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Egyptian soprano wins Leyla Gencer Voice Competition

24 September 2012, Istanbul, Turkey

Fatma Said with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra under Pietro Mianiti
Fatma Said with the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra under Pietro Mianiti

Report by Neil Jones

The 7th Leyla Gencer Voice Competition has been won after an inspired performance of ‘Je marche sur tous el chemins ... Obéissions, quand leur voix appelle’ from Manon by the 21-year-old Egyptian soprano, Fatma Said.

Said is currently a student at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin and her polished technique, spirited interpretation and simply gorgeous voice not only won her first prize but also the Doğuş Audience Prize.

Ludmilla Bauerfeldt (soprano, Brazil) came second and Jessica Rose Cambio (soprano, Italy-USA) came third, whilst the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala Special Prize of a three-month scholarship at the Academia was won by Irina Ioana Baiant (soprano, Romania).

The finals and award ceremony took place at the Hagia Eirene Museum in Istanbul, Turkey, on Thursday, 20 September and the nine finalists were accompanied by the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Pietro Mianiti.

The Italian soprano, Mirella Freni, was head of the panel of judges which included the chief director of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet, Yekta Kara.

Over 170 singers auditioned for the Competition, with 40 being selected to compete in the quarter and semi-finals in Istanbul.

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