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"A hint - don't paint too much direct from nature. Art is an abstraction! study nature then brood on it and treasure the creation which will result, which is the only way to ascend towards God - to create like our Divine Master." (Paul Gauguin)
Going a little back, I would like to recall the 1st year of the International Vocal Competition in Zdar nad Sazavou, which seems like the most tough and at the same time exhilarating experience in music of my life (well, at least till that time).
Just one weekend in the little charming city of the Czech Rebublic and over 30 competitors gathering around. As I was the official accompanist, I got aquainted with them soon and supervised their preparation. And what needes to be added, most of them showed really amazing skills in the end, and the winners was just excellent.
This photo comes from the concert of the award winners. The first prize came to Ireland, to a rising star of the Irish opera, only 22 years old mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught. Pupil of Veronica Dunne, she actually clearly resembles Cecilia Bartoli, both by her amazing technique and powerful expression.
Great new for us, the second place stayed in our country, and coloratura soprano Olga Jelinkova clearly deserved it. After presenting Zerbinetta and Lucia di Lammermoor with precise diction, confident high testitura and superb handling of all fiorituras, she was clear award winner from the beginning of the contest.
Well, and last but not the least, Katarzyna Mackiewicz, beautiful Polish soprano got the third award. There was of course a couple of special awards coming to the various participants (Vera Likerova, Lucie Brozikova, Janette Zsigova and others) and also there was award for taking part in the following "Mitsubishi Tour" with me and Jakub Pustina in September. And this prize was given to Katarzyna Mackiewicz.
Mitsubishi Tour? Well, we were granted with a brand new Mitsubishi for the whole tour (see the image below). And we did seven concerts around the whole country, which were greatly acclaimed. Katarzyna Mackiewicz is not only excellent soprano, graduating this year Conservatory in St. Petersbourg, but also amazingly gifted stage artist. She already graces the audience in Mariinsky Theatre (Young Singers Academy) and the theatre in Warsaw. She is especially skilled for the operetta, but also excells in both Polish and Russina repertoire. I definitely enjoyed working with her and hope we could embark on more mutual projects in the future.
You can watch a video clip from the tour here:
Well, you can also listen to the audio recordings at last.fm Just search for the artists Katarzyna Mackiewicz and Jakub Pustina.
And the following competition? The second annual is going to be very exciting for the one, who is going to win it... Since the first prize is nothing less than a new car Skoda Fabia. Not joking!
See the official website for more information: www.pustinacompetition.cz