My friends are those who haunt the Ideal; there, dear friend, we 'recognize' each other, and shall always do so…

Liszt to Ödön Mihalovich

Winner of this year's Éva Marton Singing Competition: 'I feel I'm on the right track with my performing arts'

21 September 2021

Sonja Šarić, first prize winner and audience's choice award winner of the 4th Éva Marton International Singing Competition, says that great friendships have been formed between the performers and she is certain that this victory is a big step in her career.

How did you find the atmosphere of the competition? How did you feel during the rounds?

I am very happy, it was a wonderful week with lots of emotions, and every round was exciting. The short period after the semi-finals, when I found out that I had made it to the final and would be singing with an orchestra, was filled with wonderful anticipation. I can safely say that it was a fantastic experience to work with the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra.


Photo: Liszt Academy / László Mudra

Did it give you an added value that there was a very colourful international group of singers for this year's competition? Did you make friends among the contestants?

I found it a very interesting and nice experience, there really were singers from all over the world, and it was great to meet such a diverse group of people. Plus, there was a big dressing room for multiple contestants, so friendships were formed, and we started to bond.


What does the Éva Marton International Singing Competition bring to your career? How do you see your career in, say, a year from now?

I won the first prize and the audience's choice award, so I feel I'm on the right track with my performance, my voice and therefore my career. I'm incredibly happy about all of this now and I'm sure that this competition win is another big step in my career.


Photo: Liszt Academy / László Mudra


With all this experience under your belt, do you still envision the next period of your life as a freelance singer?

After I graduated from the Graz Opera Studio, I was invited for guest appearances, and that is how I became a freelance singer. I don't have a clear vision of the future yet, but for the moment I feel comfortable. I'm making my debut as Aida this season and I think I'd like to continue working as an independent performer next year. Having said that, I would not rule out becoming a member of a company, I am ready for that too, given the opportunity.


Photo: Liszt Academy / László Mudra


What were your impressions of the legendary Éva Marton during your time working together?

I first met the professor eleven years ago, but we never worked together, and I am not her student. We met at international competitions where she was a jury member. However, I have listened to a lot of her recordings so that I can learn as much as possible from them. I am happy to have got to know her better, this extraordinary, historically significant artist.


Liszt Academy, Zoltán Zsiray-Rummer