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South Korean baritone Kim wins the Belvedere Singing Competition

South Korean baritone Kim wins the Belvedere Singing Competition

And in the end, it was an evening for men: a men's trio won the 42nd Hans Gabor Belvedere International Singing Competition on Sunday evening in Jurmala, Latvia. 29-year-old South Korean baritone Jungray Noah Kim won the main prize of 10,000 euros in the famous Austrian Young Voices Competition. Kim beat the competition with a rendition of Verdi's “Don Carlo.”

In addition to Kim, who appeared as the young Massetto in Mozart's “Don Giovanni” at the Bregenz Festival in Austria in 2016, flanking him on the winner's podium were American tenor Daniel O'Hearn and tenor Matthew Kearns from Canada. Complete the winning male trio. Cairns also won the Media Jury Award.

Baritone Thando Zwane, from Eswatini, won the Audience Award at the Dzintari Concert Hall in the coastal resort of Jurmala in Latvia, where the Belvedere Competition was being held for the third time. At least some special awards for nine other tournament participants also went to female singers. These awards include engagements or internships at venues such as Covent Garden London, Deutsche Oper Berlin or the New York Met. Finally, the competition jury consists of the relevant opera directors and actors.

In contrast, there is great global interest among young singers in the competition, which was originally based in Vienna. 800 of them applied to participate in Belvedere during 51 qualifying rounds in advance, and 121 of them were finally accepted in the final week in Jurmala. In the end, nine artists qualified for the final concert with the Jurmala Festival Orchestra conducted by Martis Ozulich, conductor of the Riga National Opera.

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The Hans Gabor Belvedere International Tournament is organized by the former director of the Carinthian Summer, Holger Bleck, and the widow of the founder, Isabella Gabor. The first Belvedere competition was held in Vienna in 1982, where it remained for a long time. However, after disagreements over financing, the company went global a few years ago. The competition tents will be erected in Bern, Switzerland, in 2025.

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