BBC Cardiff Singer of the World finalists announced

The 20 singers will take part in the televised competition in June

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BBC Cardiff Singer of the World has announced the names of the 20 singers who will compete in the televised finals in June 2017.

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• Update: The results of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

The televised finals are split into four rounds, in which finalists will perform programmes of operatic and concert works, accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera.

This years’ judges are opera director David Pountney (chairman), mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, soprano Sumi Jo, baritone Thomas Quasthoff and conductor Anu Tali.

The process of choosing the 20 finalists has been a long one. Last year, patron of 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 gave live auditions in cities around the world in front of a separate panel. Angela Livingstone (head of opera at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), Isabel Murphy (casting director at Welsh National Opera) and record producer Jeremy Caulton selected 19 international singers to compete in the final. The 20th singer will be Welsh representative Sioned Gwen Davies.

‘One of the best things about this competition is that it is very fair,’ Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has previously told BBC Music Magazine. ‘They go through a very long process, and the judges are from all across the industry: singers, directors, conductors and people from record labels. It’s very healthy.’

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World was established in 1983 by BBC Wales, and has since become one of the most popular classical music competitions in the world. Past victors include the very first winner Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Anja Harteros and the 2015 winner Nadine Koutcher (pictured).

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.

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World finalists are:

ItalyMiriam Albano                       

Mezzo soprano

Age 26

England – Louise Alder                               

Soprano

Age 30

England – Dominic Barberi             

Bass

Age 28

Mongolia – Batjargal Bayarsaikhan

Tenor

Age 27

US – John Chest                            

Baritone

Age 31

Wales – Sioned Gwen Davies                     

Mezzo soprano

Age 30

US – Anthony Clark Evans                       

Baritone

Age 32

Mongolia – Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar            

Baritone

Age 29

Armenia – Anush Hovannisyan                  

Soprano

Age 30

Uzbekistan – Barnokhon Ismatullaeva      

Soprano

Age 25

Norway – Lilly Jørstad                                 

Mezzo soprano

Age 31

Turkey – Ezgi Karakaya                   

Mezzo soprano

Age 28

Russia – Nadezhda Karyazina        

Mezzo soprano

Age 30

South Korea – Konstantin Lee                   

Tenor

Age 28

Italy – Roberto Lorenzi                    

Bass baritone

Age 27

Scotland – Catriona Morison                      

Mezzo soprano

Age 31

South Africa – Lukhanyo Moyake              

Tenor

Age 30

Ukraine – Iurii Samoilov                  

Baritone

Age 28

Belgium – Ivan Thirion                                

Baritone

Age 27

Australia – Kang Wang                                

Tenor

Age 29

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