The sixth installation of Vienna’s sole existing opera competition, the International Otto Edelmann Singing Competition Vienna, took place from 14 to 19 February 2019. Singers from over 30 nations came to compete, and eight of them made it to the final round—which was held for the first time at Theater an der Wien. This one-of-a-kind setting, a theatrical stage steeped in tradition, helped ensure the (once again) uniformly high level of the final concert. And as a large venue, it also made possible the expansion of the competition’s repertoire to include arias that would not have been suited to a smaller stage. The mdw’s Webern Kammerphilharmonie played outstandingly under Vladimir Kiradjiev’s baton, acting as an equal partner to the young artists.

Edelmann 2019
©Paco Bernal

The competition jury brought together representatives of agencies and opera houses such as Cologne Opera director Birgit Meyer, agent Esther Schollum, and Theater an der Wien’s artistic director Roland Geyer (to whom great thanks is owed for hosting the competition’s final round). Alongside the main prizes, which were sponsored by the mdw, there were numerous special prizes such as a performance at the Cologne Opera, an engagement with Oper Burg Gars, the Prize for the Best Young Talent sponsored by Schloss Schönbrunn GmbH, the Special Prize for operetta from Seefestspiele Mörbisch, and the ottoedelmannsociety Audience Prize. This competition continues to grow from year to year, and its winners’ subsequent careers in the operatic world can be easily followed.

The 2019 competition’s 1st prize went to mdw student Leo Hyunho Kim, the 2nd prize was claimed by Stefan Astakhov, and the 3rd prize was won by mdw student Theodora Raftis. The complete list of prizewinners can be found at

You can stream the entire final round at Theater an der Wien via the mdw Mediathek:

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