SM East grad wins opera prize, will perform duet with Placido Domingo in China

A 2004 Shawnee Mission East graduate has caught the ear of international opera star Placido Domingo — and earned himself $10,000 in the process.

Ben Bliss
Ben Bliss
Ben Bliss — a talented tenor who has appeared on NBC — traveled to Verona, Italy, last month for the Placido Domingo International Operalia Competition. The competition, started in 1993, receives nearly 1,000 applications each year.

As one of 14 international finalists among the original 40 competitors, he was singing with some of the brightest young talent in the opera world.
And when the judges came back, they awarded his the Zarzuela prize for his performance of “Flor roja” from the Spanish opera Los Gavilanes.

Domingo has also invited Bliss to travel to China in two weeks to sing a duet with him in the Operalia Gala.

Bliss was most recently in a two-year training program with the Los Angeles Opera, but is now moving to New York where he will take part in the Lindeman Training Program of the Metropolitan Opera.

Ben is the son of Judy and Bob Bliss.