Classical singing enthusiasts, this is for you. For the first time ever, you can be anywhere across the globe and still watch BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015. All you need is an internet connection.
A month after The Opera Platform began making performances from European opera houses available to opera enthusiasts worldwide comes this gem of an announcement:
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World — the biennial classical singing competition known throughout the classical music world as the premier showcase for opera and recital singers at the start of their careers — returns to the BBC for its 32nd outing in just two days. And thanks to a new partnership, you can watch the BBC broadcasts of this year’s event, whether you’re in Cardiff, Wales or Cardiff, California, via streaming at sonostream.tv.
From the 14th through the 21st of June, the world’s most promising classical singing talent will take to the stage at St David’s Hall and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in the Welsh capital to compete for the coveted title.
Nearly 350 opera and concert singers from 55 countries auditioned in Helsinki, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Toronto, Vienna, and Zurich for a place in the competition. Of them, 20 singers (see below) made it through to this final week, during which they will perform their own programs of operatic and concert works.
- Belarus — Nadine Koutcher, Soprano
- Belarus — Marina Pinchuk, Mezzo
- Canada — Aviva Fortunata, Soprano
- Congo — Blaise Malaba, Bass
- France — Anaïs Constans, Soprano
- Germany — Sebastian Pilgrim, Bass
- Malta — Nico Darmanin, Tenor
- Mongolia — Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Baritone
- Norway — Ingeborg Gillebo, Mezzo
- South Africa — Kelebogile Besong, Soprano
- South Korea — Insu Hwang, Baritone
- South Korea — Jaeyoon Jung, Tenor
- South Korea — Jongmin Park, Bass
- Switzerland — Regula Mühlemann, Soprano
- Turkey/Austria — Ilker Arcayurek, Tenor
- Ukraine — Oleksiy Palchykov, Tenor
- USA — J’nai Bridges, Mezzo
- USA — Ryan Speedo Green, Bass-Baritone
- USA — Lauren Michelle, Soprano
- Wales — Céline Forrest, Soprano
Mongolia and Malta are represented for the first time this year, with Belarus being represented by two singers and South Korea and the USA by three each.
The singers are competing for three prizes: the title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and £15,000; the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize and £5,000; and The Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize.
Judging the main prize is a panel that includes the chairman and director of Welsh National Opera David Pountney, music director of The Norwegian Opera & Ballet John Fiore, Finnish soprano and Cardiff Singer Alumna Soile Isokoski, American soprano Claron McFadden, and Welsh operatic tenor Dennis O’Neill. For the Song Prize, John Gilhooly, Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall, and pianist Julius Drake will take the places of John Fiore and Dennis O’Neill on the jury.
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The artistic director for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is David Jackson, the former Head of Music for BBC Wales and a current trustee for Sinfonia Cymru, the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britian, and Wales Millennium Centre.
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Thomas Søndergård, and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, are the orchestras for the competition.
The finalists will compete in four rounds for a place in the Grand Final. These concerts will be broadcast over four evenings on BBC Four and BBC Two Wales, presented by British classical music broadcaster Petroc Trelawny and American soprano Angel Blue, from Tuesday through Friday, the 16th through 19th of June, at 7.30 PM BST.
Both the Grand Final and Song Prize Final will take place on Sunday, 21 June, and be broadcast on BBC Four at 7:30 PM BST.
Streaming at sonostream.tv will take place at the same time as the BBC TV broadcasts. The price is €4.99 for each broadcast stream, or €14.99 for the six-broadcasts package.
Listeners can tune in to the broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, Radio Wales, and Radio Cymru.
If you’d like to see the concerts in person and can get to Cardiff, tickets are still available.