Friday, August 16, 2013

Queen Sonja International Music Competition

Tomeline Mikkeline Eide by ausfi
Tomeline Mikkeline Eide, a photo by ausfi on Flickr.

The photo is not from there, but someone is singing! Tomeline Mikkeline Eide, who was only 14 at the time, sang at a Balcony concert in the Oslo Opera. Beautiful voice.

The preliminary rounds were on Thursday and Friday. There were 40 singers and no-one envies the judges for their task, so even is the competition. Great voices and interpretations. The ladies are especially difficult to put in any kind of order of preference.
On the first day I liked Erik Anstine from USA singing 'The List' from Don Giovanni, for a lively interpretation using his hands in an imaginative way. The problem was that 'Der Dobbelgänger' sounded to me out of tune in places.
Julia Maria Dan, a soprano from Romania sang well, as did Kristina Mkhitaryan from Russia. The only Finn was Miina-Liisa Värelä, beautiful voice but other sopranos
had more exiting choices. An interesting thing that a Finnish soprano some years ago also sang from 'Fidelio'.

The singers had been fairly even but then appeared this tall Turkish guy singing an aria from 'Un Ballo in Maschera' with lots of feeling (with a great voice to match). His Schubert was "Der Wanderer'. I've never seen or heard such a Schubert interpretation in these competitions, one did hang on every word. The last sentence (translated): Where you are NOT, there is happiness!' was especially effective. Then I knew at least one who would go to the semifinals, maybe to the finals!

On Friday, 2nd day of preliminaries. Notwithstanding a few, the standard was equally high. One could hear a few 'bravos'. Mélissa Petit from France was fairly tiny but sang an aria from 'Ciulio Cesare' with feeling. Hanna Kim from South Korea and Hamida Kristoffersen from Norway received 'bravos', both had beautiful soft voices. Hanna had a tiny frame but 'Teure Hallen' from 'Tannhäuser' sounded huge.
Oleg Tibulgo, Moldovia, was an amazing 'Mefistofele' by Bolto. I really felt alarmed in one stage.