International Giordani competition comes to Charlotte April 24-28

You may be used to seeing Simon Cowell, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani in the judges’ seats on TV singing competitions. In April, Italian tenor Marcello Giordani; Dominque Meyer, Director of the Vienna State Opera; Michael Capasso, general director of the New York City Opera; Evans Mirages, artistic director of the Cincinnati Opera; Claudio Ferri of Royal Artists Management of Monaco; and Sabino Lenoci, CEO of Opera Italy Magazine are moving into the judges’ chairs when Opera Carolina hosts the Marcello Giordani International Voice Competition from April 24 through 28.

Following three days of preliminary rounds for about 40 hopefuls, three finalists will be featured in a Finals Concert at Belk Theater on Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Playing host to the competition bolsters Charlotte’s reputation as an international arts hub. “Opera Carolina is quickly being recognized as an artistically engaging company with the highest international standards,” said James Meena. “Hosting the Fourth Marcello Giordani International Voice Competition brings distinction to our company and our city.”

The competition is open to aspiring opera singers of all nationalities between the ages of 21 and 35. First prize is $10,000 and an opportunity to sing the lead or a supporting role in an Opera Carolina production. Second prize is $5,000; third prize is $3,000. “Marcello is a world-renowned opera star and a generous benefactor,” Meena said.

Giordani, a regular at the Met, La Scala and the Vienna State Opera, established a foundation to help promising young singers begin their careers. The foundation sponsors master classes, seminars and summer programs and provides training and financial support.

The first Concorso Giordani was held in Sicily in 2011. In 2013, the United States competition was added; it has alternated between the two countries since. Thanks to the more than 25-year relationship between Giordani and Meena, who served as a judge for the competition in Italy, Charlotte is hosting the 2017 U.S. competition in conjunction with Giordani’s appearances as Dick Johnson in The Girl of the West.

“Part of our mission is nurturing young talent,” said Meena. “When that’s accompanied by prestige and a financial award, it’s even more special.”

The semi-finals are open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. on April 26. RSVP is required and can be done here.

The Finals Concert on April 28 is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased here.