|Baritone from the north sings his way to victory|
| [30.08.2007, 10:56pm, Thu. GMT]|
|A Norwegian won his own queen's international music competition, for the first time in six years. Audun Iversen from the northern city of Harstad won Queen Sonja's annual International Music Competition in a packed Oslo Concert House, with the queen in attendance. She's backed the annual showcase for years and was the one who announced the 30-year-old baritone as the winner after he'd sung "Die Lustige Witwe" and "Vaterland, du machst bei Tag" from "The Merry Widow" by Franz Lehar.Iversen graduated from Norway's music college with the highest marks possible and now studies at the opera academy at Det Kongelige Teater in Copenhagen.|
Three of the six finalists this year were Norwegians, something organizers called "a little sensation." Only one other Norwegian has won the competition earlier: Marita Sølberg, in 2001.
There were 37 competitors from 16 countries taking part in this year's competition. Iversen was rewarded with NOK 125,000 plus a NOK 50,000 scholarship in the name of the late Norwegian opera singer Ingrid Bjoner.