Gruppenbild der Preisträger beim Finale der NEUEN STIMMEN am 24. Oktober 2015 in der Stadthalle Gütersloh.
Besim Mazhiqi

Press Release, , : Elsa Dreisig and Anatoli Sivko are the winners of the International Singing Competition NEUE STIMMEN 2015

The 24 year-old French soprano Elsa Dreisig and 28 year-old Belarusian bass Anatoli Sivko have won the Bertelsman Stiftung's 16th International Singing Competition NEUE STIMMEN 2015.

Gütersloh, October 24, 2015. Each singer will receive €15,000 in award money and tremendous career opportunities. Eleven finalists (five female, six male) performed at the final concert held Saturday night in Gütersloh. A total of €60,000 was awarded to the top three finalists in both the male and female categories. Each remaining finalist received a development prize.     The results are as follows:Women1. Prize €15,000: Elsa Dreisig, Soprano (France, born 1991)2. Prize €10,000: Miriam Albano, Mezzo-soprano (Italy, born 1991)3. Prize €5,000: Bongiwe Nakani, Mezzo-soprano (South Africa, born 1989)Men1. Prize €15,000: Anatoli Sivko, Bass (Belarus, born 1987)2. Prize €10,000: Darren Pati, Tenor (New Zealand, born 1987)3. Prize €5,000: Lukhanyo Moyake, Tenor (South Africa, born 1986)

A total of 42 young opera singers from 26 countries qualified for the one-week competition in Gütersloh. Nineteen singers made it to the semi-finals and eleven to the final round. Nearly 1,400 singers from 72 countries worldwide auditioned for the competition.

NEUE STIMMEN President and Bertelsmann Stiftung Vice Chair of the Executive Board Liz Mohn emphasized the importance of experience in cultivating the profound talent of young artists. "We will continue to provide support to these young singers – even after the competition is over, as it is not always easy for such young talents to establish themselves in the world of opera. We therefore provide opportunties through our network of experts and experienced advisors," says Mohn.

True to its "Creating Careers" mission, the NEUEN STIMMEN competition provides singers the opportunity to establish themselves in the dynamic world of opera. The competition is designed not only to discover up-and-coming singers from around the globe, but to foster their development and provide support.

Dominique Meyer, Director of the Vienna State Opera and chairs of the international jury, which includes Gustav Kuhn, Director and Artistic Director of the Tyrolean Festival in Erl and Artistic Director of the NEUE STIMMEN competition. Other jurors include Brian Dickie, former General Director of the Chicago Opera Theater, Evamaria Wieser, Casting Casting Consultant Lyric Opera Chicago, Kammersänger Francisco Araíza, Professor at the Nuremberg University of Music, music critic and author Jürgen Kesting, Bernd Loebe, Artistic Director of the Frankfurt Opera, Christoph Meyer, General Director at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf/Duisburg, Nicholas Payne, Director of Opera Europe, the professional association of opera houses and festivals in Europe and Kammersängerin Anja Silja. 

The Duisburg philharmonic under the direction of Graeme Jenkins accompanied the singers during the final concert.

German TV channel Classica will broadcast the semi-final and final concerts on the 29th and 30th of October 2015 respectively at 10:20 pm in 33 countries across five continents. 


Biographies of prize winners (in alphabetical order)

Miriam Albano studied the violin at the Conservatorio de Musica Benedetto Marcello in Venice before beginning her degree in vocal performance at the age of 16. She graduated with honors in 2011 and has since continued her education at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Before debuting at the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn in 2013 as Cherubino,  the young singer performed at the Teatro Malibran in Venice. Last August, she sang the part of Sidonie in Armide during the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. In 2013, she gave a song recital at the Venice concert association and performed the Wesendonck Lieder at the Festival Galuppi. The mezzo-soprano has won prizes at several international singing competitions, including the Ferruccio Tagliavini contest in Austria and the Pietro Antonio Cesti contest in Innsbruck.


Elsa Dreisig is a beneficiary of the Liz Mohn Culture and Music Foundation at the Staatsoper Berlin's International Opera Studio and a member of the Opéra-Théâtre de Clermont-Ferrand. The soprano trained at an early age with the children and youth choirs of the Wallonie and Lyon opera houses, and more recently studied at the Paris Conservatory and the University of Music and Theater in Leipzig. In 2012, she was crowned winner of the "Des Mots et des Notes" singing competition in Paris, and in 2014 she came first in the "Ton und Erklärung" contest. Elsa is a member of the Ensemble 101 contemporary music society and also sings in her family ensemble, 4D (4 Dreisig). In 2014 she performed in Leipzig as Nanette in Der Wildschütz, studied at the Schubert-Académie in Aix-en-Provence under Matthias Goerne and Markus Hinterhäuser, and took part in the NEUE STIMMEN Lied Master Class. In 2015, she won second prize in the Queen Sonja international music competition in Norway. Elsa can often be found performing at song recitals and concerts.


Lukhanyo Moyake is currently working at the Artscape Theatre Opera House in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been performing at this opera house since his graduation in 2011, taking on a variety of roles, including Alfredo in La Traviata, Jaquino in Fedelio and Belmote in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. With the Cape Town Opera production of Porgy and Bess, Lukhanyo spent the 2014/15 season touring in Spain, singing the part of Sportin' Life at both the Teatro Real de Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona. In the summer of 2015, he made it to the final round of the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, held in Amsterdam. Alongside his career in opera, the tenor holds regular concerts, performing Lieder and oratorios.


Mezzo-soprano Bongiwe Nakani is currently in the first year of her postgraduate degree at the University of Cape Town. She regularly appears on stage in cooperative productions with the Cape Town Opera in roles such as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and, in the near future, Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda. Bongiwe grew up in Cape Town's district of Khayelitsha, a township which is notorious for unemployment, HIV/AIDS and a high crime rate. The young singer fought to realize her dream and is now a famous opera talent in her homeland. In 2012, she had the incredible opportunity of singing at Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday celebrations, appearing in front of international leaders of countries and governments at the UN National Assembly in New York. Bongiwe has been awarded several times with The Schock Foundation Prize for Singing.


Darren Pene Pati, born in Samoa, grew up in New Zealand and began his singing studies at the University of Auckland. In 2012, he earned a master's degree in music from the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff. Pene is also a graduate of the Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera. He has been recognized as an emerging talent and has won numerous prizes in singing competitions. In summer 2015 he was awarded second prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia competition, and in 2014 he won the Monserrat Caballé International Singing Competition. He also won the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award in 2012. Together with his brother Amitai and his cousin Moses Mackay, he is part of Sol3Mio, which performs a mixture of classical repertoire pieces and Samoan pop songs.


Anatoli Sivko studied singing at the Belarusian State Academy of Music in Minsk from 2008 to 2013. He then performed as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theatre of Opera and Ballet, also in Minsk. Anatoli has won numerous prizes, including second prize in the Francisco Viñas International Singing Contest that took place in Spain in 2015. The bass singer took part in 2011 in the Salzburg Festival's Young Singers Project. Roles such as Attila in Verdi’s opera of the same name, King Rene in Iolanta and Zuniga in Carmen have taken him to prestigious opera houses, including the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden, the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Zürich Opera House. In the 2015/2016 season, he will give a guest performance at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where he made his debut playing Samuel in Un ballo in maschera. Anatoli also performs as a concert singer.


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