20 YOUNG INTERNATIONAL STARS REVEALED AS BBC CARDIFF SINGER OF THE WORLD 2017 FINALISTS

Twenty of the world’s most promising classical singers will compete in this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. The names of the successful singers – who were chosen from almost 400 applicants - are announced today (Wednesday, March 1).

From 11-18 June 2017, Cardiff - and platforms across the BBC - will be alive with song as 20 of the finest young classical singers from around the globe compete for the title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017.

Known throughout the classical music world as the premier showcase for opera and concert singers at the beginning of their careers, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World will be broadcast extensively on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3, along with BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, S4C and online.

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, patron of the eight day competition, and Nicholas Payne (Director, Opera Europa) were tasked with choosing the 44 singers who faced the judges in live auditions held in cities across the world. The final 19 were selected by Angela Livingstone, Head of Opera at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Isabel Murphy, casting director at Welsh National Opera and record producer Jeremy Caulton. The 19 will be joined by Welsh representative Sioned Gwen Davies.

Artistic Director BBC Cardiff Singer David Jackson said: I’m very excited about the talent we’ve netted for this year’s Cardiff Singer. It’s going to be a thrilling week of singing.”

The singers, who will perform their own programmes of operatic and concert works at St David’s Hall, Cardiff in four competitive rounds which will be accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by their Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera conducted by their Music Director Tomáš Hanus. Judging the main prize will be the distinguished panel: opera director David Pountney (chairman), mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, soprano Sumi Jo, baritone Thomas Quasthoff and conductor Anu Tali.

Established in 1983 by BBC Wales, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World was devised to identify the classical singing stars of the future, and the ambition is to deliver the lucky break all artists need to get them launched on the road to success. Past winners include the very first winner Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Anja Harteros and the 2015 winner Nadine Koutcher.

Nadine said: “Winning BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 feels like a dream... it gave me so many opportunities. I’m so proud to be a Cardiff Singer winner.”

The winner of the main prize will receive £15,000 and the Cardiff Trophy, while the Song Prize, awarded to the best singer of Lieder and art song, carries a £7,000 prize and trophy. The rounds for the Song Prize will take place in the state-of-the-art Dora Stoutzker concert hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, with all the singers eligible to take part. Joining chairman, David Pountney, Grace Bumbry and Thomas Quasthoff on the jury, will be soprano Ailish Tynan and Director of Wigmore Hall John Gilhooly.

The Song Prize rounds will be broadcast in the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert (Tuesday 13 – Friday 16 June) with the song prize final live on Radio 3 In Concert (Friday 16 June) and on BBC Four presented by Petroc Trelawny and American soprano Angel Blue (Saturday 17 June).The four concerts at St David’s Hall, Cardiff will be broadcast on BBC Four (Tuesday 13 – Friday 16 June) presented by Petroc Trelawny and Angel Blue. The Grand Final will be broadcast live on both BBC Four and BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 18 June, hosted by Petroc Trelawny and Angel Blue.

Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning, BBC Music TV, says: “I am delighted that BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is returning to our screens and putting some of the world’s most promising opera talent centre stage. It is a pleasure to introduce this new generation of up-and-coming stars to our audiences, and celebrate the joy of the classical voice.”

Alan Davey, Controller of BBC Radio 3, says: “BBC Cardiff Singer of the World brings the very best of a new generation of young and talented singers from across the world to our listeners at BBC Radio 3. At Radio 3 we are dedicated to supporting and nurturing emerging artists and exciting new musical talent through programmes such as our long-running New Generation Artists Scheme. We are thrilled to be supporting this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World by presenting extensive coverage of the competition to our audiences across the UK.”

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is part of BBC Music and organised by BBC Wales in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by The City of Cardiff Council.

Further details and ticket information can be found at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger

 

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