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Concurso San Miguel X Picks This Year’s Winners Saturday

Maureen O'Flynn & John Bills

By Shari Alexander

Opera San Miguel celebrates the 10th edition of its national contest to identify and assist the best young opera singers in the nation, Concurso San Miguel, this Saturday night. Acclaimed as “the most prestigious contest in Mexico,” this is the must-see musical event of the season, where an even dozen of the nation’s rising young opera stars assembled from all over Mexico will compete for 500,000 pesos in career grants and performing opportunities, a value greater than is given out by any other Mexican contest for musicians.

In addition to choosing an exciting mix of voices for this year’s landmark contest, John Bills, artistic director of Opera San Miguel, has assembled the largest and most prestigious jury panel ever to judge the competition, with judges from Mexico, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The finalists have been in San Miguel since last Sunday for a demanding week of individual coaching and master classes conducted by OSM’s artist-in-residence, the illustrious soprano Maureen O’Flynn. Today, while they rest their voices for tomorrow’s final round, they will receive intensive career counseling with prominent New York artist manager, Ken Benson. During the week, they have polished their French arias with Paris tenor and coach Alain Nonat so that by tomorrow night they are “ready for prime time.”

Joining the jury will be conductor John Daly Goodwin, singer/journalist Charles Oppenheim, and two European opera company directors, Nicolas Mansfield of the Netherlands National Touring Opera and Jens Neundorff von Enzberg of Theater Regensburg in Germany.

Under Bills’ direction, OSM’s mission has seen tremendous growth in finding and developing the most talented young opera singers in Mexico. Former winners and finalists of the Concurso are now participating in some of the world’s most prestigious opera training programs, such as the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia; Plácido Domingo’s elite training program in Valencia, Spain; and the Opera Studio of Deutsche Oper Berlin. Several have already made European debuts or are contracted for future performances, including in Moscow, the Netherlands, Barcelona, the Salzburg Festival, even China. Former winners are pursuing advanced study in New York, London, and Paris. And recent winners have debuted at the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.

“It is a great source of pride for us that so many of the singers we have identified through our Concurso are now finding success on the international opera stage,” says Bills.

Charles Oppenheim, editor of Pro Ópera magazine, points out, “Concurso San Miguel is now not only the most generous contest in Mexico but it is also the only contest that supervises, monitors, keeps in touch with, and continues to assist its finalists’ and winners’ careers afterwards. Opera San Miguel is doing more for young singers than even the Mexican federal and state governments!”



Concurso San Miguel X

Sat, Mar 3, 7:30pm

Teatro Ángela Peralta

Remaining tickets at the Peralta Box Office


The Winners Concert

Opera arias, duets, and ensembles sung by the winners of Concurso San Miguel X

Sat, Mar 24, 7pm

Miguel Malo Auditorium

Bellas Artes, Hernández Macías 75

500 pesos

Tickets on sale March 9

Opera San Miguel office, Mesones 78




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