De Tijd found ample opportunity to interview the two obvious winners of the 1956 competition, the Grand prize winner Ladislav Mráz and the First Prize winner ‘cum laude’ Elly Ameling.

Ameling informed the reporters at the press conference that she was madly in love with little dog, before recalling her (6 years) of studies with Jo Bollenkamp, and alter with Miss. Dresden-Dhondt. Her IVC concert appearance was not her first public appearance, she informed the journalists. Previously she had twice appeared in Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion in Arnhem, conducted by Brandts Buys. On June 16 she had also appeared at the Debutants Gala in the Municipal Museum of Den Haag, and just before the IVC competition, she appeared on Dutch radio for the first time, singing o.a. Duparc’s ‘Tristesse,’ and ‘En voyage,’ with the Radio Omroep Orchestra conducted by Maurits van den Berg. De Tijd:

‘She is past the level of stage fright, and was much admired throughout the concert, supported as she as by her accompanist Janine van Mever. Both her artistry and her light hearted conversation tone were much appreciated.’

What did Ameling expect of her career then, following her victory at the IVC? Ameling:

‘I believe you should not expect too much in this trade, but rather work harder’.

De Tijd noticed that the word ‘trade’ sounded very convincing coming from her lips, once again confirming that she was a very direct person. The correspondent from De Maasbode, a local newspaper from Rotterdam, asked her about winning the First Prize. Ameling:

‘Naturally, I am very happy with my victory. I really hadn’t expected this to happen, since I knew that there was serious international competition. It wasn’t for nothing that I was the only Dutch finalist. I didn’t come here with any expectations, since in my experience that only leads to disillusions. You do need a lot of self-confidence though. The worst is the waiting, since you have absolutely no clue about the result. Regardless the nerves, I have great memories of Den Bosch. […] Do you know what surprised me most was that the Germans, who had arrived in large numbers, hardly made it to the finals. The English singers there against proved a revelation.’

Her plans? Ameling:

‘I want to become a concert singer, and would also like to appear in opera. I have a certain preference for Mozart, since in his music you find everything; he always makes you happy. Please, do mention my accompanist, Janine van Mever, also from Rotterdam! She stood by me in a superb manner!’

Ladislav Mráz

According to De Tijd it was surprising to see a man as timid as Ladislav Mráz raise to such heights of drama on stage, imbued with passion. In excellent German het tells about his life, while he pardons himself for lighting a cigarette with the words: ‘I didn’t smoke for four days in a row…’ Mráz recalled his extensive stage performance as a contract singer at the Prague national Theater, along with his tours to China, Poland, and Russia. His IVC appearance was his first performance in The West. Mráz didn’t leave the impression that his experience in the West had shocked him in any way:

‘He seems to live for his music. He is a passionate servant of the Muse. And she, this is common knowledge, doesn’t have a clue about iron curtains and the like.’