 25 nationalities and an international jury of recognized prestige, artistic and technical solvency, headed by the general director of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Fulvio Macciardi, as president of the jury. The rest of the members were the general and artistic director of the Cia Ópera São Paulo, Paulo Abrão Esper; the executive director of the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires, Martín Boschet; the casting manager and assistant of the musical director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo and casting consultant of the Teatro Real de Madrid, Alessandro Di Gloria; the artistic director of the Fondazione Teatri di Piacenza, Cristina Ferrari; the artistic director of Teatro del Lago of Frutillar, Carmen Gloria Larenas; the executive director of OLA, Alejandra Martí; the general director of the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Javier Menéndez; the artistic director of the Music Area of ​​the Fundación Ibáñez Atkinson, Andrés Rodríguez-Spoerer; and the responsable of the artistic programming of the Teatro Regio di Parma, Cristiano Sandri.

The winner of the first prize of the sixth edition of the Singing Contest, a native of Russia, was trained at the St. Petersburg Conservatory and continued her training at the Center for Perfection Plácido Domingo. In her repertoire we find roles like Gilda (Rigoletto, Verdi); Brigitta (Iolanta, Tchaikovsky); Voce dal cielo (Don Carlo, Verdi); Flora (The Turn of the Screw, Britten); Annina (La Traviata, Verdi), Baucis (Philemon und Baucis, Haydn) or Nastyenka (Scarlet The Flower, Novikova), among an extensive repertoire. This has led her to important theaters such as the Premier Music Theater of Krasnodar, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia or St. Petersburg Philarmonie. She has received several awards as a semifinalist in the XXIII Edition of Operalia The World Opera Competition or a scholarship by The Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, among others.

The contest concluded with the traditional Concert of Laureates that took place in the Chamber Hall of the Auditorio de Tenerife, where the artists recognized in the different modalities, showed their lyrical faculties accompanied by the maestro Dario Tondelli.