Public Final: November 19, 2017 at Holywell Music Room, Oxford
Bampton Classical Opera’s third Young Singers’ Competition takes place this autumn, culminating in a public final at Holywell Music Room, Oxford on November 19. This biennial competition was first launched in 2013 to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday, and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging young opera singers currently working in the UK. The previous winners were mezzo-soprano Anna Starushkevych (2013) and soprano Galina Averina (2015). Bampton Classical Opera has a reputation for its commitment to young talent and a number of singers who have appeared on the Bampton stage have gone on to work with national companies such as The Royal Opera, English National Opera and Opera North.
The first round of the Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2017 (closed sessions) will take place on 28 and 29 October in London. Six singers will be selected for the public final, which will take place in the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, on Sunday 19 November at 6pm. Judges for the competition will be two renowned British singers: tenor Bonaventura Bottone and mezzo-soprano Jean Rigby, as well as conductor and accompanist from the Royal Opera House Paul Wynne Griffiths.
First prize £1,500 – Second prize £600
For the first time there will also be a £500 Accompanists’ Prize.
The winner of the first Young Singers’ Competition in 2013 was Ukranian mezzo-soprano Anna Starushkevych and British soprano Rosalind Coad was the runner-up.
Since then Anna Starushkevych performed the role of Erato in Gluck’s Il Parnaso confuso and the title role in Bertoni’s Orfeo (UK première) for Bampton Classical Opera, both during summer 2014. In summer 2015 she sang the role of Ofelia in Salieri’s La grotta di Trofonio, also for the company. She is one of the soloists on the Resonus Classics CD of song cycles by Pavel Haas released earlier this year, including the world première recording of Fata Morgana. She also sang the role of Matilda on Decca Classics’ recently released recording of Handel’s Ottone.
Rosalind Coad was a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist from 2014-15 and sang a number of roles for the company. She sang the role of Daughter in the Bampton Classical Opera concert performance of Maurice Greene’s Jephtha in 2014. Other performances have included Gianetta L’Elisir d’Amore and Clotilde Norma for Opera Holland Park.
In the Young Singers’ Competition 2015 Russian soprano Galina Averina won first prize and Welsh soprano Céline Forrest was the runner-up.
Since the competition Galina Averina sang the role of Atalanta Serse for English Touring Opera in 2016. Earlier this year she sang Pamina The Magic Flute for Mid Wales Opera, Oscar Un Ballo in maschera for West Green House Opera and took part in the Mozart Residency at this year’s Aix-en-Provence Festival. She returns to English Touring Opera this season as Iphise in the company’s new production of Dardanus and as Lauretta in the spring 2018 production of Gianni Schicchi.
Céline Forrest studied at the National Opera Studio in 2015/2016. Her opera training took her to Opera North and Welsh National Opera, where she worked with Graham Vick and Elaine Kidd. Recently she covered the role of Jessica in Welsh National Opera’s The Merchant of Venice by Tchaikowsky and sang the role of Mina in Verdi’s Aroldo for UCOpera.