Sol3 Mio’s Pene Pati wins the audience prize at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia – and video blogs the whole thing

New Zealand tenor Darren Pene Pati – best known as one third of classical trio Sol3 Mio – has won the audience and second prizes at the prestigious Operalia competition.

Tenor Ioan Hotea from Romania and soprano Lise Davidsen from Norway took the first prizes (and $30,000) at the final of the competition, which took place on Sunday 19 July at the Royal Opera House, London.

As well as another award to add to his mantelpiece, Pene takes home $20,000 and a Rolex watch.

After the results, an emotional Pene said: “[Winning] the audience award is one of the best feelings because you know that everyone in that theatre loved you. One of the best feelings in the world was standing in the limelight on the stage when they called the audience prize and opening my arms out wide to accept the honour and to feel such love and to feel people really loving what you do.”

There were 40 quarterfinalists drawn from 21 countries around the world. Pene was the only competitor from New Zealand – and is already a star both in his home country and around the world. So he decided to keep his fans posted on his progress throughout the competition.

From setting off…


And so it begins. Operalia. 2015. Here I come london.

Posted by Darren Pene Pati on Thursday, 9 July 2015



To a bleary-eyed hotel room first post


Hi everybody! People have asked how it's going and wished me well... so it thought I should start a rough VLOG about how everything is going. Whether I make it to the next round or not, my biggest achievement is that my voice was heard. That to me is winning. Thanks everyone for the support! Bring on round one!....

Posted by Darren Pene Pati on Monday, 13 July 2015


And he took his fans with him through every round until…

He posted this video after the semi-finals.



Posted by Darren Pene Pati on Wednesday, 15 July 2015


And finally, the results…

Have you ever seen a happier tenor?



Posted by Darren Pene Pati on Sunday, 19 July 2015


And here’s a casual selfie with Plácido Domingo

Congratulations Pene!



If you missed the competition live streamed on Medici TV, you can watch the whole thing on the website here. Congratulations to all the winners – you can find a complete list on the Operalia website.