Tenor Mingjie Lei, 31, from China, was tonight [Thursday 20 June 2019] chosen as the winner of the Song Prize at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2019.
Performing in front of a distinguished jury (chaired by John Gilhooly, Executive & Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall) and a capacity live audience at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Mingjie Lei was presented with a £10,000 prize (increased this year thanks to support from the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation) and the Patron’s Cup, renamed this year to acknowledge this support.
Mingjie Lei said: "I'm thrilled to have won the Song Prize in this year's BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. It's a huge honour to join the list of previous winners and I'm grateful for the incredible support of the audience."
The four other finalists were Sooyeon Lee, Andrei Kymach, Angharad Lyddon and Roman Arndt. Thanks to a new partnership with London’s Wigmore Hall, all finalists will be offered a recital at the world’s leading venue for chamber music and song.
Also announced are the singers progressing into Saturday’s Main Prize final after winning their concert rounds, as well as the judges’ ‘wildcard’ choice. They are:
Round 1 winner: Tenor Mingjie Lei from China, 31
Round 2 winner: Bass Patrick Guetti from USA, 31
Round 3 winner: Baritone Andrei Kymach from Ukraine, 31
Round 4 winner: Soprano Sooyeon Lee from South Korea, 30
Wildcard: Mezzo-soprano Guadalupe Barrientos from Argentina, 32
On Saturday evening the singers will perform their choice of repertoire accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Ariane Matiakh and Ewa Strusińska. The winner of the Main Prize will receive £20,000, the Cardiff Trophy and the title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
Judging the Main Prize will be a distinguished panel including Welsh National Opera’s Artistic Director Sir David Pountney (chair), acclaimed singers José Cura, Dame Felicity Lott and Frederica von Stade and Grange Park Opera Surrey founder Wasfi Kani.
The Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize, voted on for by the public and audiences in Cardiff, will also be announced at the Main Prize final on Saturday. The vote is open until 2pm on Saturday 22 June, and viewers can vote online on the BBC Cardiff Singer website or by phone – terms and conditions can also be found on the BBC Cardiff Singer website. This year it is dedicated to the memory of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the much missed and beloved baritone who was Cardiff Singer of the World in 1989.