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Competitions / SINGING 2000 / Candidates / Candidates
Candidates
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First prize - Queen Elisabeth International Grand Prize
In 2000, contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux became the first Canadian to win the First Prize and the Special Prize for Lieder at the Queen Elisabeth Competition. Winning these awards opened the door to an immediate international career, allowing her to perform in recital and in concert. Each year, Marie-Nicole Lemieux is invited to sing in prestigious venues and international music festivals across Europe and North America, such as the Staatsoper Berlin, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Théâtre des Champs Élysées in Paris, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels. On stage, Marie-Nicole Lemieux regularly sings the works of the great composers, performing roles by Berlioz, Debussy, Gluck, Handel, Honegger, Monteverdi, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Vivaldi and Wagner. She has recorded for numerous labels, including Cyprès, Dorian Recordings, Analekta, Deutsche Grammophon and EMI/Virgin Classics. She now enjoys an exclusive contract with the Naïve label, for whom she recorded the title roles of Griselda and Orlando in Vivaldi’s masterworks (Griselda and Orlando furioso). She has recorded seven discs with Naïve, including her first recital CD, the critically-acclaimed L’Heure exquise, a collection of French art songs with piano. Her many projects in 2010 brought Marie-Nicole Lemieux to Europe and to North America; she appeared in Falstaff at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées (Paris), the St. Matthew Passion at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, under Bernard Labadie, Bach’s Mass in B minor in Washington, with the National Symphony Orchestra, in addition to concerts with Les Violons du Roy in Québec City and Montreal. The 2010-2011 season included the release of her new disc, concerts with the Orchestre National de France, her debut with the New York Philharmonic, performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orlando furioso at the Théâtre des Champs Élysées and a recital tour in Quebec. Her CD, Ne me refuse pas, released in 2010, was recognized that year as best solo recording by the prestigious Académie Charles Cros (France). The latest one, Streams of Pleasure, with Karina Gauvin, was released in France in 2011.
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Second Prize
After studying at the University of Music in Bucharest, Marius Brenciu made his debut as Don Ottavio (in Don Giovanni) in 1997. He has taken part in numerous competitions and has won many prizes, including 2nd Prize in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2000 and the Singer of the World prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2001. He has worked under distinguished conductors such as C. Abbado, L. Maazel, Z. Mehta, V. Gergiev, K. Petrenko, M. Jansons and S. Ozawa. He has appeared with great orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the NDR Sinfonieorchester, the BBC Philharmonic, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has sung in La Bohème in Hamburg, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, and Brussels ; in La Rondine at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and in Paris and Toulouse ; in Simon Boccanegra in Hamburg ; in La Traviata in Berlin, Rome, Brussels, San Diego, and Montpellier ; in Eugene Onegin in Vienna, Tokyo, Geneva, Zurich, and Munich ; and in L’Elisir d’amore in Berlin and Tel Aviv. He has worked with stage directors such as F. Zeffirelli, P. Stein, N. Joel, K. and U. Hermann, and A. Homoki. He has recorded for EMI, the BBC, the SWR, NHK, and Radio France. He lived in Brussels for a number of years and has become a Belgian citizen.
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Third Prize
Olga Pasichnyk was born in the Ukraine. She studied piano and musical pedagogy in her native town Rivne, voice at the Kiev Conservatory and at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. In 1992 she became a soloist of the Warsaw Chamber Opera. She sang with success major roles in operas of Monteverdi, Gluck, Handel, Mozart, Weber, Rossini, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, contemporary composers throughout Europe, in Australia, Canada, Japan, Australia and the United States. She performed at numerous concerts and international music festivals in renowned concert halls and theatres, including the Opéra National de Paris - Opéra Bastille, Palais Garnier, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Théâtre Châtelet, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Berliner Konzerthaus, Auditorio Nacional de Música (Madrid), Bayerische Staatsoper, Palais des Beaux-Arts and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Theater an der Wien, Bregenzer Festspiele (Austria), Grand Théâtre de Genève, Finnish National Opera, Flemish Opera, Polish National Opera etc. Olga Pasichnyk has collaborated with the Belgium and Polish National Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish National Radio Orchestra, RTVE, Orquesta Nacional de España (Spain), Luxemburg Philharmonic Orchestra, with orchestras Sinfonia Varsovia (Poland), National Philharmonic of Russia, of Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence), Wiener Symphoniker, L’Orchestre de Radio France, L’Orchestre National de France, Orchestre Colonne (Paris), Das Neue Orchester (Cologne), La Grande Ecurie et La Chambre du Roy and Les Musiciens du Louvre - Grenoble (France), The English Concert, European Union Baroque Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Vocale, Collegium Vocale Gent, Collegium Novum Zürich, Orchestra of 18th Century. Among the conductors with whom she has worked are H. Bicket, I. Bolton, F. Brüggen, J.-C. Casadesus, M. Creed, R. Jacobs, R. Goodman, H. Holliger, Ph. Herreweghe, K. Kord, J.-C. Malgoire, J. Maksymiuk, A. de Marchi, M. Minkowski, P. McCreesh, J. Nelsson, P. Neumann, K. Ono, S. Oramo, A. Parrot, K. Penderecki, T. Pinnock, M. Soustrot, A. Spering, C. Spering, M. Viotti, A. Wit, M. Zanetti. Olga Pasichnyk is a Prizewinner of the International Vocal Competition in s’Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands, 1994 - II prize), Mirjam Helin International Singing Competition in Helsinki (Finland, 1999 - II prize) and The Queen Elisabeth Competition (III prize, Special Oratorio Prize and Public Prize). She twice received the Fryderyk (the highest Polish phonographic award) for the best solo recordings in 1997 and 2004 (Szymanowski and Lutoslawski), Orfeusz (Warsaw Autumn Festival prize) in 1999, Golden Cross of merit of Poland (2001), A. Hiolski’s prize for the best female opera role of 2004 (Melisande, Debussy - Pelleas et Melisande - Polish National Opera). In 2005 she was nominated as the best opera singer of the 2004/2005 season as Almirena (Handel, “Rinaldo”) by International Opera Magazine Opernwelt. In 2006 she got a Münchner Opernfestspiele prize. She has recorded 45 CD’s and DVD’s for different labels incl. Dabringhaus und Grimm, Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, Opus 111.
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Fourth Prize
Après une formation complète de musicien (trompette et piano) et parallèlement à des études d'ingénieur, Pierre-Yves Pruvot se tourne vers l'apprentissage du chant et bénéficie de l'enseignement de Pascale Reynaud, Margreet Honig, Ruben Lifschitz et Dalton Baldwin. Diplômé du Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Lyon, il est aussi lauréat de plusieurs concours internationaux, dont le Concours Reine Elisabeth en 2000. Il se produit depuis sur les scènes françaises et étrangères dans les rôles du grand répertoire : Verdi (Nabucco, Germont), Puccini (Scarpia), Debussy (Golaud), Saint-Saëns (Le Grand Prêtre de Dagon), Berlioz (Méphistophélès), Bizet (Zurga), Mozart (Leporello, Don Alfonso), Rossini (Figaro), Tchaikovski (Onéguine). Pierre-Yves Pruvot a chanté sous la baguette de Nello Santi, Michel Plasson, Frédéric Chaslin, Emmanuel Krivine, Jean-Claude Malgoire, Peter Csaba, Guy Van Waas, Philippe Herreweghe, Hervé Niquet, Didier Talpain, Jacques Mercier, Alberto Zedda, Marc Soustrot, Jean-Yves Ossonce, Marco Guidarini, Ivan Fischer… Parmi une discographie nombreuse et éclectique, citons des récitals consacrés à Poulenc et Sauguet avec le pianiste Charles Bouisset, des airs de concert de Beethoven, la cantate Ivanhoé de Saint-Saëns, les oratorios Rébecca de Franck, Les Saintes-Maries de la mer de Palhadilhe et La Terre promise de Massenet, ainsi que de nombreux opéras en première mondiale : le rôle-titre du Falstaff de Salieri, Le Docteur Miracle et Don Procopio de Bizet, Mathilde de Guise de Hummel, Céphale et Procris de Grétry, Le Cœur du moulin de Séverac… Plusieurs nouveautés : Amadis de Gaule de Johann Christian Bach, La Mort d’Abel de Kreutzer et Lodoïska de Cherubini, ainsi qu’un programme de duos rares d’opéras français aux côtés de son épouse, la soprano Hjördis Thébault. Parmi ses projets à venir, citons les rôles-titre du Barbier de Séville de Rossini, de Gianni Schicchi de Puccini et du Falstaff de Verdi, ainsi que des concerts à Sofia, au Festival d’Ambronay, à Rome, Saint-Pétersbourg, Venise… Pierre-Yves Pruvot est le fondateur des éditions Symétrie.
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Fifth Prize
Lubana Al Quntar pursued higher education in Damascus, where her first teacher was Galina Khaldiave. During her studies in Maastricht and London, she went on tour in the United States, performing Dido in the first open-air performance of Dido and Aeneas. She then joined the Royal College of Music in London, where for a year she continued her training under Kenneth William and Graziella Sciutti before taking up studies with Claude Miloni in France. Since winning fourth prize at the International Singing Competition of Belgrade, she is invited to give concerts in Belgrade, Greece, Lebanon and Syrie. Currently she is the head of the Voice & Choral Department in the High Institute of Music in Damascus.
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Sixth Prize
A central position in Margriet van Reisen's work is occupied by performances in concert, above all music of the late Romantics and of the 20th century. In November of 2002 Ms. Van Reisen made her Berlin Philharmonic debut in Ligeti’s Requiem under Jonathan Nott, which was subsequently released on CD. This same piece she performed at the Festivals of Santander, San Sebastian, Wien Modern and Salzburg and with Jonathan Nott at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam during the Zaterdag Matinee. Among other orchestras and conductors with whom she has collaborated are the Schoenberg Ensemble, the Orquesta Nacional de España, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Hague Residentie Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphonic and the Symphony Orchestra of Montreal under conductors such as Richard Hickox, Neeme Järvi, Marc Soustrot and Reinbert de Leeuw. In recitals Margriet van Reisen is accompanied by Rudolf Jansen. More recently she has made her debut at De Nederlandse Opera as 3. Maid in Strauss’ Elektra, followed by Ilana in Michel van der Aa’s After Life, a coproduction of De Nederlandse Opera with Holland Festival. Revivals of the latter production took place in the Amsterdam and Lyon operahouses as well as at Barbican Centre. In 2010 she made her debut with Third Maid in Electra by Strauss at the Opera in Toulouse. Other engagements included the part of Auntie in Benjanmin Britten’s Peter Grimes with the Orquesta de Valencia, conducted by Josep Pons. She debuted with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Mozart’s Thamos, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. And, at the Holland festival 2009, she performed with the Dutch National Ballet in Ravel's Sheherazade. Margriet van Reisen has recorded several CD's. Mis (Mass) by Johannes Verhulst with the Residentie Orkest, and the Requiem of Duruflé with the Brabants Orkest. Furthermore, a CD with Lieder by Brahms and by the Dutch composer Julius Röntgen. With the Belgium ensemble Oxalys she recorded a CD with Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Margriet van Reisen was educated at the Utrecht Conservatory and completed her studies at London’s Guildhall School of Music. She was awarded first prize in the Schubert Competition. Recent engagements include her appearance in Le marteau sans maître, by Boulez with Ensemble Intercontemporain (2010). Subsequently she went on tour to Japan with the Dresdner Kreuzchor to perform Bach’s Matthew Passion and Haendel’s Messiah. In 2011 she made her debut in Parsifal at La Monnaie, Brussels.
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Unranked laureate
Soprano Sunhae Im was born in South Korea. After graduating in Seoul she continued her vocal training with Roland Hermann at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe. Her repertoire focuses on works of the Baroque and Classical periods and since 1999 she has worked together with conductors such as Philippe Herreweghe, William Christie, Fabio Biondi, Sigiswald Kuijken, Thomas Hengelbrock, Frans Brüggen, Andrea Marcon, Kent Nagano, Riccardo Chailly, Lothar Zagrosek, Sylvain Cambreling, Michael Gielen, Ton Koopman, Manfred Honeck and Marek Janowski. Sunhae Im has a close artistic partnership with René Jacobs and has sung in performances conducted by him of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, the roles of Servilia (La clemenza di Tito), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), La Musica and Euridice (L’Orfeo), Rodisette in Der geduldige Sokrates by Telemann, Ilia (Idomeneo), Eurilla in Haydn’s Orlando Paladino, Despina (Così fan tutte) and Serpetta (La finta giardiniera). Since making her European stage debut in 2001 at the Frankfurt Opera and the Hanover State Opera, Sunhae Im has given guest performances as Adele (Die Fledermaus) at the Hamburg State Opera, as Yniold (Pelléas et Mélisande) at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and as Euridice in Gluck’s Orpheus und Eurydike conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock at the Opéra national de Paris. She was highly acclaimed as Ilia in Idomeneo conducted by Manfred Honeck at the Stuttgart State Opera, where she also sang her first Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro). In Paris and Epidaurus she gave guest performances as Amor in Gluck’s Orpheus. In February 2010 she sang Zerlina under Iván Fischer in Budapest and made her debut at the Korean National Opera singing Adina (L’elisir d’amore) and Ilia in performances conducted by Myung-Whun Chung. In November 2010 she was to be heard at the Theater an der Wien as Serpetta in a new production of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera conducted by René Jacobs, which besides guest performances in Madrid and Oviedo will also be recorded on CD. Engagements of the 2010-11 season took Sunhae Im as Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), conducted by René Jacobs, to the Salzburg Mozart Week, as Sœur Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites) to the Stuttgart State Opera and with Monteverdi’s Orfeo to Montpellier. Future performances include Zerlina under Iván Fischer in New York and Las Palmas, the Mass in B minor conducted by René Jacobs in Korea and in Lausanne, the Christmas Oratorio in Stuttgart and a tour of Asia with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Sunhae Im’s CDs include René Jacobs’s recordings of Don Giovanni (Zerlina) and La clemenza di Tito (Servilia; Grammy Award 2007) as well as - under Juan Bautista Otero - Domenec Terradella’s Artaserse (Orphée d’Or of the Académie Nationale du Disque Lyrique 2009) and Martín y Soler’s Il sogno and La Dora festeggiante (Muse d’Or 2010).
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Unranked laureate
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Unranked laureate
Canadian bass Robert Pomakov has earned critical acclaim for his unique voice and musicianship in opera, concert and recital. During the 2011-12 season, he will participate in two Canadian Opera Company productions as the Old Servant in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride opposite Susan Graham and Monterone in Verdi’s Rigoletto under the direction of Christopher Alden. He debuts with the Opera de Montréal as Vodnik in Dvořák’s Rusalka and with Los Angeles Opera as Pietro in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra opposite Plácido Domingo in the title role. He returns to Los Angeles later in the season as Colline in La Bohème under the baton of Patrick Summers. He also sings Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca with Opera Lyra Ottawa. Concert engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Toronto Symphony under Peter Oundjian and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Kansas City Symphony. Highlights of past seasons include performances with the Canadian Opera Company, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Teatro Real, La Monnaie, among others. Notable appearances include his Washington Opera debut as Leporello in Don Giovanni in a new production conducted by Plácido Domingo, his debut at the Teatro Real as Nikitich in Boris Godunov conducted by Jesus Lopez-Cobos and opposite Samuel Ramey, a repeat of Varlaam for his debut at La Monnaie in Brussels, the role of the Chamberlain in a new production of Le Rossignol by visionary director Robert Lepage in a co-production with the Canadian Opera Company and Brooklyn Academy of Music and a joining of the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for the title role of a new production of Verdi’s Attila by Pierre Audi conducted by Riccardo Muti. In addition to his staged opera performances, Robert Pomakov has also performed with a number of concert organizations such as Le Festival de Lanaudière, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Edinburgh Festival, Pacific Symphony, among others. Notable concert performances of past seasons include his Ravinia Festival debut in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy conducted by James Conlon, the role of Virgil in Rachmaninov's Francesca da Rimini and the Hector Berlioz version of Der Freischütz all under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach, his Canadian Opera Company debut in a concert with baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the Roy Thomson Hall Millennium Opera Gala with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (released on CBC Records), Shostakovich's Symphony no. 14 with the Canadian Opera Company, a European tour of Handel's Apollo e Dafne (Released on Naxos Records), his Concertgebouw debut with the European Union Baroque Orchestra and performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Orchestre Métropolitain under the direction of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Robert Pomakov recital credits include two recitals at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio one of which was broadcast by the CBC. Robert Pomakov has been a prizewinner in several of the world's premier singing competitions: second place at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna and third place in Plácido Domingo's Operalia. In September 2006, he was decorated with the Simeon, the First Honorary Medal from the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, and with a diploma from the Minister of Culture for his achievements in opera's art and special merit to Bulgarian culture and its dissemination all over the world. Other prizes have included first prize in the 2000 Oratorio Society of New York's solo competition, an encouragement award in the 2000 George London Foundation Competition, an encouragement award from the Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, the 1999 Victoria Scholars Grant, Second Prize in the 1998 Canadian Music Competition and First Prize in the 1997 Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto. Robert Pomakov is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.
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Unranked laureate
Since her acclaimed performance in the fall of 2006 of Rachel in the Royal Opera Covent Garden’s concerts of Halevy’s La Juive, Russian born soprano Marina Poplavskaya has established herself internationally as one of the most arresting young artists to be heard today. The British press and public hailed her as a major new singer, and as a result of this great success she received invitations from important theatres throughout the world such as the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Berlin State Opera, Netherlands Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and many others including the Salzburg Festival. Marina Poplavskaya will begin her 2011/2012 season as Violetta at Covent Garden. After appearing in Act 4 of Otello opposite Placido Domingo in Gala performances at the Royal Opera, she will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Marguerite opposite Jonas Kaufmann in the new production of Faust. In February of 2012, she will make her debut at the Bavarian State Opera as Violetta and subsequently in March at the Vienna State Opera as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra. She will then sing Leonora in the new production of Il Trovatore at La Monnaie in Brussels. Future projects also include her debut as Lisa in The Queen of Spades at the Vienna State Opera, a new production of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Eugene Onegin at the Metropolitan Opera, and Otello and Tannhauser at the Berlin State Opera, both under Daniel Barenboim. She will also sing Verdi’s Requiem under Seymopn Bychkov and Desdemona in Tokyo. Alongside her yearly returns to Covent Garden and Metropolitan Opera, Marina Poplavskaya has appeared in Avignon, Valencia, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Salzburg, Zurich, The Netherlands, Los Angeles, Seoul and Israel. Her concert repertory includes Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem, Poulenc’s Messa di Requiem, as well as Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14, and Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Marina Poplavskaya was born in Moscow and studied at the State M Ippolitov-Ivanov Music Institute with P. Tarassov and I. Shapur. After winning numerous prizes in international competitions, which included the first prize in the Maria Callas Grand Prix in Athens, she began her professional career at the New Opera Theatre in Moscow making her operatic debut as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. She was also a soloist at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Dantchenko Moscow Academic Opera Theatre. She subsequently made her debut at the Bolshoi Theatre as Ann Truelove in The Rake’s Progress, followed by Maria in Mazeppa. In 2004, Marina Poplavskaya joined the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme of the Royal Opera Covent Garden and made her company debut there as the Third Norn in Götterdammerung under Antonio Pappano.
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