Olga Syniakova, first prize in the Alfredo Kraus Singing Competition

The winners in the VIII Alfredo Kraus International Singing Contest together with the Jury and representatives of the organizing and collaborating institutions.  |  |  NACHO GONZÁLEZ

The winners in the VIII Alfredo Kraus International Singing Contest together with the Jury and representatives of the organizing and collaborating institutions. | | NACHO GONZÁLEZ

The Ukrainian mezzo-soprano Olga Syniakova has obtained the first prize of the VIII International Singing Competition Alfredo Kraus (Cicak), after being valued by the jury chaired by the Mexican tenor Francisco Araiza in a gala with an audience held last Saturday, September 25 at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. According to the information released by the Alfredo Kraus International Foundation (Fiak) and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, organizers of the contest, Syniakova also received the audience award.

From left to right, Regina Freire, Olga Syniakova and Susana Vieira. | | NACHO GONZÁLEZ

The winners of the VIII Cicak are completed by the Portuguese sopranos Regina Freire -second prize- and Susana Vieira -third prize-, as well as the soprano Teresa Villena, who won the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Council award for the best singer of Spanish nationality . For its part, the award from the Martín Chirino Foundation of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for the best interpretation of Canarian origin was deserted when none of the contestants from the Canary Islands who appeared for the tests made it to the Final.

Ten singers, selected from among 124 contestants from 28 countries, participated in the final gala of the eighth edition of Cicak. The finalists performed with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by maestro Óliver Díaz.

In addition to the four awarded singers, six other finalists had the opportunity to present their great vocal and interpretive qualities in public: Germán Alcántara, baritone from Argentina; James Kim, tenor from South Korea-; John Lim, bass from South Korea; Yulia Merkudinova, soprano from Ukraine; Cecília Rodrigues, soprano from Portugal; and Ihor Voievodin, bass-baritone from Ukraine.

The president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales Méndez; the president of the Alfredo Kraus International Foundation, Rosa Kraus Ley and the president of the Jury, Francisco Araiza. Both the president of the Cabildo Gran Canaria and the president of the Fiak valued the technical and artistic quality of the participants in this eighth edition and welcomed the reception that the Contest has had, despite the difficulties derived from the pandemic, which has involved significant organizational demands.


Rosa Kraus Ley highlighted that “Cicak pursues the goal of excellence in art”, a goal that Alfredo Kraus himself set himself from the first edition of the Contest, in 1990. She thanked the interest and support received from the Cabildo de Gran Canaria , the main support of this initiative, as well as the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Martín Chirino Foundation, which award two prizes, and the theaters and national and international entities that collaborate with the Contest.

For his part, Antonio Morales Méndez expressed the will of the Cabildo to continue with its support, as it has done since 2017, the first year of this second stage of the Cicak, of a biennial nature. “We have a decided commitment to Art and Culture, in support of the heritage left by Alfredo Kraus,” Morales Méndez pointed out.

In addition, the president of the Gran Canaria Cabildo reiterated his intention to continue promoting the museum project dedicated to the figure of Alfredo Kraus that will also house the headquarters of the Fiak. To do this, he assured that “in 2022 a budget item will be set aside by the Cabildo.” The headquarters of this museum will be located in part of a building in the historic district of Vegueta, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

The official Cicak awards have – in addition to an accrediting diploma and medals designed by the granddaughter of the great tenor, Gara Martín Kraus -, with an endowment of 14,000 for the first prize; 12,000 euros for the second; and 10,000 euros for the third.

Jury of the VIII edition

Among the members of the Jury of the VIII Alfredo Kraus International Singing Contest, there are Daniel Bianco -the National Theater of La Zarzuela in Madrid-, Luca Ioseffini -MMMF Academy of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theater in Florence-, Elisabete Matos -Teatro de São Carlos de Lisbon-, Alessandro Galoppini -Teatro alla Scala in Milan-, Celestino Varela -Opera de Oviedo-, Ulises Jaén -ACO- and Jerónimo Saavedra. | LP


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