Competition 2021


Szilveszter Ókovács
chair of jury

Opera singer, television executive, general director of the Hungarian State Opera. After completing his musical studies at the Ferenc Liszt College of Music in Győr, where he qualified as a teacher of vocal soloists, Szilveszter Ókovács went on to study opera singing at Budapest's Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. Following stints teaching singing and opera history, he took up his first positions with the Opera: first as manager of the Erkel Theatre, and later as its director of communications. He then spent a few short years away from the Opera to fill key positions at Hír TV (as senior fellow) and Duna Television (as chief executive officer) between 2005 and 2011, but even during that period wasn't completely removed from it. Since 2011, the Hungarian State Opera has again been at the centre of his life: after first being named government commissioner and later acting general director, he was in 2012 appointed to the position on a permanent basis, where he continues to labour on behalf of Hungarian opera performance.

Tamás Bátor
jury member

Opera singer (bass), senior artistic advisor of Müpa and advisor of Hungarian State Opera.

Graduated from Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music in 1981 and was a student of Zsolt Bende at the Liszt College of Music. Mr. Bátor graduated in 1986 and became a member of the Hungarian Opera House where he made his debut in Wagner's Parsifal. In 1986 won scholarship at La Scala in Milan, where he continued his studies under the guidance of, among others, Giulietta Simionato and Luciano Silvestri. In 1989 he accepted the invitation of Stadt theater in Luzern, where he appeared in several opera productions. Until 2006 Mr. Bátor sang in many cities around the world, and for nearly twenty years he was a regular guest performer at the Hungarian State Opera. His wide repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary works, from Russian operas to Italian operas to German operas, and he sings oratorios and songs.

Mr. Bátor has worked with several world-renowned conductors: Daniele Gatti, Adam Fischer, Kobayasi Ken-Ichiro, Yuri Simonov, Zoltán Kocsis and Tamás Vásáry. He has been a recurring guest in a jury of several international vocal competitions.
From 2003 to 2011 Mr Bátor was the director of the Miskolc International Opera Festival, from 2007 to 2011 he was an advisor to the National Philharmonic Orchestra, from 2007 he was an advisor to the Hungarian State Opera, and from 2011 he was co-production director of the Palace of Arts (Müpa).

In 2017, he received the Hungarian Gold Cross of Honor in recognition of his work.

Atilla Kiss-Balbinát
jury member

Kossuth Prize Winner and Liszt Prize Winner opera singer (tenor), academician, member of the board of the Hungarian Academy of Arts, full member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, General director of Budapest Operetta Theater, lecturer at the Liszt Academy of Music.

Mr. Kiss-B. graduated in singing and opera at the Gheroghe Dima Music Academy in Cluj-Napoca as student of Ágnes Kriza, Alexandru Fcrcas and Gheorghe Rosu. For two years, he studied singing and opera at the Conservatoire de Musique de ville de Luxembourg with Ionel Pantea. At the Mozart Academy in Prague he was a student of Eva Blahova, Kerstin Meyer and Ionel Pantea and also attended Luise Bosabalian and Mariana Nicolesco's master classes. In 1991 he made his debut in Cluj-Napoca, then in 1992 he premiered in the title role of Ferenc Erkel's opera ’Bánk bán’ at Castle Theater in Gyula.

His first appearance at the Hungarian State Opera was in 1999 as in the role of Sattjavan in opera of Hungarian contemporary composer Sándor Szokolay. Primarily sings heroic tenor roles. In addition to the classical repertoire, he also considers interpreting the works of contemporary composers of Hungarian and universal opera literature; He has performed at the Barcelona Liceu Opera, Berlin at the Komische Opera, Berne, Bucharest National Opera, Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Tokyo National Opera, Paris National Opera, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen, Monte Carlo, Toronto.

Atilla Kiss-B. won the title role of Csaba Káel's film, Bánk ban, shot from the opera by Erkel. The film was shot by Oscar-winning Vilmos Zsigmond

Sándor Gyüdi
jury member

Liszt Prize - winner Hungarian conductor, director of the Symphony Orchestra of Szeged, music director of the National Theater of Szeged, and conductor of the Vaszy Choir. Born in Szekszárd in 1959, raised in Pécs, graduated from high school at faculty of physics, he learned to play the cello in his childhood and later to sing. By winning the TV boradcasted „Who knows what?” competition with his own ensemble, Canticum Chamber Choir in 1983, whole Hungary got to know his name. Later on Maestro Gyüdi and his choir won numerous international competitions as well.

Mr. Gyüdi graduated from the University of Szeged as high school teacher of mathematics and physics, then graduated from the Liszt Academy of Music in 1988. In the very same year he became choir master of the National Theater of Szeged. From season 1989/90 conducting operas; his repertoire covers the whole opera literature. In 1992 he worked as a guest choir master at the Teatro Region in Turin. Maestro Gyüdi has worked reguraly the best Hungarian operasingers like József Gregor, Ilona Tokody or Andrea Rost, among others he was the conductor of Monserrat Caballé's gala concert in 2003 and conducted the Tosca performances of José Cura in 2009.

In addition to his theatrical work, he has been conducting orchestral concerts since 1990, and has now toured almost throughout Europe, and has performed in Israel, Mexico, China and South Korea. In 1999 he was elected director of the Symphony Orchestra of Szeged. His repertoire ranges from Baroque to contemporary music. Maestro Gyüdi has been a jury member of several international music competitions and festivals since the 1990s.

Prof. Dr. Mária Temesi
jury member

Opera singer, opera ambassador and master teacher of the Hungarian State Opera, university professor and head of voice department at University of Szeged Faculty of Music. Founder and competition director of the famous Hungarian ’József Simándy’ International Singing Competition.

Graduated as singing and piano teacher in her hometown, Szeged. In 1981 received Master’s degree with honour from ’Franz Liszt’ University of Music in Budapest as an opera singer.

Debuted as Elsa in Lohengrin by Wagner in the Hungarian State Opera in 1981. Production was conducted by Giuseppe Patané and following critique was published: “… is a sensation! Her beautiful voice, her sophisticated singing, her self-confident, yet feminine essence raise her the ideal designer of this great role. Ms. Temesi never abused the vast penetration of her voice, so she also preserved the beautiful singing in the Wagnerian starring. She is an extraordinary promise – or already more than that.” (1982)

In the very same year her international career also started in Dresden, Berlin, Milano, New York and Nice, and appeared in leading opera and concert stages all over the world (Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, England, Ireland, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, USA, Egypt, Brazil, Uruguay, China). Winner of two major singing competition: SBRAC Singing Competition Rio de Janeiro 1981 and Pavarotti Singing Competition Philadelphia 1985. Through her successful operatic career she sang several major roles in the Hungarian State Opera and opera houses all over the world (Mozart – Donna Anna, Vitellia; Verdi - Aida, Desdemona, Elisabetta, Alice, Elena, Leonora, Amelia; Puccini – Tosca, Mimí, Manon, Gheorgetta; Cilea – Adriana; Mascagni – Santuzza; Wagner – Elsa, Gutrune, 3. Norne, Senta, Elisabeth, Ortrud, Sieglinde, Brünnhilde; Janacek – Kostelnicka; R. Strauss: Freihild, Herodias, Chrysothemis, Marianne, Adelaide, Haushälterin).

For her work received numerous awards: Bartók-Pásztory Award (1992), Mihály Székely Plaque (1995), Juventus Award (1996), Franz Liszt Award (2000), Artisjus Award (2003), Jubilee Medallion for „Outstanding Teaching and Artistic Achievement” (2010), György Melis Award (2013), Award for „Excellent School Founding Activity” (2015), Award for „International Artistic and Teaching Activity” (2016), Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit (2016).

Her recordings with noted conductors, artists and orchestras often broadcasted by Bartók Radio the Hungarian classical music channel. Her solo aria album Wagner Heroines was released by HUNGAROTON in 2004.

As university professor she teaches numerous young artists and helps them to get on the opera stage. Often invited jury member in international singing competitions as well as a guest professor at master classes.

In 2019 she held Master classes and solo concerts in different universities in Florida, Ohio and in Shanghai.

Prof. mr. Tamara Marković
jury member

Opera singer (mezzo), teacher and deputy director of the Subotica Music School. She graduated in solo singing in Novi Sad, then graduated from the Belgrade Academy of Music. As a Fellow of the Romanian State Ms. Markovic continued further studies as student of Maria Slatinaru - Nistor in Bucharest as specialist in solo studies. In 2011, she attended Masterclasses at the Curtis Institute (USA) in Philadelphia with teachers such as Vera Rose, Thomas Quasthoff and Mikael Eliasen. Featured guest performer at international opera festivals: New York Festival, Festspiele Berlin, Bucharest Enescu Festival, Interfest Bitola, Romus in Rovinj, Nomus in Novi Sad, Bemus in Belgrade, Ljubljana, Opatija, Rijeka, Constanta and Dolphin. In 2003 she performed in Japan, in 2004 she was a guest on the Opera in Magdeburg. Her repertoire includes roles of Eboli/Don Carlo, Amneris/Aida,Carmen,Santuzza/Cavalleria Rusticana, Preziosilla/La forza del Destino, Charlotte/Werther, Olga/Evgenij Onegin, Fricka/Die Walküre,Herodias/Salome, Jane Seymour/Anna Bolena. After numerous concerts with the Belgrade Philharmonic, the Serbian Radio and Television Orchestra, and the St. George String Quartet, the Serbian Radio and Television Recording Company released its first stand-alone CD in 2007. harvested with mezzo-soprano details. He is an active organizer and participant in cross-border IPa projects between Subotica and Szeged.

Éva Bátori
jury member

Opera singer (soprano), Merited and Distinguished Artist.

Éva Bátori began her vocal studies in Szeged then completed them at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music and the Vienna State Opera. Her first international engagement took her to Leipzig where she appeared mainly in Mozart operas. During this period, German television MDR recorded a complete da Ponte cycle with her participation. She continued her career in Cologne where she expanded her roles to include the Italian repertoire, by playing some of the most magnificent Italian operatic heroines from Madama Butterfly to Aida. In parallel, she made her US debut as Tosca, Nedda and Minnie in La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West). She had been invited to Seattle, Florida, Philadelphia and her American guest appearances were crowned by a wonderful concert at Avery Fischer Hall in New York. She has toured Japan several times with Viennese opera and orchestra companies and with productions of the Hungarian State Opera. She opened the Beijing Opera in China with Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, production of Vienna State Opera, in which she sang the role of the Countess to great acclaim. During her years abroad, she worked with some of the greatest directors and conductors of international opera, such as Alfredo Krauss, Anja Silja, Andreas Homoki, Peter Konwitz, and Abbado Zagrosek, Conlon. She has been a recurring guest at several festivals, such as the Bregenz Festival where she sang Michaela, and in St. Margarethen where she played Desdemona in Othello. Back home in Hungary, she performed the operas of Richard Strauss and the Slavic repertoire (Marschalin, Ariadne, Jenufa, Katerina Izmailova). In recent years, she has been seen mainly in operatic curiosities such as Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel and Reimann's Lear. She is passionate about interpreting contemporary Hungarian music and is one of the first to be named as an authentic performer of this repertoire.

In addition to her work as an opera singer, the Hungarian State Opera House also relies on her experience in many other programmes. Since 2013 she has been the professional manager of the Opera Ambassadors programme and has also been entrusted with the large-scale World Voice Day (WVD) event, which takes place every year on 16 April.

Her work as a vocal pedagogue is well recognised and she has given numerous masterclasses both at home and abroad.

She taught for ten years as a vocal coach at the Budapest University of Theatre and Film Arts, for five years as an associate professor in Vienna and since 2013 she has been the appointed vocal coach of the Hungarian State Opera House.

She is currently a lecturer at the University of Szeged and a doctoral candidate at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest.

She is the founder and competition director of the Petrovich Singing Competition, established in 2015 within the YMSA, and artistic director of the Cathedra of Arts, registered in 2017.

Artistic Director of the Opera Festival of the Danube Bend Arts Festival, established this year.

Éva Bátori is a Merited and Distinguished Artist. Her state award last year is linked to her performance in the title role of Puccini's opera La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the West). Minnie is one of the most challenging soprano roles in the operatic repertoire, and she has been acclaimed by both professionals and audiences for her exceptional singing and overwhelming acting.

Prof. mr. Vojislav Spasić
jury member

Opera singer (tenor), associate professor and professor at the Faculty of Philology and Art at the Kragujevac University, where he teaches methodology in addition to voice. As a young musician he played violin. Mr. Spasic took Master's degree in voice from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Music as student of Prof. dr. Radmile Bakocevic. Mr. Spasic’s artistic and pedagogical work has been rewarded with numerous awards and honors. In recognition of his humanitarian work, he was honored with the Civilian Order of the Arts for organizing numerous charity concerts in Serbia. The Art Civic Coroner Distinguished Prize "ĐURĐEVDAN CROSS" was given for his artistic and pedagogical achievements and Mr. Spasić was also awarded with the "Golden Crown" for his humanitarian and charitable work. First prize and special prize in several singing competitions. As an opera and concert singer, Spasić is active not only in Serbia but also in Russia, USA, Germany, Italy, Canada and England. His students perform excellently at both national and international vocal competitions.

Péter Prof. Dr. Tóth
jury member

Graduated from Béla Bartók Secondary School of Music in faculty of Percussion and Composition as student of Oszkár Schwarcz and Miklós Kocsár. In 1985 he was admitted to the Liszt Academy of Music in class of Emil Petrovics and graduated in 1990. During the nineties he wrote several accompanying music for the productions of several theaters in Budapest and Hungary. Worked for many years as a lecturer at the University of Theater and Film Arts. Currently he serves as Vice Dean of University of Szeged Béla Bartók Faculty of Art where he is Head of Department of Music Theory as well. Many of his choir works have won awards in Hungarian and international competitions. Professor Tóth received the Erkel Prize in 2007, the KÓTA Prize in 2009 and the Bartók-Pásztory Prize in 2013. Péter Tóth is a regular member of the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

Prof. Berislav Jerkovic
jury member

Associate professor, working at the Academy of Arts in Osijek. He teaches Voice and corresponding subjects (Opera Studio, Methods of Vocal Pedagogy, Vocal Literature and Interpretation, Chamber singing). He graduated in M.A. Voice at the Academy of Music in Zagreb and M.A. of Music Pedagogy at the Faculty of Pedagogy in Osijek. He finished a postgraduate study of Voice at the Academy of Music in Zagreb, postgraduate studies (Voice) at the Kunst University in Graz and doctoral studies of Vocal pedagogy at Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He made his opera débuts in 1997 and since then attained several solo roles in operas, operettas and musicals: Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera, Eugene Onegin, Carmen, Gianni Schicci, La sonnambula, The Marriage of Figaro, L’elisir d’amore, Tosca, La serva padrona, Nikola Šubić Zrinski, Cosi fan tutte, Ero the Joker, I Pagliacci, La boheme, Il segreto di Susanna, The Magic Flute, Camelot, Dido and Aeneas, Man of La Mancha etc. He worked with many great conductors, singer and directors. Furthermore, he gave concerts at the festivals in Split - Splitsko ljeto, in Varaždin – Varaždinske barokne večeri and Varaždinski ljetni festival, in Osijek – Osječko ljeto kulture, in Zagreb – Zagrebački barokni festival as well as other festivals in Croatia and abroad (Skopje summer festival, BitFest – Bitola, KotorArt, Sarajevo winter festival, Pecs European cultural capital … ). Here are only some of the highlights from his repertoire which are worth mentioning J.S.Bach: Weihnachtsoratorium, G.Faure: Reguiem, G.Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn, C.Orff: Carmina Burana, A.Bruckner: Requiem, G. Puccini: Messa di Gloria, G.F.Handel: Te Deum etc. He has also performed at many solo recitals – numerous concerts across Croatia as well as in Slovenia, Serbia, Hungary, Macedonia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain, Venezuela, USA, Belgium, China, South Africa. He has worked with the Croatian Baroque Ensemble at performances of the great classic composers: Caccini, Rameau, Campra, Handel, Bach, Monteverdi. He is very active in researching Arts and Science and he has participated in conferences and congresses in Bologna (2008), Paris (2009), Marlborough (2010), Beijing (2010), Rochester (2011), Thessaloniki (2012), Brisbane (2013) and Princeton (2014). In addition, he also leads master classes and professional seminars for singers, conductors, choir and vocal ensemble leaders (Croatia, Hungary, UK, France, Canada, USA, South Africa, Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina). Besides his singing career, he also works as a conductor, performing on concerts with choirs, vocal and instrumental ensembles in Croatia and abroad. Finally, he received many awards - as a soloist as well as a conductor. He is the founder and artistic director of Opera Pannonica ensemble. He wrote the book Singing class curricula (2019). He is the head of the Department of Music and also has served as the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Students at the Academy of Arts in Osijek.

Andrea Rost

Andrea Rost was born in Budapest and graduated from the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music as a student of Zsolt Bende. She was still a scholarship student of the Hungarian State Opera when she sang Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo and Juliette, directed by Dénes Gulyás.

In 1989, she won first prize in one of the most prestigious tournaments in Europe, the Mirjam Helin Interna-tional Singing Competition. Right after obtaining her diploma in 1991, she became a soloist in the Wiener Staatsoper, where the audience of Vienna heard her singing in all her major roles: From Zerlina and Adina, to Susanna and Lucia di Lammermoor to the outstanding interpretation of Violetta. Besides opera roles she has also played numerous concerts in Vienna, to a music savvy audience.

Riccardo Muti invited the soprano to La Scala di Milano for the premiere of Rigoletto in 1994. Interpreting Gilda she enjoyed huge international success and she has been a regular guest singer in La Scala ever since. In 1995, she was already a celebrated star when she sang in The Magic Flute for the season opening premiere at La Scala. These roles were followed in Milano by Susanna of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Violetta in Verdi’s Traviata. At the Salzburg Festival she interpreted several important roles and worked with widely renowned conductors. She sang the Falcon in Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten under Sir George Solti and she performed Drusilla of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. In Salzburg she also sang Violetta under Riccardo Muti, and she worked with Claudio Abbado as well, interpreting Xenia in Boris Mussorgsky’s Godunov.

In Paris at L’Opéra Bastille, in addition to Susanna, Gilda and Lucia di Lammermoor she also sang Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. In the Royal Opera House in London she made her debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, where she also sang Violetta with great success. She interpreted the title role of Donizetti’s Elisabeth at a concert performance, which was also a world premiere. Most recently she has sang the title role in the London premiere of Lucia di Lammermoor.

In March 2002, in Los Angeles, she played the role of Pamina, and later in 2005 in Washington as well. In 2006, Andrea Rost was invited to Madrid to the Teatro Real to sing Blanche in Poulenc’s opera, Les dialogues des Carmélites. She has several times been a guest singer in the US for the Chicago Lyric Opera where she interpreted Zerlina, Gilda, Violetta, Giulietta and Michaela. In 1996, she sang for the first time on the stage of the New York Metropolitan Opera in the role of Adina in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, later she also appeared there as Gilda, Lucia, and Violetta. Most recently, in 2006, she sang Susanna at the Metropolitan for Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. She interpreted Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Washington National Opera, then later sang the same role in Los Angeles.

In 2009-2010, in the Hungarian State Opera, she sang the role of Euridice in L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice, conducted by Ádám Fischer. Making her debut in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in 2013, in Budapest, was the beginning of a new chapter in the life of Andrea Rost. In September 2013, she performed on the South American continent for the first time in Sao Paulo in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She interprets the role of Donna Anna in the Hungarian State Opera, in Padova and in Tokyo in the 2014/2015 season. Further roles of the Opera season in Budapest: Nedda (Pagliacci), Margit (Gounod: Faust).

As a concert and song singer she has been the guest of every well-known and significant stage. Not only did she perform at the Wigmoor Hall in London, the Tonhalle in Zurich and the Musikverein of Vienna, she also has appeared on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and the Suntory Hall of Tokyo.

She has also contributed to several CD and DVD recordings. She has proven to be open-minded to new genres when she recently lent her voice to several audio books.

Olivér Dohnányi
jury member

Oliver von Dohnányi studied in the faculty of music at the Academy of Performing Arts Prague with Václav Neumann and later at Vienna's University of Music and Performing Arts with Otmar Suitner. Directly after his studies, he was appointed to a conducting position with the Czechoslovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (since renamed the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra). Seven years later, in 1986, he became the music director of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, the youngest in the institution's history. There he conducted Madama ButterflyAidaLa bohèmeRusalkaMacbethToscaIl barbiere di Siviglia, Bellini's La sonnambula, Gounod's Faust, Slovak composer Eugen Suchoň's The Whirlpool, along with many other works. In addition, he toured regularly, visiting Spain, Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Germany and the Netherlands. Starting in 1993, he also took up conducting the Slovak Philharmonic alongside his duties with the opera orchestra.

He later switched his principal base of operations from Bratislava to Prague, where he joined the Czech National Theatre as a guest conductor before eventually being appointed music director. There his repertoire included La bohèmeIl barbiere di SivigliaIl turco in ItaliaThe Bartered BrideRigolettoLa traviataRusalkaSamson et DalilaMacbeth, Smetena's LibušeDon GiovanniLe nozze di FigaroDie ZauberflöteDon PasqualeToscaNorma, The Whirlpool, Aida, along with ballet pieces like Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella. During this same period, he also had many foreign engagements as a guest conductor, including Christopher Alden's 2012 production of Norma, which won the British Opera Award for “best opera of 2012”.
In 2015, he also conducted Thaddeus Strassberger's new version of the Philip Glass opera Satyagraha at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. The production won two Golden Mask awards.
He has also worked with various record companies, having recorded on the Naxos, Lyra, Opus, Audiophon, Panton, Supraphon, Marco Polo and Novalis labels.

In the 2015/16 season, von Dohnányi joined Yekaterinburg's Ural Opera and Ballet Theatre as first conductor.
In the 2017/18 season, he conducted the following new productions: Leoš Janáček's opera Kát'a Kabanová at the Seattle Opera, Das Liebesverbot at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Les Huguenots at the Hungarian State Opera, Carmen at the New Zealand Opera and Die ZauberflöteRusalka and Bohuslav Martinů's The Greek Passion in Yekaterinburg.
In 2018, he was presented the highest award of Russia's national theatres: the Golden Mask in the category of "best opera conductor".


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