Concurso San Miguel Announces 2015 Finalists

By Shari Alexander

Concurso San Miguel returns on Saturday, March 7, for what promises to be one of the most closely contested events in its seven-year history. Ten finalists, chosen from more than 125 applicants, will compete for 225,000 pesos in career grants and performance opportunities. Long considered the musical highlight of the season, this nationally celebrated contest for young Mexican opera singers has been a sold-out event every year since its inception. In 2014, for the first time, standing room tickets were sold—so great was the demand for tickets.

Concurso San Miguel
Sat, Mar 7, 7:30pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
Tickets now on sale at the box office

The Concurso is the flagship event of Opera San Miguel, whose principal mission is to discover, and assist in their careers, the most talented and promising young opera singers in Mexico. A preliminary round was held here in January in three intensive days of auditions. The 10 finalists will return to San Miguel on March 1 to participate in a week of musical, dramatic, and language coaching, master classes, aria preparation, and career development counseling, all conducted by a distinguished group of international opera luminaries, culminating in Concurso San Miguel 2015 at 7:30pm on Saturday, March 7, at Teatro Ángela Peralta.

Asked to describe the selection process, John Bills, OSM’s Artistic Director told Atención that in the first round of auditions, almost without exception, we hear two arias from each contestant. We take detailed notes about each singer and rate them on a three-point scale, with (plus) or (minus) added where helpful. A score of one means unacceptable; a score of two means worth considering, and a score of three means we’d be proud to present this singer to our audience. In the end, 15 to 20 percent of auditioners typically score an average of three points, which means we then have the often heart-breaking task of choosing 10 finalists from about 25 well-qualified candidates.

This year Bills was joined in the selection process by Charles Oppenheim, himself a distinguished singer and long time editor of Pro Opera, the only Spanish-language magazine in the Western Hemisphere devoted to opera.

Bills says, “We are investing in the futures of these young people, and I feel a real fiduciary responsibility to invest well on behalf of our major donors, the Angels of the Opera, without whom this contest would not be possible.” Concurso San Miguel is the only contest in Mexico entirely supported through private contributions and therefore has justly earned the stature of being the most pristine and transparent contest in the nation with a growing international reputation.

Concurso San Miguel 2015 ~ The Finalists
Pablo Aranday, baritone
Dhyana Arom, soprano
Jacinta Barbachano, mezzo-soprano
Cesar Delgado, tenor
Yamel Domort, soprano
Karen Gardeazabal, soprano
Fabián Lara, tenor
Octavio Rivas, tenor
Jorge Ruvalcaba, baritone
Edgar Villalva, tenor

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