On the stage of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Musical Theater, awards were presented and the winners of the first Khibla Gerzmava International Competition for Vocalists and Accompanists performed. Memento gifts to the laureates were presented by honored guests of the event - stars of theater and cinema.
The prize fund of the competition is more than 6.5 million rubles. In addition to monetary rewards, the winners received special prizes - the opportunity to debut at the Bolshoi, Mariinsky and Moscow Academic Musical Theaters, as well as at the Helikon Opera.
The Gala Concert of Laureates ended the 1st International Competition of Vocalists and Accompanists, organized on the initiative of the famous opera singer Khibla Gerzmava and with the support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives. The Grand Prix of the competition went to the graduate of the Bolshoi Theater Youth Opera Program, bass Alexei Kulagin. The 1st prize was awarded to Olga Maslova and Vyacheslav Vasiliev, the 2nd prize went to Livei Howe and Gleb Peryazev, and the 3rd prize was shared by Maria Lupareva and Ekaterina Savinkova.
Participants of the II and III rounds received about another fifty special prizes, including debuts on the stages of the Bolshoi (for soprano Olga Maslova) and the Mariinsky (for bass Alexei Kulagin) theaters.
For a year and a half, Khibla Gerzmava and her team were preparing this project and were able to create a competition that, in its design, is significantly different from all those that exist today not only in Russia, but also in the world.
Presenting his nominal prize, the famous director Andrei Konchalovsky emphasized that this competition is especially important today, when culture and human memory are being canceled all over the world.
Member of the jury and artistic director of the opera, where the solemn ceremony took place, Alexander Titel invited eight people to the performances of the theater at once.
“I will be absolutely happy if our laureates make an excellent career and, as it has been and is from time immemorial, open and close the seasons of the best opera houses in the world. I wish everyone the sound, the happiness of being on stage. I ask all contestants to turn on their healthy, professional ambition; do not be offended by those who did not win today. I love and respect all the contestants immensely,” Khibla Gerzmava, People’s Artist of Russia and organizer of the contest, admonished the contestants.
The audience enthusiastically greeted each contestant and "drowned" in applause every number of the gala concert. They disagreed with the hope that the victory in the competition would not become the peak of the laureates' career, but would serve as a springboard to even greater professional achievements at all world venues.
Photo by Sergey Vinogradov