After Day 3’s third and final session of eight singers for the Round one of the opera component, and a 30 minute wait, the CMIM 2018 announced the 12 semifinalists of the Aria competition. They are in alphabetical order:
- Mario Bahg, tenor (27, South Korea)
- John Brancy, baritone (29, United States)
- Rihab Chaieb, mezzo-soprano (31, Canada/Tunisia)
- Kidon Choi, baritone (32, South Korea)
- Emily D’Angelo, mezzo-soprano (23, Canada/Italy)
- Mikhail Golovushkin, bass (35, Russia)
- Andrew Haji, tenor (32, Canada)
- Dilyara Idrisova, soprano (29, Russia)
- Konstantin Lee, tenor (29, South Korea)
- Mihail Mihaylov, tenor (30, Bulgaria)
- Petr Nekoranec, tenor (26, Czech Republic)
- Jongsoo Yang, bass (28, South Korea)
By the numbers:
- 5 tenors, 1 soprano, 2 mezzos and 4 bass/baritones
- 4 North Americans (3 Canadians plus 1 American)
- 4 South Koreans
- 4 Eastern Europeans
The breakdown according to Sessions are (with their order of appearance in the semifinals):
- Dilyara Idrisova, soprano; semi 1 June 4
- Kidon Choi, baritone; semi 1 June 4
- Mihail Mihaylov, tenor; semi 1 June 4
- Emily D’Angelo, mezzo-soprano; semi 1 June 4
- Andrew Haji, tenor; semi 1 June 4
- Jongsoo Yang, bass; semi 1 June 4
- Konstantin Lee, tenor; semi 2 June 5
- Petr Nekoranec, tenor; semi 2 June 5
- John Brancy, baritone; semi 2 June 5
- Rihab Chaieb, mezzo-soprano; semi 2 June 5
- Mario Bahg, tenor; semi 2 June 5
- Mikhail Golovushkin, bass; semi 2 June 5
Day 3 Round Up
The most exciting part of Day 3 came at the end with the last two singers Mario Bahg and Mikhail Golovushkin stealing the show.
- I found Czech tenor Petr Nekoranec too cold and distant, but his voice was resonant and carried to the balcony, plus he tossed off the 9 high Cs with ease in “Ah! mes amis, quel jour de fête!” from Donizetti`s La fille du régiment, so he passes to the semis.
- American baritone John Brancy disappointed in his opening German aria which was not connected to his support, but made up for it in his Bellini, going full Italianate mode, and was better supported; he did enough to make it to the second round.
- Canadian mezzo Rihab Chaieb oversang her first two arias distorting her diction, but won over the audience with her Carmen aria, so again enough for the second round
- Korean tenor Mario Bahg shows that if you can sing two of the most difficult tenor arias with a nice legato, you win over audience and jury alike. “La fleur” from Carmen and “Una furtiva lagrima” are difficult because there are no place to rest. Bahg sang through both with ease despite an overloud first high note in the Carmen. I would have liked some rubato as he sang them straight, but it didn’t seem to matter to listener appreciation.
- Russian bass Mikhail Golovushkin showed beautiful tone, good projection, great legato and innate musicality in his three arias, and positions himself as the new front runner.
Day 4 continues tomorrow with the semifinals of Art Song at 3 PM and at 7:30 PM.
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