Norwegian soprano Margrethe Fredheim has won the inaugural Hong Kong International Operatic Singing Competition (2018) with performances of “Come scoglio” from Mozart’s Così fan tutte, “Song to the Moon” from Dvorak’s Rusalka and “Einsam in trüben Tagen” from Wagner’s Lohengrin.
Second place went to Danish mezzo-soprano Johanne Hølund who sang arias from Werther, Così fan tutte and Carmen.
Third prize was awarded to Chinese soprano Chen Yibao, who also claimed the audience prize, based on a smartphone-based voting system. Chen sang arias from La bohème, Le nozze di Figaro and Louise.
The ten finalists, hailing from Korea, China, Britain, Russia, Norway and Denmark, competed in a gala concert which included well-known recital pieces from the German, Italian, French, Russian and Czech repertory, from Handel to Cilea. The singers were accompanied by the Hong Kong Virtuosi, conducted by Lio Kuokman.
The competition was organized by Hong Kong’s Musica Viva. The international jury was chaired by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and includes singers Sumi Jo and Dennis O’Neill as well the Royal Opera House’s casting director Peter Katona and Musica Viva’s Director-General, Lo Kingman.