22:59 GMT +320 February 2019
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    ATHENS, March 6 (RIA Novosti, Aleksei Bogdanovsky) - Three Russian opera singers won the podium in a prestigious Mariya Kallas international singing competition in Athens.

    The grand prix of the festival was granted to Marina Poplavskaya, famous for the Mazepa opera, staged in the Bolshoi Theatre.

    The second and the third places were won by Anna Viktorova from Moscow and soloist Veronika Dzhioyeva from St. Petersburg.

    The jury of the contest attended by 58 performers from 20 countries was composed of art directors of Rome Opera, Convent Garden and La Fenice, a Venice opera.

    "We were faced with the rivalry of skillful Korean singers, which is why it was difficult to win," the winner, Marina Poplavskaya, was quoted as saying. She performed arias from Guno's Faust and Magic Flute by Mozart overnight.

    "We won the acclaim of the Greek audience, which looked similar to muscovites. They were contented and gave us a standing ovation," Ms. Poplavsaya said.

    "Mariya Kallas is adored by opera singers, and the competition has always been highly estimated for an outstanding composition of the jury and performers. This is one of the most prestigious contests and a good start for any performer," Ms. Poplavskaya aggregated.

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