Bampton Classical Opera Announces Winner of Young Singers’ Competition 2021

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Bampton Classical Opera)

The Bampton Classical Opera has announced the winners of the 2021 Young Singers’ Competition.

Sopranos Jessica Cale, Sophie Sparrow, Shafali Jalota and Cassandra Wright, mezzo-soprano Frances Gregory, and baritone Dan D’Souza reached the final competition round.

The first prize winner was Australian soprano Cassandra Wright, who has also received a cash prize of 2,000 pound sterlings.

Wright’s program included “Se il padre perdei” from Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” Richard Strauss’ “Das Rosenband,” Op 36 No 1, “No word from Tom” from Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress,” and Rachmaninoff’s “What happiness.”

The second prize was awarded to soprano Jessica Cale, who received 1,000 pound sterling. The winner in the accompanist’s prize category was Ilan Kurtser, who accompanied Wright.

“In the highly resonant surroundings of Oxford’s Holywell Music Room last night, the finalists of the 2021 Bampton Opera’s Young Singers’ competition each presented widely varied challenging twenty-minute programmes. In a unanimous decision the Judges awarded First Prize to soprano Cassandra Wright. Her performance showed her beautiful use of vocal colours and musical phrasing. She effortlessly moved between the elements, portraying each character clearly and conveying the text with care. Cassandra was superbly supported throughout the programme by the attentive playing of her fine accompanist Ilan Kurtser who also unanimously won the accompanists’ prize,” said one of the adjudicators tenor Bonaventura Bottone in an official statement.

Previous winners include sopranos Lucy Anderson and Galina Averina, and mezzo-sopranos Emma Stannard and Anna Starushkevych.

Bampton Classical Opera stages productions in rural venues in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire as well as regularly in London at St John’s Smith Square.