Grisha Martirosyan wins the 10th Veronica Dunne International Vocal Competition

Opera singer

Armenian baritone Grisha Martirosyan has won the 10th Veronica Dunne International Vocal Competition, which took place last week in Dublin and culminated in the final last night at the National Concert Hall (August 30).

Martirosyan graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory in Armenia and also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland. In 2019, he won the first prize in the Armenian National Song Contest Gohar Gasparian. He is currently a member of the Masquerade Emerging Artists program in Florence

The Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition was created in 1995 by an Irish soprano and vocal coach Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Dunnedeceased in 2021. The competition is held every three years in Dublin and has a prize of €30,000.

Each of the six finalists in this year’s competition performed three arias with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Laurent Wagner. For by Martirosyan performance, he sang ‘Si può’ by Leoncavallo I Pagliacci‘Before You Leave These Places’ by Goundod’s Faustand ‘Vision fugitive’ by Massenet Herodias.

Aebh Kelly from Dublin received the second prize. A graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, she is also a member of the Masquerade Emerging Artists program and was previously a member of the Irish National Opera. ABL Aviation Opera Studio. She recently played as the Red Queen in Gerald Barry Alice’s Underground Adventures and in Amanda Feery’s Opera One thing I can’t name, as well as Jenn Kirby Dichotomies of containment as part of INOit is 20 opera shots. She made her debut with the NSO in June.

For her performance in the Veronica Dunne competition, Kelly sang ‘Una voce poco fa’ from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville‘What are you doing, white dove’ by Gounod Romeo and Julietand “Ah, scostati!… Smanie implacabili” by Mozart Cosi fan tutte.

The third prize was awarded to British tenor Aaron Godfrey-Mayes, also a member of the Masquerade Emerging Artists programme. Fourth prize went to Latvian soprano Laura Lolita Perešivana, fifth to Polish mezzo Zuzanna Nalewajek and sixth to South Korean bass-baritone Changdai Park.

Additional Prizes
A number of other prizes were awarded: Godfrey-Mayes won the Wil Keune prize for the best interpretation of a Mozart aria in any round of the competition (for the aria ‘Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön’); Martirosyan won the People’s Choice Award and the Dame Joan Sutherland Award for the singer with the most potential aged 25 and under; Park won the William Young Memorial Oratorio Prize for Best Performance of an Oratorio Aria in the semi-finals; and Kelly won the Dublin Songs Series award for best performance of a song in any language in the semi-finals (for Herbert Hughes’ ‘Oh Men from the Fields’), and the Dermot Troy award for highest placed irish singer

The members of the jury were Jane Carty (chair); conductor Richard Bonynge; mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught; Christina Scheppelmann, Executive Director of Seattle Opera; David Gowland, artistic director of the Jette Parker Young Artists Program at the Royal Opera House; Isla Mundell-Perkins, casting director of the Hamburg Staatsoper; and Jonathan Friend, artistic advisor to the Metropolitan Opera House.

Speaking after the results, Diarmuid Hegarty, competition chairman, said:

Although it was an emotional moment to present the award the year after the death of the great Veronica Dunne, Ronnie would have been so happy to see the standard that she insisted on maintaining the quality of each of the contestants.

The final, visible below, was broadcast live on TEN Lyrical FM and presented by Liz Nolan. To learn more, visit www.vdiscompetition.com.