Operalia in Prague

Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, The World Opera Competition, was founded in 1993 by Plácido Domingo to discover and help launch the careers of the most promising young opera singers of today.

His goal is to attract singers of all voice tessituras and from every country in the world ranging from 18 to 32 years of age, to have them audition and be heard by a panel of distinguished international opera personalities, in the most prestigious and competitive showcase in the world.

Each year, the Competition receives close to 1,000 applications.


The Jury, presided over by Plácido Domingo as a non-voting mediator, will gather in Prague to listen to the 40 singers during the two days of quarterfinals, followed by a semi-final of 20 contestants.

The number will then be reduced to 10 finalists who will compete at the Final Round held on 26 July at the National Theatre in Prague, accompanied by the National Theatre Orchestra. Maestro Plácido Domingo will conduct this concert.

Program and cast

Participants 2019

Angelina Akhmedova, soprano, Uzbekistan, 24
Germán Alcántara, baritone, Argentina, 31
Xabier Anduaga, tenor, Spain, 24
Mario Bahg, tenor, South Korea, 29
Dominic Barberi, bass, United Kingdom, 30
Claire Barnett-Jones, mezzo-soprano, United Kingdom, 29
Guadalupe Barrientos, mezzo-soprano, Argentina, 32
ZdislavaBočková, soprano, Czech Republic, 27
Amanda Lynn Bottoms, mezzo-soprano, USA, 27
Piotr Buszewski, tenor, Poland, 26
Neven Crnić, baritone, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 25
Lauren Decker, contralto, USA, 29
Otgonbat Erdene, baritone, Mongolia, 29
Adriana Gonzalez, soprano, Guatemala, 27
Alyona Guz, soprano, Ukraine, 30
Samuel Hasselhorn, baritone, Germany, 29
Maria Kataeva, mezzo-soprano, Russia, 32
Gihoon Kim, baritone, South Korea, 27
Sungho Kim, tenor, South Korea, 29
Bongani Justice Kubheka, baritone, South Africa, 28
Mykhailo Malafii, tenor, Ukraine, 28
Héloïse Mas, mezzo-soprano, France, 31
Luvuyo Mbundu, baritone, South Africa, 26
Felicia Moore, soprano, USA, 31
Julia Muzychenko, soprano, Russia, 25
Maria Nazarova, soprano, Russia, 30
Christina Nilsson, soprano, Sweden, 29
Daniel Noyola, bass, Mexico, 27
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor, USA/Germany, 25
Igor Onishchenko, baritone, Ukraine, 26
Christian Pursell, bass-baritone, USA, 28
Damir Rakhmonov, tenor, Uzbekistan, 30
Liv Redpath, soprano, USA, 27Mario Rojas, tenor, Mexico/Spain, 25
Carlos Enrique Santelli, tenor, USA, 27
Anna Shapovalova, soprano, Russia, 31
Grigorii Shkarupa, bass, Russia, 29
Carolyn Sproule, mezzo-soprano, Canada, 31
Robert Watson, tenor, USA, 31Matthew White, tenor, USA, 27

Jury Members Operalia 2019

Marta Domingo
Stage Director

F. Paul Driscoll
Editor-in-Chief, Opera News

Jonathan Friend
Artistic Administrator, The Metropolitan Opera, New York, USA

Anthony Freud
General Director, Lyric Opera of Chicago, USA

Jean-Louis Grinda
General Director, Opérade Monte Carlo, Monaco
General Director, Chorégies d’Orange, France

Peter Katona
Director of Casting, Royal Opera House, London, United Kingdom

Joan Matabosch
Artistic Director, Teatro Real, Madrid, Spain

Pål Moe
Artistic Advisor, National Theatre Opera,Prague, Czech Republic; Casting Consultant, Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Germany; Glyndebourne Festival Opera, UK

Andrés Rodriguez
Artistic Consultant

Ilias Tzempetonidis
Casting Director, Opéra National de Paris, France

Carolin Wielpütz
Director of the Artistic Adminsitration, Theater Bonn, Germany

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July 2019

Prague National Theatre

The National Theatre today


The historical building of the National Theatre, constructed in 1883, is generally considered the prime stage in the CzechRepublic. It is the flagship of the National Theatre institution, today amounting to five buildings and encompassing four companies. You can see there Opera, Drama and Ballet performances.


Idea of building a stately theatre for the Czech nation


The National Theatre is the embodiment of the will of the Czech nation for a national identity and independence. Collections of money among the broad mass of the people facilitated its construction and hence the ceremonial laying of its foundation stone on 16 May 1868 was tantamount a nationwide political manifestation.


The idea of building a stately edifice to serve as a theatre was first mooted in the autumn of 1844 at meetings of patriots in Prague. It began to materialise through a request for “the privilege of constructing, furnishing, maintaining and managing” an independent Czech theatre, which was submitted to the Provincial Committee of the Czech Assembly by František Palacký on 29 January 1845. The privilege was granted in April 1845. Yet it was not until six years later – in April 1851 – that the Society for the Establishment of a Czech National Theatre in Prague (founded in the meantime) made its first public appeal to start collections. A year later the proceeds of the first collections allowed for the purchase of land belonging to a former salt works with the area of less than 28 acres, which predetermined the magnificent location of the theatre on the bank of the river Vltava facing the panorama of Prague Castle, yet at the same time the cramped area and trapezoidal shape posed challenging problems for the building’s designers.

By car

To the centre (OldTown), approach on Masarykovo nábřeží (Masaryk embankment) in the direction from the Dancing House, at the crossroads in front of the National Theatre turn right to Divadelní street and then right again to Ostrovní street to the National Theatre car park. Parking costs 50 CZK/h.


By tram

By daytime trams Nos. 6, 9, 18 and 22 and night trams Nos. 53, 57, 58, 59 to the stop “Národní divadlo” – in front of the NT historical building; by daytime tram No. 17 to the stop “Národní divadlo”.


By metro

To the station “Můstek”, line B (yellow), and then by foot on Národní street; or to the station “Karlovo náměstí” and then two stops by tram No. 6, 18 or 22 to the stop “Národní divadlo”. To the station “Staroměstská”, line A (green), and then two stops by tram No. 17 to the stop “Národní divadlo”. 

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