The 20 finalists for the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition have been announced.
The competition, which will be held June of 2017, is split into four rounds. Each finalist is expected to perform programs of operatic and concert works, accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.
This year’s judges will be led by opera director David Pountney (chairman), mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, soprano Sumi Jo, baritone Thomas Quasthoff and conductor Anu Tali.
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. To judge the song prize, soprano Ailish Tynan and director of Wigmore Hall John Gilhooly will join the main jury. In addition to money, the competition is attended by some of the most powerful industry professionals and many of the winners go on to have successful careers.
Past victors have included Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Anja Harteros, Jamie Barton and Valentina Nafornita.
The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition was established in 1983 by BBC Wales and has since become one of the most popular classical music competitions in the world. The process for choosing the 20 finalists is a long arduous job as the patron of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Kiri Te Kanawa and director of Opera Europa Nicholas Payne narrowed down the shortlist from almost 400 applicants to 44.
The shortlisted singers then had to do live auditions in cities around the world in front of a separate panel. Among the judges included Angela Livingstone (head of the opera at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Isabel Murphy (casting director at Welsh National Opera) and record producer Jeremy Caulton. All three selected 19 international singers to compete in the final. The 20th singer will represent Wales.
Complete List of Singers
- Miriam Albano (Italy, mezzo-soprano)
- Louise Alder (soprano, England)
- Dominic Barberi (England, bass)
- Batjargal Bayarsaikhan (Mongolia, tenor)
- John Chest (USA, baritone)
- Sioned Gwen Davies (Wales, mezzo-soprano)
- Anthony Clark Evans (USA, baritone)
- Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar (Mongolia, baritone)
- Anush Hovhannisyan (Armenia, soprano)
- Barnokhon Ismatullaeva (Uzbekistan, soprano)
- Lilly Jørstad (Norway, mezzo-soprano)
- Ezgi Karakaya (Turkey, mezzo-soprano)
- Nadezhda Karyazina (Russia, mezzo-soprano)
- Konstantin Lee (South Korea, tenor)
- Roberto Lorenzi (Italy, bass-baritone)
- Catriona Morison (Scotland, mezzo-soprano)
- Lukhanyo Moyake (South Africa, tenor)
- Iurii Samoilov (Ukraine, baritone)
- Ivan Thirion (Belgium, baritone)
- Kang Wang (Australia, tenor)