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- YARITZA VÉLIZ AMONG CHILE’S 100 YOUNG LEADERS IN 2016
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MARÍA LUISA MERINO WINS THE “WOMEN IN MUSIC II” LYRICAL SINGING CONTEST
Organized by the Chile Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) and the Department of Music and Sonology of Universidad de Chile’s Arts Faculty, the contest drew nearly 40 participants.
After seven months of auditions and a thorough preselection process, the awards ceremony of the second version of the “Women to Listen” contest took place on November 8. In 2016, the first place was awarded to 32-year-old María Luisa Merino, who received 2,000,000 pesos and the chance to participate in a recital at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington DC) on April 17, 2017, as well as in other musical events in major Chilean venues such as the Teatro del Lago on February 11, 2017, and in Universidad de Chile’s Concert Season.
A Chilean residing in Argentina for eight years, mezzosoprano María Luisa Merino studied lyrical singing at Universidad Católica and then traveled to the Argentine capital to perfect her skills at Teatro Colón’s Higher Arts Institute, a venue where she performs permanently. In additional, she participates regularly in the National Polyphonic Choir.
For their part, the singers who won second and third place, Camila Gallardo and Carla Paz Andrade, will also get the chance to perform in Universidad de Chile’s concert season and in Teatro del Lago, apart from receiving 1,000,000 and 500,000 respectively.
For Drina Rendic, president of the Chile Chapter of the NMWA, “the contest is a unique opportunity for artists to showcase their work, which is especially valuable in a context of scarce female presence in the arts. With this new batch of singers, we wish to replicate the success of Yaritza Véliz, winner of the first version of Women to Listen. After her victory, her skyrocketing career allowed her to play leading roles in Chile and abroad”.
Wilson Padilla, director of the Department of Music and Sonology of Universidad de Chile’s Arts Faculty, stressed the high artistic level of the participants, “which goes to show how much artistic talent there is in Chile. However, this also reveals that there are few platforms for showcasing this talent, promoting it, and making it grow nationally and internationally; that’s why this contest is important”.
The contest benefited from a top-level technical jury featuring Andrés Rodríguez Pérez, Andrés Rodríguez Spoerer, Claudia Godoy, Claudio Merino, Claudia Pereira, Gonzalo Cuadra, Lorena Vergara, Patricia Cifuentes, and Paula Torres.