Prof. Dr. Mária Temesi
founder and director of competition

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.

Elizabeth Sillo
International PR Manager

Elizabeth Sillo is a classical singer, music pedagogue, member of the BBC National Chorus of Wales and a former concert soloist of the City of Manchester Opera. After obtaining her Kodaly music pedagogue degree from the University of Szeged, she studied opera performance at the Franz Liszt Conservatoire where her teacher was the famous Valeria Berdal. 

Elizabeth also graduated in Mathematics, English and Economics and after a few years of teaching, she joined the Opera Chorus of the National Theatre of Szeged.

After moving to the UK, she studied International Art Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, in Cardiff. She refined her opera performance and chamber music knowledge in the partner institute of the Wales International Academy of Voice under the leadership of Patricia O’Neill, a former principal soprano of the English National Opera. Elizabeth has participated in several Master Classes, held by Vincent Monteil (Music Director of the Opera Studio of the Opera National du Rhin), Gail Pearson (English National Opera, Welsh National Opera) and some professionals from the Welsh National Opera. In the last three years, she has been working for the József Simándy International Singing Competition as International PR Manager.

Thanks to the flourishing operatic tradition of Central Europe, she has performed in several operas and oratorios at the Szeged Open-air Festival and abroad, in Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Belgium and the UK with well-known opera stars, such as Jose Cura, Gail Gilmore, or Mario Malagnini, and also under the baton of some world-famous conductors, like Karl Jenkins, Grant Llewellyn, Vincent Monteil, Thomas Sondergard, Ryan Wigglesworth or Adrian Partington.

As a devotee of the Austro-Hungarian operetta, she also sang in the productions of Lehár’s Merry Widow, in Emerich Kálmán’s Csárdás Queen and Countess Marica. In the UK, she participated in various oratorios conducted by Matthew Hamilton, choral director of the Hallé Chorus of Manchester. As a member of the City of Manchester Opera, she performed twice with great success in the Buxton Festival where she received excellent reviews. Over the last couple of years, she sung in several oratorios and operatic productions with the Welsh National Opera and the BBC National Chorus of Wales, including the BBC tour in France and the BBC PROMS in the Royal Albert Hall London. She has been the solo singer of the Bards of Wales (Karl Jenkins) project supported by the University of South Wales and lately, she has sung in the prize-winner mini-opera called Time reset, by Dmitri Scarlato in the Operavision contest.

She is also the co-founder of the Welsh-Hungarian concert series in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff and the chair of the Welsh-Hungarian Cultural Association. She has organized six Welsh-Hungarian concerts and several cultural projects commissioned a few short orchestral compositions which received great reviews in the British and Hungarian media portals. Overall, more than 300 articles have been written about her cultural involvement in the UK, France and Hungary, including the BBC News, ITV News, Daily Post and the Nation Cymru.

She has been working as an opera consultant for the Opera Co-Pro co-production company for the last one and a half years.


Renáta Jankovics-Dékány
project manager

Partners and contributors