Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires: María Florencia Machado Wins International Singing Contest 2012 (JSJ)

Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires: María Florencia Machado Wins International Singing Contest 2012 (JSJ)

María Florencia Machado, winner of the Teatro Colón’s International Singing Contest 2012. (Photo Teatro Colón)

Argentine mezzo-soprano María Florencia Machado has been named as the winner of the 2012 International Singing Contest of the Teatro Colón’s Instituto Superior de Arte.

In second place was Korean soprano Jung Nan Yoon, followed by Argentine soprano Jaquelina Livieri in third place and Russian baritone Alexey Lavrov in fourth.

The Contest, the first of its type to be run by the Institute, was aimed to seek out the most talented young singers in the world and to provide them with performing opportunities to enable them to advance their careers, particularly in the main opera houses in South America. Participating theatres included Covent Garden (London), Metropolitan Opera (New York), Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), Teatro Municipal (Santiago), Municipal Theatre (São Paulo) and of course the Teatro Colón, where the initial auditions were conducted during May and June.

From these the top eight singers were selected for the finalists’ concert in the Teatro Colón on September 8. Each presented two arias, with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Buenos Aires, under its musical director Enrique Arturo Diemecke.

The judging panel was chaired by Sherrill Milnes. Other judges were singers Kiri Te Kanawa and Sumi Jo, Lenore Rosenberg, artistic administrator at the Met, Nicholas Sears, director of vocal studies at the Royal College of Music, and Renaud Loranger, artistic producer at Deutsche Grammophon.

The other four finalists were Mexicans baritone Josué Cerón Román and soprano Anabel De La Mora Niebla, Chilean soprano Paulina González Melgarejo, and Argentine bass Roy David Pullen Llermanos.

29-year old Ms Machado, who sung “Werther, Werther, Werther” from the work of the same name and “Parto, parto” from La Clemenza di Tito, is no stranger to local stages. Roles she has played at the Colón have included Selene in the world premiere of Fedra, Mistress of the novices in Suor Angelica, and Maddalena in Rigoletto, and in the Teatro Argentino’s Das Rheingold, Flosshilde.

She has a warm, mature sounding voice, clearly best suited to the lyric roles, and we look forward to her continued development as she expands her repertoire.

Jonathan Spencer Jones