The 17th International Festival of Operatic Singers “Marie Kraja”

The 17th International Festival of Operatic Singers “Marie Kraja”


The 17th Festival took place in Tirana at the Cathedral of Orthodox Church on April 18th, 19th, and 20th, 2019. Around 200 singers from four continents participated in applications and auditions, and 15 singers were qualified to the semifinal phase of the Festival in Tirana.

During the semifinal of competition, which took place on April 18th and 19th, singers presented one aria in each night. The final took place on April 20th with 8 qualified singers from the semifinal that competed with one aria. In parallel to this competition, singers also competed for a song prize with most famous repertoire of world classic song legends.

During the whole competition, singers were accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra of the Theater of Opera and Ballet directed by the British conductor, Martin André. 





The Prizes of the 17th International Festival of Operatic Singers:


First Prize “Marie Kraja”                                Mr. Dongo Kim, Bass (South Korea)

Second Prize                                                   Ms. Ezgi Karakaya, mezzo-soprano (Turkey)

Third Prize                         Mr. Faik Mansu, baritone (Turkey),   and Ms. Nina Muho, soprano (Albania)

Song Prize                                                       Mr. Kirill Matviev, tenor (Russia)


This Festival was broadcast live on the Albanian Public Television RTSH through its terrestrial and satellite broadcast for Europe and North America. Famous guest artists were invited to perform during the Festival, like the world tenor Murat Karahan, and the young virtuoso violinist of Albanian descent Elvin Hoxha Ganyiev. The printed and electronic media devoted to this edition of the Festival a much higher interest.





 The Jury of the 17th Festival:


Mr. Nicholas PAYNE, Director of Opera Europa (Brussels), Chair

Mr. Johen BREIHOLZ, Director of Artistic Administration and Casting, Theater an der Wien (Vienna)

Mr. Pierangelo CONTE, Artistic Director, Fondazione Opera di Firenze Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence)

Mr. Murat KARAHAN, Director of Opera of Ankara, and Turkish Theatres of Opera

Ms. Zana ÇELA, General Director of Theater of Opera and Ballet (Albania)

Ms. Danusa LUKNISOVA, President of DankArt Agency, (Italy / Slovakia)

Mr. Martin ANDRE, conductor, (Great Britain)

Ms. Suzana FRASHERI, professor of canto (Albania)





President of the Festival:

Ms. Elva Margariti

Minister of Culture


 Pali Kuke






Martin André

Conductor (Great Britain)


Ms. Zana Cela

Founder of the Festival