The 2018 CMIM begins!
This year's Concours musical international de Montréal is upon us, and 2018 marks its seventh edition dedicated to voice. Known in the industry "The Montréal Competition", the CMIM brings together 38 singers from around the world to compete for $270,000 in prizes - including two $30,000 First Prizes in each of the Aria and Art Song divisions.
On top of prize money, the CMIM offers to all its competitors a decent amount of public exposure; the competition rounds are broadcast live online for the world to see. That's a good thing, considering the exhaustive amount of repertoire each competitor is required to bring - three rounds' worth, with very few repeats allowed.
Competitions are a funny thing. They demand a different set of skills than a performance in an opera or recital, and with the CMIM's expanded, online audience, the pressure for perfection is at its peak. A competition doesn't always give a good indication of what a singer does well - they may be an entirely different beast in performance-mode - but it's a fascinating snapshot into what a singer is doing at a specific point in their career.
Schmopera is excited to join the fun this year. We'll be heading to Montréal to catch live the Semi-Final and Final rounds of the Aria division. Some of the singers are familiar to us, like "techie tenor" Andrew Haji; Rihab Chaieb, the mezzo who used to sing heavy metal; and "voracious knitter" Lauren Margison.
Most of this year's CMIM competitors, we'll hear for the first time, and their stories make for an enticing introduction to their singing. Ukrainian soprano Ruslana Koval loves to cook, and her signature borscht was a hit at the Bolshoi Theater; soprano Suzanne Taffot, representing Canada and Cameroon, is a practicing lawyer who specializes in immigration, family, and civil rights; Finnish baritone Tomi Pukeri is a self-proclaimed "Nutella enthusiast"; American tenor David Tayloe has a fourth-degree black belt in karate; and baritone Julien Van Mellaerts once had a summer job as Santa Claus in the 30-degree heat of his hometown of Auckland, NZ.
If you're like us, you'll be tuning in to the live broadcasts of this year's CMIM, and following closely with the hashtag #CMIM2018. You can find the full schedule here, and we've listed a few highlights below:
- June 1, 3pm and 7:30pm: Art Song Semi-Finals I & II
- June 3, 3pm: Art Song Finals
- June 4 and 5, 7:30pm: Aria Semi-Finals I & II
- June 7, 7:30pm: Aria Finals
If you missed day one of the competition, get caught up with the first two Art Song rounds below: