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Opera San Miguel Announces Major New Prize

By Shari Alexander

Concurso San Miguel XI will offer a major new prize to a talented winner at Opera San Miguel’s (OSM) annual contest for young Mexican singers this March thanks to a partnership ith a Barcelona conservatory school.

John Bills, the company’s artistic director, said this week from Spain, “I am delighted to announce an important new collaboration between Opera San Miguel and Conservatori Liceu in Barcelona, Spain. I have just signed a collaboration agreement with María Serrat Martín, director of the conservatory, wherein she will offer a scholarship for the conservatory’s Masters in Opera program as a prize at Concurso San Miguel XI. This represents a new initiative on the part of Conservatori Liceu to encourage and develop young artists in Latin America and is part of OSM’s efforts to discover and develop the most promising young singers in México.”

The Conservatory Liceu will award a scholarship to the winner of Concurso San Miguel XI to carry out a master’s degree in opera or postgraduate studies at the Conservatori Liceu, according to the agreement reached between the two entities. The scholarship will be effective from the 2019–2020 academic year, for studies that will commence in January of 2020.

Conservatori Liceu, established in 1837, is one of the most respected music schools in Europe and is closely associated with one of Europe’s most important opera houses, El Gran Teatre del Liceu.  At the agreement signing in Barcelona, Serrat said, “Since the first San Miguel contest in 2008, Concurso San Miguel has become one of the most prestigious competitions in Mexico, and its winners have performed in some of the most important venues in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Santa Fe Opera, as well as numerous European opera houses, such as our own Teatre del Liceu, the Teatro San Carlos in Naples, the Netherlands Touring Opera, and the state opera houses in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Lübeck, Regensburg, Innsbruck and Basel. Its singers have received scholarships at the Academy of Vocal Arts of Philadelphia and at the Center for Perfection of Plácido Domingo in Valencia. Conservatori Liceu is proud to begin this collaboration with Opera San Miguel as part of our new commitment to encourage musicians from Latin America.”

Bills is continuing a two-month trip to Europe to build relationships that will benefit the singers he discovers through the Concurso. More announcements of the fruits of these discussions will be coming soon. “This is such exciting news for our singers,” says Bills, “and there is more to come!”


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