The 1st Festival of Operatic Singers “Marie Kraja” was held on 22, 23 and 24 January 1999, and it was national. 20 operatic singers competed for the big Prize “Marie Kraja”, and two other Prizes.
The singers were accompanied during the three concerts of the Festival by the Symphonic Orchestra of the Theater of Opera and Ballet of Albania (TOB). This event was brought live on TV.
In order to increase its audience, the Festival was perceived as a TV spectacle, which focused on the most known opera repertoire, and its most “popular” parts.
The spectacular cover of this activity was further widened with invitees, such as ballet groups, singers, instrumentists, etc. Six costume designers had recreated in a modern style costumes of the most famous characters of the worldwide opera repertoire, which were presented through a costume-parade. All those, and especially the expected high level of the operatic artists brought the Festival to an absolute success.