Israeli Opera to host Placido Domingo singing competition in Tel Aviv

Founded in 1993 by the famed international tenor, Operalia aims to discover the youngest and most promising opera singers and help them launch their international careers.

PLACIDO DOMINGO in New York in 2018. (photo credit: SHANNON STAPLETON / REUTERS)
PLACIDO DOMINGO in New York in 2018.
(photo credit: SHANNON STAPLETON / REUTERS)
For the first time, Tel Aviv will be hosting the annual Placido Domingo World Opera Competition 2020 – called Operalia – from October 22-28.
Founded in 1993 by the famed international tenor, Operalia aims to discover the youngest and most promising opera singers and help them launch their international careers. In previous years, the competition took place in Paris, London, Milan, Madrid, Washington, Moscow, Los Angeles and others cities.
For its 28th year, the competition has partnered with the Israeli Opera, which will be hosting the event. For the 78-year-old Domingo, this represents a full circle, as in the early 1960s at the beginning of his career he worked for three years in Tel Aviv at the Israeli National Opera under the management of Addis de Philippe.
Winning the competition includes a cash prize, but more importantly, it allows winners to begin building their international reputation and forging a professional relationship with many opera houses around the world. Each year, about 1,000 people apply to participate in the competition. A jury of three leading opera experts listens to each recording submitted and selects the top 40 nominees, who are then invited to participate in the competition that year.
Of the 40 participants in the quarterfinals of the competition, a jury of 10-12 international opera experts chooses the 20 participants who will go on to the semifinals, of which 10 qualify for the finals, where the singers will perform with the Israeli Opera Orchestra-Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion conducted by Domingo.
Domingo will also be present throughout the competition and provide artistic and professional advice to all participants.
In September, New York’s Metropolitan Opera ended its 51-year relationship with Domingo over allegations of sexual harassment by several women, charges that he’s rejected. A total of 20 women accused the Spanish tenor of harassment, inappropriate sexual behavior and of sometimes using his position in the industry to harm their careers if they rejected him. Their claims were published in two reports by the Associated Press.
In a December interview with Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, Domingo said the accusations against him have been “a nightmare.”
“The Spaniards are warm, affectionate and caring. I have been gallant but always within the limits of chivalry, respect and sensitivity. Behaviors that in the past could have been considered gallant gestures, are today perceived very differently.”
For more information on the competition, go to the website.