BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021: who are the competitors and how can you watch it?

All the 16 singers competing in this year's BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition – and how you can tune in on BBC TV and Radio to watch the action unfold

Cardiff Singer of the World past winners

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021 is taking place between 12 and 19 June in Cardiff. The singers will be accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, with conductors Andrew Litton and Michael Christie.

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This year’s competitors come from 15 countries, including Madagascar and the Republic of Kosovo – neither of which have ever featured in the competition before. The finalists range in age from 26 to 32.

Find out who has previously won and competed in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World here.

Who are the singers competing in this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World?

Soprano Christina Gansch

  • 31 years old
  • Austrian
Christina Gansch

Tenor Chuan Wang

  • 32 years old
  • Chinese
CHuan Wang

Bass Nicolai Elsberg

  • 31 years old
  • Danish
Nicolai Elsberg by Gerald Geerink

Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Wake-Edwards

  • 27 years old
  • English
Stephanie Wake-Edwards 1_credit Elishama Udorok

Mezzo-soprano Natalia Kutateladze

  • 29 years old
  • Georgian
Natalia Kutateladze

Soprano Álfheiður Erla Guðmundsdóttir

  • 27 years old
  • Icelandic
Alfheidur Erla Gudmindsdottir@Valgeir Einarsson

Baritone Michael Rakotoarivony

  • 28 years old
  • Madagascan
Michael_Rakotoarivony

Baritone Ankhbayar Enkhbold

  • 32 years old
  • Mongolian
Ankhbayar Enkhbold

Baritone Gihoon Kim

  • 29 years old
  • From the Republic of Korea
Gihoon Kim

Bass-baritone Jusung Park

  • 27 years old
  • From the Republic of Korea
Jusung Park

Soprano Elbenita Kajtazi Halimi

  • 30 years old
  • From the Republic of Kosovo
Elbenita Kajtazi Halimi credit Arben Llapashtica

Mezzo-soprano Evgeniia Asanova

  • 26 years old
  • Russian
Evgeniia Asanova

Soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha

  • 27 years old
  • South African

Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
Career highlight: Winning the UNISA International Voice Competition in 2018 and being asked by the Royal Opera House to cover in my favourite opera, Verdi’s La forza del destino. During the latter I was able to perform and work alongside one of my idols, soprano Anna Netrebko.
Musical hero: Soprano Jessye Norman’s singing is extraordinary, but she’s also intelligent and humble, which are the most important qualities that every singer should have to succeed in this industry.
Dream concert: To perform in Verdi’s Requiem at the BBC Proms or in Aida at one of the big opera houses.

Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha

Baritone Reginald Smith Jr

  • 32 years old
  • American
Reginald Smith

Soprano Maria Brea

  • 30 years old
  • Venezuelan
Maria Brea

Soprano Sarah Gilford

  • 29 years old
  • Welsh
Sarah Gilford c) Bria Kelly

Will BBC Cardiff Singer of the World be broadcast on TV and radio?

This year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition will be broadcast on BBC Four, BBC Wales, Radio 3 and Radio Cymru, with additional coverage on BBC iPlayer.

See full broadcast details of this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World here.

Full details of upcoming BBC Cardiff Singer of the World broadcasts:

BBC Four

Main Prize

Sunday 13 June – Round 1 (7.30-9pm)
Monday 14 June – Round 2 (10-11.30pm)
Tuesday 15 June –  Round 3 (10-11.30pm)
Wednesday 16 June – Round 4 (10-11.30pm)
Saturday 19 June – Main Prize Final (live: 7.30-10pm)

Song Prize

Thursday 17 June – Song Prize Final (start time TBC)

BBC Radio 3

Main Prize

Saturday 19 June – Main Prize Final (live: 7.30-10pm)

Song Prize

Tuesday 15 June – Lunchtime Concert (1-2.30pm)
Wednesday 16 June – Lunchtime Concert (1-2.30pm)
Thursday 17 June – Lunchtime Concert (1-2.30pm)
Thursday 17 June – Song Prize Final (live: 7.30-10pm)

What is the Song Prize in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World?

The Song Prize is awarded to singers of Lieder or art songs in the repertoire, with recitals accompanied by internationally renowned pianists such as Llŷr Williams and Simon Leper.

The winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize is awarded £10,000 and the Song Prize trophy.

It is not an either/or situation: singers can win either the Song Prize or Main Prize, or both!

What is the Main Prize in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World?

The Main Prize of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is awarded to the winner of the final, in which the five strongest singers are selected to compete.

The Main Prize final determines who wins the £20,000 prize, the Cardiff Trophy and the title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

Who are the judges of this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World?

This year’s judging panel is chaired by Aidan Lang, general director of the Welsh National Opera, who is joined by Welsh bass-baritone Neal Davies and American soprano Roberta Alexander.

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What is the Audience Prize in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World?

The winner of the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize is awarded a crystal trophy and £2,500. It is voted for by the BBC Cardiff Singer audiences and presented during the grand final.