The Concorso Liciro Internazionale di Portofino was founded in 2015 and aims to provide opportunities for the most promising young opera singers from around the world. The Jury is comprised of some of the most important artistic and casting directors from around the world and this year included Dominique Meyer (Wiener Staatsoper), Peter de Caluwe (La Monnaie, Brussels), Sophie de Lint (Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam), Olga Kapanina (Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow), Fortunato Ortombina (Teatro la Fenice di Venezia), Gianni Tangucci (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino) and Annette Weber (Staatsoper Hamburg).
In the final Gemma gave a captivating performance of "Se'l mio duol" (Rodelinda), "Nun eilt herbei" (The Merry Wives of Windsor), before giving a moving rendition of Pamina's aria "Ach, ich fühl's" (Die Zauberflöte) in the Finalists' Concert, which was broadcast live. Gemma's performance of "Ach, ich fühl's" is available here.
Gemma has already sung the role of Pamina Die Zauberflöte to critical acclaim in her house debut earlier this season at Scottish Opera, where she was widely praised for her "gorgeously creamy" (The Times) and "heart-stealing" performance (Opera magazine).
The 2019-20 season will see Gemma make her house debuts at the Opéra national du Rhin (Fiordiligi Così fan tutte) and Grange Park Opera (Musetta La bohème).
Her previous competition successes include the 2018 Susan Chilcott Award for Singers, the Jean Meikle Prize for a Duo at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, First Prize and Song Prize at the 2015 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and was a finalist in the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018.