Viet Nam News -
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam’s Ninh Đức Hoàng Long won first prize at the 9th International Jozsef Simandy Singing Competition recently held in Hungary.
Hoàng Long performed the Hazam hazam aria with Szeged Symphony Orchestra, vying with 14 contestants in the final round in the 18-25 age group.
“I’m very happy and proud of being the only Asian contestant to be awarded at the competition,” Hoàng Long said.
Hazam hazam aria is a masterpiece by Hungarian composer Ferenc Erkel. It was among the seven pieces Long sang at the competition.
“It is about patriotism and very popular among Hungarians. The video of my performance was known in Hungary in 2014. But I had to practice the aria for four months, including four times with my professor and pianist,” he said.
During the practice, Hoàng Long had to sing pieces he found very difficult to pronounce fluently.
“Singing emotionally to express the content of the pieces is also difficult for me. I have to learn the lyrics by heart and think about its Vietnamese meaning,” Hoàng Long said.
The 9th International Jozsef Simandy Singing Competition was held to celebrate the 100th birthday of Hungarian tenor Jozsef Simandy.
The competition drew about 150 contestants from Hungary and neighbouring countries, such as Ukraine, Serbia, Romania and Slovakia, as well as drawing contestants from Japan, the United Kingdom and China.
“Hoàng Long’s win means a lot to Vietnamese music because Việt Nam and other Asian countries have no long history of opera,” musician Nguyễn Quang Long said.
“Before Hoàng Long, Việt Nam’s Bích Thủy won top prizes in Thailand and China a few years ago. Hoàng Long is a precious discovery in Việt Nam,” he said.
Hoàng Long was born in 1991 in Ninh Bình Province. No one in his family had ever pursued a musical career. But he dreamed of becoming an opera singer since childhood.
Once, he had the opportunity to enjoy a performance by Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti. He immediately decided to study opera like his idol.
After two years at the Việt Nam National Academy of Music, Long won a scholarship to study in Hungary.
He was the only foreign student to pass the entrance exam to study opera at the Ferenc Liszt Music Academy in Budapest in June 2014.
Long became a favourite Vietnamese student when he recorded a video clip of himself singing Hazam hazam and uploaded it to You Tube. Local television and newspaper reporters describe him as a newly discovered Internet star. -- VNS