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Finals at the Opera House

The final round of the Queen Sonja International Music Competition was held at the Opera House in Oslo on Friday evening. Her Majesty The Queen was in attendance and presented the first place prize to baritone Donghwan Lee of South Korea.


The participants in this year’s competition were selected from among more than 200 contestants from over 40 countries. The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra kicked off the 10-day long competition on August 17 with a concert at City Hall Square in Oslo in which previous competition winners served as the soloists in the performance of Ode to Joy.

During the past week the participants have competed in preliminary and semi-final rounds. Six talented singers were then selected to perform at the Opera House during the final round on Friday evening. Each of the finalists performed two arias before the jury, comprised of internationally renowned opera singers and opera directors, made their final decision.

The winners

First prize was awarded to baritone Donghwan Lee, who sang Ni sna, ni otdikha izmuchennoi dushe from Prince Igor by Aleksandr Borodin and Madamina, il catalogo è questo from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Mezzo-soprano Ingeborg Gillebo received second prize following her performance of Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle from Romeo and Juliet by Charles Gounod, and È amore un ladroncello from Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Third prize went to soprano Uliana Alieksiuk from Ukraine, who sang Regnava nel silenzio from Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti and Ach, ich liebte from Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

The other finalists were:

  • Suzanne Vinnik, soprano (USA)
  • Kateryna Kasper, soprano (Ukraine)
  • John Chest, baritone (USA)

The prizes

Queen Sonja herself awarded the prizes to the three winners, who will receive a cash sum and career opportunities in the form of prestigious engagements.

For the first time this year, the prize also includes an original lithograph signed by the Queen.



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