A last-minute change of venue did not prevent the Voix des Outre-mer Ile-de-France final (originally scheduled to take place at the Ile-de-France region headquarters in Saint-Ouen) from taking place. As the Ile-de-France regional executive was forced to cancel all the events scheduled for the evening of 3 July 2023, the candidates, members of the jury and all the organisers were hosted behind closed doors in a rehearsal room in the basement of the Opéra Bastille. Thanks to social networks, the event was followed by spectators who had stayed at home. For this new session, 15 candidates competed brilliantly.
Winona Berry, a young mezzo from Saint-Barthélemy, won first prize with flying colours, singing Stéphano’s aria “Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle”, taken from Roméo et Juliette (Gounod’s opera was performed the same evening, a few floors up, in the Bastille’s main auditorium). Representing Martinique, Julienne Mahailet took second prize by performing Gershwin’s famous ‘Summertime’, while Alice Ferrière (La Réunion) won third prize with her perilous aria ‘Amour viens rendre à mon âme’ (Gluck/Berlioz). A mention of encouragement was awarded to Hereiti and Laura Suire. The Tahitian twins performed a charming barcarolle from Offenbach’s Contes d’Hoffmann. As the Voix des Outre-mer competition is open to all talents, Guynel Eliza (Martinique) won the ‘C’est pas classique’ prize. Two other winners were awarded the Prix Amis des Voix des Outre-mer (Christiane Eda-Pierre Prize), honouring the talents of Korean soprano Sang Ah Yoon (second nominee) and Fanny Valentin (first nominee), a stratospheric soprano who sang the first aria from The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute, Mozart).
The first of the finals launches the sixth edition of the Voix des Outre-mer competition, which will culminate at the Paris Opéra on 23 February 2024.