Anna Gregg, Petra Wells, Anna-Helena Machlachlan, Cathal McCabe, & Ryan Garnham Named as Finalists in Northern Ireland Opera’s Glenarm Festival of Voice

By Afton Wooten

Northern Ireland Opera’s 13th Glenarm Festival of Voice has announced sopranos Anna Gregg and Petra Wells, mezzo-soprano Anna-Helena Machlachlan, tenor Cathal McCabe, and baritone Ryan Garnham as its finalists.

From August 25-27 in Glenarm, the five singers will participate in intensive coaching before taking part in a live competition. Vocal coaches include Dr. Ingrid Surgenor, Professor Mark Wildman, and pianist Simon Lepper.

The Festival of Voice also includes several recitals. Northern Ireland Opera’s and partner BBC Radio 3 will open up live recordings of the recitals given by tenor Nicky Spence on August 25,  mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons on August 26, and baritone James Atkinson on the final of the festival. These events take place in St. Patrick’s Church, Glenarm. The theme selected by BBC Radio 3 for this year’s recitals is “From the Salons of Great Women.” The 2022 winner of the Festival’s Song Prize, soprano Hannah O’Brien will give a recital with pianist Tristan Russcher on August 26.

At the competition finale, the audience will hear arias, Irish art songs, and ensemble pieces. The jury will select the winner of the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and the Song Prize, and an Audience Prize will also be awarded. The competition finale takes place on August 27 at 6.30 pm in Glenarm’s Church of the Immaculate Conception.