Group picture of the finalists with Liz Mohn, President of NEUE STIMMEN, and Dominique Meyer, Chairman of the NEUE STIMMEN jury.

11 young singers qualify for the NEUE STIMMEN finals

NEUE STIMMEN finals, here we come! In the semifinals of the international singing competition on Thursday, the jury selected five female and six male singers for the grand concert on Saturday. The French soprano Elsa Dreisig won the people's choice award.

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The finalists are:

2015 NEUE STIMMEN finalists

Miriam Albano, mezzo-soprano (Italy, born 1991)

Miriam Albano initially 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. She made her 2013 debut there as Cherubino at the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn. The young singer had performed at the Teatro Malibran in Venice prior to this. Last August she sang the part of Sidonie in Armide during the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music. In 2013 she gave a song recital in 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.


2007 – 2011 Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello Venezia, Italy

since 2012 Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien, Austria (since 2012)


2014 2nd Prize International Singing Competition "Ferruccio Tagliavini" Deutschlandsberg, Austria

2014 Special Prize Centre de Musique baroque de Versailles, International Singing Competition for Baroque Opera Pietro Antonio Cesti Innsbruck, Austria

2014 Finalist International Music Competition Osaka, Austria

2015 1st Prize Ada Sari International Vocal Artists Festival and Competition, Poland

Stage experience:

2012 Amore | Orfeo ed Euridice, Teatro Malibran Venezia, Italy

2013 Cherubino | Le nozze di Figaro, Schlosstheater Schönbrunn Wien, Austria

Current engagement:

2015 Sidonie | Armide, Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik

Mariia Bochmanova, lyric soprano (Russia, born 1987)

Mariia Bochmanova is a graduate of both the Glinka State Conservatory in Novosibirsk and the Rimsky Korsakov State Conservatory in St. Petersburg. She was awarded first place in the 2012 Bibigual Tolegenova international singing competition in Kazakhstan. Mariia has been a member of the ensemble at the State Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vladivostok since the 2013/14 season. She played Tsarevna Swan-Bird there in Rimski-Korkakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan, and performed the role of Tatyana in Eugen Onegin at the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre in Yekaterinburg. Her further on-stage experience includes the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Musetta in La Bohème and Micaëla in Carmen. In the summer of 2015, Mariia guest-starred as Brigitta in Iolanta at the Aix-en-Provence music festival. She will sing this part again at the Opéra National de Lyon in early 2016.


2009 – 2013 The Rimsky Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory, St. Petersburg, Russia


2012 1st Prize Bibigul Tolegenova International Vocal Competition, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan

Stage experience:

2013/14 Tatjana | Eugen Onegin, Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Ekaterinburg, Russia

2013/15 Swan Princess | The tale of Tzar Saltan, The State Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theater, Vladivostok, Russia

2014/15 Micaela | Carmen, Den Norske Opera and Ballett, Oslo, Norway

Recent and upcoming engagements:

The State Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theater, Vladivostok, Russia

Upcoming engagement:
Brigitta | Iolanta, Festival in Aix-en-Provence and Opéra National de Lyon, France

Dashuai Chen, tenor (China, born 1990)

Dashuai Chen was born in Tai'an, a town with five and a half million inhabitants, located just 500km south of Peking in the Chinese province of Shandong. The Chinese tenor began his musical education at the age of 18. He studied under Ping Gu at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and has already won several awards at national singing competitions. He harbors a passion for the operas of Puccini, in particular for La Bohème, whose main character of Rodolfo is his dream role. Dashuai Chen is also a dedicated swimmer, but music is his true lifelong aspiration. His ultimate goal is to be an opera singer and tutor of vocal performance.


2011 – 2015 Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China

Elsa Dreisig, soprano (France, born 1991)

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.


2012 – 2015 Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de musique de Paris, France


2011 1st Prize and Audience Choice Award Des Mots et des Notes competition Paris, France

2014 1st Prize Competition 'Ton und Erklärung', Germany

2015 Audience Choice Award, Young Audience Choice Award, Role of Rosina, Tour de France, 24ème Concours international de chant lyrique de Clermont Ferrand, France

2015 2nd Prize Queen Sonja International Music Competition, Oslo, Norway

Conservatory production:

2013/14 Nanette | Der Wildschütz, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig, Germany

Tamiri | Semiramide
Mumuth Graz, Austria

Stage experience:

2010 – 2011 Serpolette | Les cloches de Corneville, Espace Reuilly, Paris, France

2011 – 2012 Prince Charmant | Cendrillon, Espace Reuilly, Paris, France

2014 – 2015 Jenny | Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Le Châtelet, France

Current engagement:

Châtelet Paris, France

Upcoming engagement:

2016 Rosina | Il barbiere di Siviglia, Centre lyrique Clermont-Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, Frankreich

2015/2016 Pamina | Die Zauberflöte
                           Blumenmädchen | Parsifal
                           Prinzessin | Der gestiefelte Kater
                           Dienerin Amelias | Simone Boccanegra
                           Internationales Opernstudio der Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Berlin, Germany

Jung Rae Kim, baritone (South Korea, born 1994)

The 21-year-old baritone Jung Rae Kim studied vocal performance at the National University College of Music in his hometown of Seoul. He was most notably taught by Kwang Chul Youn, an internationally renowned bass who has been a professor there since 2010. He first discovered classical music at the age of 17 and immediately began taking singing lessons. Just four years later he celebrated his first triumph as a prize winner at the 2015 international Francisco Viñas Singing Competition in Spain.


College of Music, Seoul National University, South Korea


2015 Special Prize International Singing Contest Francisco Viñas, Spain

Lukhanyo Moyake, tenor (South Africa, born 1986)

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, stepping into a multitude 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.


2006 – 2009 University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa

2010 – 2011 University of Cape Town, South Africa


2015 Finalist International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, Netherlands

Stage experience:

2011 Rinuccio | Gianni Schicchi
             Belmonte | Die Entführung aus dem Serail
             Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cape Town, South Africa

2012 Jaquino | Fidelio, Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cape Town, South Africa

2013 Goro | Madama Butterfly, Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cape Town, South Africa

2014 Don Basilio | Le nozze di Figaro, Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cape Town, South Africa

Sportin' Life | Porgy and Bess, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Spanien

2015 Alfredo | La Traviata, Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cape Town, South Africa

Sportin' Life | Porgy and Bess, Teatro Real de Madrid, Spain

Current engagement:

2015 Alfredo | La Traviata, Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cap Town, South Africa

Sportin' Life | Porgy and Bess, Teatro Real de Madrid, Spain

Upcoming engagement:

2015 Camille de Rosillon | Die lustige Witwe
             Leicester | Maria Stuarda
             Artscape Theatre Opera House, Cape Town, South Africa

2016 Tenor | African Prophetess, NorrlandsOperan Umea, Sweden and Stockholm International Composer Festival, Sweden

Bongiwe Nakani, mezzo-soprano (South Africa, born 1989)

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.


University of Cape Town, South Africa


2011 2nd Prize The Schock Foundation Prize for Singing, University of Cape Town, South Africa

2012 2nd Prize Amazwi omzansi Africa Singing Competition, South Africa

Conservatory production:

2013 Rosina | Il barbiere di Siviglia, University of Cape Town / Cape Town Opera, South Africa

2014 Marquise Melibea | Il viaggio a Reims, University of Cape Town / Cape Town Opera, South Africa

Stage experience:

2012 La Mère d'Antonia | Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Cape Town Opera, South Africa

Current engagement:

2015 Elisabetta I. | Maria Stuarda, University of Cape Town / Cape Town Opera, South Africa

Upcoming engagement:

Role in Four:30, Four short South African operas by South African composers

Darren Pati, tenor (New Zealand, born 1987)

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 Montserrat 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.


2007 – 2010 University of Auckland, New Zealand

2011 – 2012 Wales International Academy of Voice, Cardiff, United Kingdom

2013 Merola Opera Program San Francisco, United States


2011 1st Prize Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Award, Australia

2012 1st Prize Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award, Australia

2014 1st Prize Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition, Spain

2015 2nd Prize Operalia Competition, London, United Kingdom

Conservatory production:

2012 Elvino | La sonnambula, The Auckland Opera Studio, New Zealand

Luthando Qave, baritone (South Africa, born 1986)

Luthando Qave is part of the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm. He will be performing there during the 2015/2016 season in the roles of Dancairo, Guglielmo, and Count Almaviva. The baritone has already performed a variety of roles including Jake, Marcello and Leporello at opera houses around the world, including the Met in New York, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, and the Cape Town Opera. He was born in South Africa and his first stage appearance was as a soloist and chorus singer at the Cape Town Opera. After studying at the Stockholm University College of Opera, he joined the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and made his debut at the Met as Yamadori in Madama Butterfly. Luthando was a semifinalist in the 2009 NEUE STIMMEN competition, and in 2013 he was a finalist in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.


2008 – 2011 University College of Opera Stockholm, Sweden
2011 – 2012 Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, United States


2009 Semi-finalist NEUE STIMEN International Singing Competition, Germany

2010 Finalist International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, Vienna

2013 Finalist BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, United Kingdom

Stage experience:

2009 Guglielmo | Così fan tutte, Drottningholms Slottsteater, Sweden

2011 Yamadori | Madama Butterfly, The Metropolitan Opera New York, United States

2012 – 2013 Fiorello | Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Metropolitan Opera New York, United States

2013 Silvio | I Pagliacci, Finnish National Opera, Finland

Current Engagement:

2014 – 2015 Sacerdote Maya | The Indian Queen, English National Opera London, United Kingdom

Leporello | Don Giovanni, Royal Swedish Opera Stockholm, Sweden

Figaro | Le nozze di Figaro, Ulriksdals Slottsteater Confidencen Stockholm, Sweden

Ein Mandarin | Turandot, Dalhalla Opera Festival, Sweden

Upcoming Engagement:

2015 – 2016 Dancairo | Carmen
                              Conte Almaviva | Le nozze di Figaro
                              Guglielmo | Così fan tutte
                              Royal Swedish Opera Stockholm, Sweden

Anatoli Sivko, bass (Belarus, born 1987)

Anatoli Sivko studied singing at the Belarusian State Academy of Music in Minsk from 2008 to 2013. Next he 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.


2004 – 2008 Molodechno Music College, Belarus

2008 – 2013 Belarusian State Academy of Music, Minsk, Belarus

2010 – 2011 Opera studio, Dutch National Opera Academy, Netherlands

2011 Young Singers Project, Salzburg Festival, Austria


2009 2nd Prize Klaudia Taev International Competition for Young opera singers, Estonia

2013 1st Prize International Stanisław Moniuszko Vocal Competition, Warsaw, Poland

2015 2nd Prize International Singing Contest Francisco Viñas, Spain

Stage experience:

2011 – 2012 Attila | Attila, Estonian National Opera Tallinn, Estonia

2014 Sparafucile | Rigoletto, Operá de Rennes, France

2014 Samuel | Un ballo in maschera, Royal Opera House London, United Kingdom

2014 Zuniga | Carmen, Opernhaus Zürich, Switzerland

Current engagement:

National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus

Upcoming engagement:

2016 Samuel | Un ballo in maschera, Bayerische Staatsoper Münchner and Opernfestspiele München, Germany

2016 Naroemov | Pique Dame, Dutch National Opera, Netherlands

Camila Titinger, lyric soprano (Brazil, born 1989)

Camila Titinger studied singing at the Instituto de Artes Universidade Estadual Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil, graduating at the end of 2013. She is a member of the Theatro São Pedro opera studio in São Paulo. The lyrical soprano started gaining stage experience in 2012, playing the roles of Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, of Mimi in La Bohème, and then of Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann in 2013. In 2011 Camila won the Brazilian "Maracanto" competition and was also awarded second place in the Bidu Sayão competition. Camila won first prize in 2013 in the Maria Callas International Opera Competition in her home city of Sao Paulo. In the same year she qualified to participate in the final round of the NEUE STIMMEN 2013 competition.


2009 – 2013 Instituto de Artes Universidade Estadual Paulista de São Paulo, Brasil

Opera Studio Theatro São Pedro, São Paulo, Brasil


2011 1st Prize Maranhao Maracanto, Brasil

2013 1st Prize Maria Callas International Opera Competition Sao Paulo, Brasil

Final round Participant International NEUE STIMMEN Singing Competition, Gütersloh, Germany

Stage experience:

2012 Contessa | Le nozze di Figaro, Museo Ipiranga e Pinacoteca, São Paulo, Brasil

2013 Antonia | Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Theatro Municipal Sorocaba, Brasil

2015 Nuria | Ainadamar, Theatro Municipal São Paulo, Brasil

19 singers in total participated in the semifinal. Adding to the jury's decision, the audience in Gütersloh Stadthalle could choose a favorite of their own. The people's choice award went to the 24-year-old Elsa Dreisig who had performed the aria "Bel raggio lusinghier / Dolce pensiero" from Gioachino Rossini's opera "Semiramide".

Just like in the semifinals, singers participating in the finals on Saturday, October 24, will be accompanied by the Duisburg Philharmonic under the direction of Graeme Jenkins. Contestants rehearse with the orchestra before taking part in the concerts and receive individual feedback from the jury. NEUE STIMMEN is one of the few singing competitions worldwide in which participants are accompanied by an orchestra during the semifinals.

The dress rehearsal for the finals are open to the public. It will take place on Saturday, October 24, from 11 am to 2 pm in the Gütersloh Stadthalle. On Saturday evening, the finals will be streamed live from 7 pm to approximately 11 pm on,, and Unitel CLASSICA will record finals, just like the semifinals, and broadcast both concerts internationally on October 29 and 30, 2015.

Not only does the Bertelsmann Stiftung use NEUE STIMMEN to discover new talent, it also promotes and assists the young singers, thereby setting new standards for competitions in general. For example, all singers are provided with comments on their performance directly after auditioning. In addition to feedback on technical ability, vocal quality, musical presentation and artistic presence, they receive recommendations specific to their own situation. To assist them in developing further, participants might also be given the opportunity to perform in concert, receive an invitation from the foundation's network of partners or be asked to attend a master class in Gütersloh.

You can find all the arias from the semifinal concert in our YouTube playlist for the 2015 NEUE STIMMEN singing competition.