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News

Soprano Maaike Hupperetz winner Opera Contest Soprano Maaike Huppertez from Heerlen voted most promising opera talent in the Euregion
11 sep 2023

On Wednesday evening, 6 September, in a thrilling final of the Viva Classic Live Opera Contest, soprano Maaike Huppertez from Heerlen was chosen as the most promising opera talent of the Euregio Rhine-Maas North. Both by the professional jury and the audience. Before a packed market and in tropical temperatures, Maaike Hupperetz received the Willy Caron Award from Mayor Antoin Scholten. Dr Gabriele König, Kulturbeauftragte of the municipality of Krefeld, presented her with the cash prize of €1,500. Baritone Yancheng Chen received the second prize and Soprano Antonia Busse the third. Among the audience, Mezzo Soprano Hyejun Kwon managed to steal most hearts in second place. All praise also went to the orchestra The new Symphonics, Italian conductor Frederico Santi and the technical crew of Viva Classic Live. With a very short preparation time, together with the six finalists, they managed to bring the 12 arias across the stage in a beautiful open-air concert. Partly encouraged by the beautiful public turnout and the great appreciation of all involved, the organisation has already firmly decided to organise a second edition next year.

Development prizes
In addition to cash prizes, the winners also received several development prizes including, for Maaike Huppertez, a role in a subsequent production of Opera Compact in 2024. Yancheng Chen won a performance at Theatre Krefeld Mönchengladbach's Maria Callas festival on 25 and 26 November. Because of the audience award, Maaike can also be admired again soon in Venlo, as a soloist at the Viva Classic Live Christmas Concert in De Maaspoort on 16 December. A discussion will follow with all finalists about possible support for their further development in the region. As an incentive prize, they will also be invited to Masterclasses at Opernstudio Niederrhein and will all receive two free tickets to classical music and dance performances at De Maaspoort or Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach.

Euroregional cooperation
With this cross-border initiative and cooperation, the organisers want to improve regional dynamics and the production climate for a new generation of performing artists and audiences interested in classical music and dance. This first edition is made possible by the Interreg Programme Deutschland-Nederland and co-financed by the European Union (EU) and programme partners and contributions from the business community, with Systemec data centres as a sponsor, among others.

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