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From left to right: CCM alumni John Holiday, Amanda Woodbury and Yi Li.

From left to right: CCM alumni John Holiday, Amanda Woodbury and Yi Li.

CCM Alumni Win Top Prizes in World Opera Competition in Los Angeles

Operalia's 2014 winners.

Operalia's 2014 winners.

Soprano Amanda Woodbury (MM Voice, 2012), countertenor John Holiday (MM Voice, 2012) and tenor Yi Li (AD Opera, 2013) were among the finalists singing in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia World Opera Competition last month.

The Grand Finals concert took place on Saturday, Aug. 30, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, with young singers from around the world vying for over $100,000 in combined cash prizes.

Woodbury won second prize award and $20,000, as well as an audience prize with watches offered by Rolex. Holiday was awarded third prize and $10,000.

Earlier this year, both Woodbury and Holiday also received Sara Tucker Grants from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Learn more about that award here.

Woodbury and Li were also named Grand Finals Winners of the Metropolitan Opera's 2014 National Council Auditions in March. Learn more about that distinction here.

Watch Woodbury, Holiday and Li perform during the Operalia Finals Concert courtesy of Medici.TV, the largest global video collection of classical music online, by visiting

About Operalia
Operalia was founded in 1993 by Plácido Domingo to discover and help launch the careers of the most promising young opera singers of today. His goal is to attract singers of all voice tessituras ranging from 18 to 32 years of age and from every country, then have them audition and be heard by a panel of distinguished international opera personalities in the most prestigious and competitive showcase in the world.

Each year, the Operalia Competition receives close to 1,000 applications. A select jury of three respected opera professionals listens to every recording submitted and rates them on a 10 point scale. The scores are tallied and the top 40 candidates are invited to participate in that year’s competition.

Logo for Placido Domingo's Operalia Competition.

A jury of 10 opera experts, presided by Plácido Domingo as a non-voting member, convenes in a different international host city every year to listen to all 40 finalists live during two days of quarter-finals. Each singer begins by selecting and singing one opera aria from a list of four arias, and the jury then asks the singer to perform a second aria from that list. If the singer is also competing in the Zarzuela category, he or she also interprets a  Zarzuela aria. 20 participants are then selected to continue onto the semi-finals, in which they sing one aria chosen by the jury and – if they are competing in the Zarzuela category – one Zarzuela aria as well.

From the 20 semi-finalists, 10 singers are chosen for the Final Round. Woodbury, Holiday and Li all progressed to the Competition's Final Round this year.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals are carried out in audition form accompanied by Operalia’s official pianists. The Final Round is presented in the form of a Gala Concert accompanied by full orchestra and conducted by Maestro Plácido Domingo himself.

Participating or even winning a prize in this competition is only the beginning of each singer’s relationship with Plácido Domingo’s Operalia. Since the jury is comprised, for the most part, of international Opera house’s general and/or casting directors, Plácido Domingo’s Operalia distinguished jurors often invite and engage some of the singers to perform in upcoming productions being scheduled in their theaters.

Plácido Domingo himself, a singer, a conductor and the general director of the Los Angeles Opera, takes a committed interest in the career development of the competitors. Some singers, perhaps not yet ready for the big stages, may be chosen to join one of several young artists programs currently established in D.C, Los Angeles or Valencia, Spain.