The19th Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry Competition made history

The 19th Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry Competition in Nowy Sącz ended on Saturday, 4 September 2021 with the Concert of Laureates. Seven artists, winners of the highest awards, performed in front of the audience gathered in the auditorium of the SOKÓŁ Małopolska Cultural Centre in Nowy Sącz. The audience spared no applause as everyone realised that they were witnesses to the birth of new stars.
The evening belonged to the winners of second prizes, separately in the female and male voice categories: Ketevan Chuntishvili, a soprano from Georgia, and David Roy, a baritone from Poland (let us recall, the first prizes were not awarded by the jury). The artists performed on stage twice each. Ketevan Chuntishvili presented the recitative and the aria of the Countess from Act III of Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro" (for which she also received a special prize for the best performance of a Mozart piece), as well as the aria of Manon from Act III of Massenet's "Manon". David Roy, on the other hand, performed a recitative and Rodrigo's aria from Act III of the opera "Don Carlo" Verdi and the aria of the Swordsman from Act II of the opera "Haunted Manor" by Moniuszko.

Third place laureates also took part in the concert: Maria Polańska (mezzo-soprano, Poland), Andżelika Wiśniewska (mezzo-soprano, Poland), Stanisław Napierała (tenor, Poland) and Jakub Szmidt (bass, Poland). In their performance we could hear the hits of the stage and stage: Johann Strauss, Richard Strauss, Peter Tchaikovsky and Ottorin Respighi.

The Concert of Laureates also featured Zoya Petrova (soprano, Russia), who won the award for the best performance of songs, in this case the song cycle of Sergei Rachmaninoff. The artist presented the most famous of them: "Ne poi krasavica".

Due to the pandemic, in the final the artists performed not with an orchestra, but with a piano accompaniment. The singers were accompanied by pianists: Anna Marchwińska, Dominika Peszko (the jury awarded her the prize for the best pianist-accompanist) and Aleksander Teliga.

The Concert of Laureates was preceded by the closing ceremony of the Competition. The young singers were showered with prizes (the pool amounted to PLN 97 thousand); they also received many material prizes and invitations to concerts.

The Concert of Laureates was also an opportunity to express gratitude. The list of performers was opened by Małgorzata Walewska, artistic director of the Competition, who thanked everyone who worked on the event. And Minister Tadeusz Deszkiewicz, Advisor on Culture to the President of the Republic of Poland, said: "For 30 years I have been associated with this Competition, which is the work of Prof. Helena Łazarska and Antoni Malczak. I thank the current director for continuing this work. This is not only the promotion of Nowy Sacz, but also the promotion of Poland". At the same time, Tadeusz Deszkiewicz thanked Liliana Olech, who has been overseeing the organisation of the Competition since its inception.

During the official part of the ceremony, the floor was also given to Monika Gubała, director of the Department of Culture and National Heritage of the Office of the Marshal of the Republic of Poland, who read out a congratulatory address from Iwona Gibas, member of the board of the Młlopolska Region, addressed to Andrzej Zarych, director of MCC SOKÓŁ in Nowy Sącz.

The official part ended with a speech by director Andrzej Zarych, who thanked everyone for the shape of this competition, held in difficult pandemic conditions. Starting with Minister Piotr Gliński, through Marshal Witold Kozłowski, the local government of the Malopolska Region, Marta Mordarska, councillor of the Malopolska Region and director of the Malopolska Branch of PFRON, media patrons, Małgorzata Walewska, and finally the jurors, pianists, sponsors and employees of the SOKÓŁ MCC. As befits such ceremonies, there were flowers and congratulations.

The ceremony included a touching point in the programme. Professor Ryszard Karczykowski, a great star of the Polish vocal music scene and a member of the Competition jury several times, who came to Nowy Sącz to listen to the winners, was invited to the stage as it was his 60th professional anniversary in September. Tadeusz Deszkiewicz read out a congratulatory letter from Polish President Andrzej Duda.

"Here today is a flower of wonderful voices, we have come together to listen to the laureates," said a surprised Professor Karczykowski. "Vocalism, was, is and will be, and I believe in this very much and in you this hope. We have many vocalists who represent Poland wonderfully". - Ryszard Karczykowski emphasised.

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The 19th Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry Competition was very successful. It brought many artistic emotions and revealed many wonderful voices. "All finalists captivated me in a way. I was fascinated by their incredible sensitivity, sometimes also freedom of interpretation and, above all, great charm". - said Małgorzata Walewska, chairwoman of the jury.

"I am very impressed by the young artists. All those who made it to the second stage can sing. Some were still very young, others already mature, but overall the level of the Competition was very high". - Michael Barobeck, Jury member of the Competition and casting director of the Graz Opera.

The Competition proved that it could be held safely despite the difficult pandemic situation. It also proved how much it is needed by young vocalists and how the artists longed for the opportunity to perform in front of the audience, to prove themselves on stage. Therefore, the performances were accompanied by great emotions, often tears or euphoria. Moreover, the competition was very popular among the audience. It was broadcast in its entirety - along with the Winners' Concert - via the Internet, which attracted thousands of viewers in front of their screens.

The best summary of the week of auditions will probably be the words of Stanisław Napierała, winner of the third prize, uttered during the press conference on Saturday: "Let us remember that the competition is a way to an end, not an end in itself. Because our goal is the stage and performing on it". And it is worth remembering these words.

We have nothing else to do but to wish all the young artists good luck, wisdom in making decisions, happiness and the courage to always nurture music within themselves.

Let us remind you that the organiser of the 19th Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry Competition was the SOKÓŁ Małopolska Cultural Centre in Nowy Sącz. The jury's verdict, previous announcements, as well as photo gallery and recordings of all audition stages and the Concert of Laureates are available at: www.adasari.pl.

The 19th Ada Sari International Vocal Artistry Competition in Nowy Sącz is now history. We invite you in two years' time for the next edition!

Agnieszka Malatyńska-Stankiewicz
Competition Press Office