CMIM Report: The Leadup to the Semi-finals!

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Last Wednesday, late in the evening of June 1, after two full days of competition, CMiM jury president Zarin Mehta announced the names of the 6 semifinalists in the Melody category and the 10 semifinalists in the Aria category.

Art Song

Since the beginning of the competition, Wah Keung Chan, Adrian Rodriguez (aka Don Adriano) and Justin Bernard have been following the performances of all these singers and live commenting on Facebook. Several choices of the jury were easy to make, notably in the Art Song category. Deepa Johnny, mezzo-soprano, Meredith Wohlgemuth, soprano, and Arvid Fagerfjäll, baritone, appeared to be the most vocal candidates. With performances like these, it’s a safe bet that they will make it to the finals. Don Adriano praised Deepa Johnny’s “touching” interpretation of Gretchen am Spinnrade. “There is something natural about her voice and her acting skills.” Of Arvid Fagerfjäll, Justin Bernard acknowledges his “beautiful round bass-baritone voice, [his]blend of authority and sweetness,” while Don Adriano said of Meredith Wohlgemuth that she has “a pure sound that spreads through the hall like water in a river.”

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With her lively presence, Harriet Burns mesmerized the audience – and certainly the jury – with her incomparably rich voice. Her joy in singing on stage was infectious. Baritones Michael Lafferty and Bryan Murray won the two remaining tickets.


On the first day, Don Adriano had nothing but praise for Nils Wanderer, a countertenor with electrifying charisma who, in his opinion, came out on top. He reached the semi-finals of the competition with nine other singers, including many Canadian artists: sopranos Sarah Dufresne and Lauren Margison, mezzo-sopranos Deepa Johnny (also representing Oman) and Simone McIntosh, and baritone Hugo Laporte. Once again, the latter showed himself to be very comfortable in the upper register. More than his honey-rich timbre, it was his legato art and his sense of melodic line that set him apart from the rest of his competitors. Vladyslav Buialskyi, bass-baritone, Jihoon Son, tenor, Valerie Eickhoff, mezzo-soprano, and Bryan Murray, baritone rounded out the semi-finalists.

CMIM 2022 Semifinalists / demi-finalistes. Photo: Tam Photography







Fewer Koreans this Year

There was only one Korean in the semi-finals, despite the very good performances of soprano Seonwoo Lee and baritone Jusung Gabriel Park. The latter was the only one to perform three arias in the same language – in this case, Italian – and thus circumvented the rules of the CMIM which required three different arias from the current repertoire in at least two different languages in the first round. The CMIM did not wish to comment on this elimination, stating that Jury deliberations are confidential. They later stated that Park was part of the voting, but they could not say if he was penalized.

For his part, Park told La Scena Musicale that he was not informed of the situation beforehand. “The competition told me after the performance, which I was quite upset because I sent them the rep [in]February and they had 5 months to tell me something is wrong. But that’s life and my fault.”

In any case, this year’s four Korean candidates seemed to have had a completely different fate than at the 2018 Voice edition, where tenors Mario Bahg and Kostantin Lee won the first and third prizes in the Aria category respectively.

Here are direct links to the firsts rounds :


This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Justin Bernard est détenteur d’un doctorat en musique de l’Université de Montréal. Ses recherches portent sur la médiation musicale, notamment par le biais des nouveaux outils numériques, ainsi que sur la relation entre opéra et cinéma. Membre de l’Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM), il a réalisé une série de capsules vidéo éducatives pour l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Justin Bernard est également l’auteur de notes de programme pour le compte de la salle Bourgie du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal et chargé de cours à l’Université de Sherbrooke. Par ailleurs, il anime une émission d’opéra et une chronique musicale à Radio VM (91,3 FM).

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