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Friday, Sept. 24, 2010

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Later this month, singers from throughout Asia will gather in Nara to compete in the Asian preliminary contest of the International Francesco Paolo Tosti Singing Competition.


Singing contest gathers Asia's top talents

Staff writer

Among this year's many events celebrating the 1,300th anniversary of Nara as Japan's first capital is one with a decidedly international tone. From Oct. 2 to 3, Nara's Akishino Music Hall welcomes some of the most talented singers from throughout Asia as it hosts the regional preliminary contest in the International Francesco Paolo Tosti Singing Competition.

The competition, which was started in 1996, honors Italian composer Tosti (1846-1916) and is held every four years in the Italian town of Ortona, where Tosti was born. Since the most recent competition, which was completed in 2008, the Asian preliminary contest has been held in Japan.

There is every reason to expect the standard of the Nara contest to be high. The winner of the last Asian preliminary was Japanese tenor Gohei Kohashi; after collecting ¥1 million in prize money for the preliminaries, Kohashi was flown to Ortona, where he ultimately won the bronze medal, losing only to Italian baritone Davide Malvestio and Albanian baritone Gezim Myshketa.

The Asian preliminaries for the current competition will feature male and female singers from throughout Asia. Each will perform a selection of songs, including several by Tosti, with piano accompaniment. The first elimination round will be held, behind closed doors, over three days from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. The second and final rounds, which will be open to the public, will be held on Oct. 2 and 3 respectively.

The Asia Preliminary 2010 of the International Francesco Paolo Tosti Singing Competition will be held at the Akishino Music Hall in Nara. Tickets for the second round on Oct. 2 cost ¥1,500, and for the final round on Oct. 3, ¥2,500. Two-day passes cost ¥3,500. For more information, call 0742-33-6010 or visit www.tosti-asia.com

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