Mt.Fuji International Opera Competition of Shizuoka is back!
Hamamatsu City has resumed the 9th Mt.Fuji International Opera Competition of Shizuoka from October 28 to November 5 after its postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first round
The competition has been held every three years since 1996, the year which marked the 50th anniversary of death of the Shizuoka’s legendary opera singer, Ms. MIURA Tamaki (*). The event aims to develop local music culture and promote international exchange as well as discovering and fostering the next generation of vocalists.
*Ms. Tamaki Miura was the first internationally-acclaimed Japanese opera singer. She was most known for her lead role in “Madame Butterfly“, which she performed more than 2,000 times around the world. The composer, Mr. Giacomo Puccini, praised her performance by saying “it is as if Madame Butterfly was written for her.”
The competition was the first in the past six years, since the 9th edition in 2020 was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The competition saw 271 applications from across the world – namely from 33 countries and regions. After a rigorous preliminary screening, a total of 51 contestants from 11 countries including China,Korea, and Japan proceeded to the first round at the venue of Act City Hamamatsu. All contestants were required to perform at a high level due to the strict judging standards.
In the first round, contestants sang two arias accompanied by piano. Those who proceeded to the second round picked a role from their opera of choice and had to perform a part designated by the jury for 20 minutes or so. This is a unique rule of the competition and highly challenging for contestants since they require not only high level of vocal technique and ability of expression but also overall career experience. Then, six finalists competed against each other by singing two arias on stage with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.
The final round
Mr. Samueol Park (below) from Korea won the first prize.
The contestants and the jurors
Ms. Hiroka Yamashita (below) of Japan received the Miura Tamaki Special Award.
In downtown Hamamatsu, local student brass bands participated in promenade concerts and played pieces from operas to promote the competition. As a pre-event, a special lecture concert was held featuring past winners of the competition and many others.
See the Promenade Concert in: https://www.creative-hamamatsu.jp/blog/promenade-concerts-at-hamamatsu-station/
Act City Hamamatsu (venue)
The 9th Shizuoka International Opera Competition was a great success. We are looking forward to the next one.
Please visit the official website where you can find the link to English version of the competition’s Youtube channel where you can watch videos of the competition: https://www.suac.ac.jp/opera/