Third Éva Marton International Singing Competition Held in Budapest
The III. Éva Marton International Singing Competition was held in the Liszt Academy, Budapest between 10-16 September. Mexican-American tenor, Galeano Salas, was awarded a Grand Prize of almost 5 million Forints (EUR 15,000) as the overall winner of the event.
The international competition organized by the Liszt Academy for the third occasion was held in four rounds. 18-32-year-old women and 18-35-year-old men could submit applications, and a total of 145 young singers from four continents and 38 countries applied to participate in the contest. Out of the 94 competitors who made it to the live rounds, 61 proved themselves by performing a Liszt song and seven arias. All pieces were required to be performed from memory, in the original key, original language and in full.
At the opening ceremony, Éva Marton, founding member of the Friends of Hungary Foundation and head of the jury and eponym of the competition, advised the competitors not to be scared of the jurors as most of them, being singers themselves, know all too well how difficult it is to successfully perform onstage. In the finals, 13 participants performed two arias in the Grand Hall of the Academy. This year, two Hungarian competitors made it into the final round: Ildikó Lilla Megyimórecz, who performed Boito’s L’altra notte in fondo al mare (Margherita’s Aria from Mefistofele) and Verdi’s Ritorna vincitor (Aida’s Aria from Aida) and won the special prize of the Hungarian Academy of Arts; and Zsuzsanna Ádám, who came home with the second prize after performing Verdi’s Pace, pace mio Dio (Leonora’s Aria from La forza del destino) and Giordano’s La mamma morta (Maddalena di Coigny’s Aria from Andrea Chénier).
For the first time in the history of the competition, the Liszt Academy also hosted a Gala concert at the end of the event. At this time the Grand Prize was announced and awarded to Mexican-American tenor, Galeano Salas. Marton said about Salas’ victory:
It rarely happens that members of the public and the jury unanimously highlight someone. I was expecting that he will achieve outstanding results after he finished Liszt’s 104th Petrarch’s sonnet in the semifinals. His performance was indescribable, an emotional experience. I haven’t heard this song like this before, especially not from a foreign perforer. After that, we have, of course, been paying special attention to his performances.
In addition to prize money in the total of 13 million Forints (EUR 42,000), the best competitors also collected numerous special prizes including the Éva Marton Prize of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, concert invitations and scholarships. The two previous winners of the Grand Prix, Hungarian Szilvia Vörös and Belarusian Alexander Roslavets, saw their respective careers soar immediately following their victories. The mezzo-soprano not only has regular roles in performances of the Budapest Opera, but she has sung alongside Placido Domingo and Anna Netrebko, while the bass from Belarus will debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera next February.
Marton said in a statement after the event that “I can safely say that the quality of the III. Éva Marton International Singing Competition was remarkable, and we unanimously agreed with the highly experienced members of the nine-member jury that it was higher than the international average.”