With a first place prize in “Opera” and second place prize in “Art Songs and Lieder”, it was an impressive outcome for a single competition. On 9 April 2022, the Gabonese mezzo-soprano Adriana Bignagni Lesca garnered two awards during the first edition of the Concours International des Grandes voix lyriques d’Afrique.
The competition, presided over by the soprano Patricia Petibon, was created this year at the initiative of Africa Lyric’s Opera, and aims to promote opera by highlighting African artists and the African diaspora. Patricia Djomseu, president of Africa Lyric’s Opera, points out, “Africa loves classical music, and people need to know this. We wanted to create this competition so that all candidates, without distinction, can have access to the greatest stages and gain visibility.” Twenty candidates from 13 countries were selected to participate in the competition that took place in Paris.
Over recent years, Adriana Bignagni Lesca has come to prominence in the world of opera, in particular through her performances at the Opéra national de Bordeaux. You can hear her on 20 July 2022 at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in the final concert of the symphonic session of the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra, under the direction of the charismatic conductor Duncan Ward, in an exhilarating and colourful programme that celebrates the advent of spring.