20 singers have been selected to compete in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Now in its 36th year, the biennial competition will see ten men and ten women from 15 countries fight it out to win the £20,000 main cash prize and a concert recital at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.
It is not only the main award and title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World that participants are competing for. The Song Prize finalists are also offered debut concert recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, with the winner receiving £10,000. The Audience Prize is also up for grabs, with the public voting for their favourite in the concert hall, online and by phone. This award is dedicated to the late baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the former Cardiff Singer of the World winner who died in 2017.
BBC Cardiff Singer has not just been responsible for helping launch the career of Hvorostovsky. Other former winners to have gone on to great things include the Finnish soprano Karita Mattila and, more recently, US mezzo Jamie Barton. Those who came close but didn't actually take home the winner's trophy, meanwhile, include Bryn Terfel, who lost out to Hvorostovsky in 1989.
The main competition sees singers perform in four rounds, judged by a panel including opera director David Poutney and Grange Park Opera founder Wasfi Kani, alongside singers tenor/baritone José Cura, soprano Felicity Lott and mezzo Frederica von Stade. The performances take place in Cardiff’s St David’s Hall, accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, under the baton of Ewa Strusińska, as well as the Welsh National Opera Orchestra with Ariane Matiakh.
‘This year we’re offering live TV broadcasting and streaming for the first time, increased prize money and career-enhancing recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall and Southbank Centre’, says David Jackson, artistic director of the competition.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World runs from 15-22 June 2019, and will be streamed live online, and broadcast on BBC TV and radio.
List of singers:
Guadalupe Barrientos (mezzo-soprano), Argentina
Lauren Fagan (soprano), Australia
Camila Titinger (soprano), Brazil
Mingjie Lei (tenor), China
Katie Bray (mezzo-soprano), England
Adriana Gonzalez (soprano), Guatemala
Jorge Espino (baritone), Mexico
Badral Chuluunbaatar (baritone), Mongolia
Luis Gomes (tenor), Portugal
Roman Arndt (tenor), Russia
Karina Kherunts (mezzo-soprano), Russia
Yulia Mennibaeva (mezzo-soprano), Russia
Owen Metsileng (tenor), South Africa
Leonardo Lee (baritone), South Korea
Sooyeon Lee (soprano), South Korea
Lena Belkina (mezzo-soprano), Ukraine
Andrei Kymach (baritone), Ukraine
Patrick Guetti (bass), US
Richard Ollarsaba (bass-baritone), US
Angharad Lyddon (mezzo-soprano), Wales