Moldovan soprano Valentina Naforniţă has won the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. The singer also won the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize.
At 24, Naforniţă was one of this year’s youngest competitors and was the only one of the five finalists who had not won her round earlier in the week.
At the final, held on 19 June at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Naforniţă performed arias from Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, Rusalka by Dvořák and Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette.
Following her triumph Naforniţă said: ‘It’s an amazing feeling, I can’t believe it, happy is not the word. I feel in heaven, right now.’
The four other finalists were soprano Meeta Raval from England, mezzo-soprano Olesya Petrova from Russia, soprano Hye Jung Lee from South Korea and Ukrainian baritone Andrei Bondarenko.
Naforniţă was presented with a Welsh crystal trophy by the competition’s patron Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The young singer also won a total of £17,000 in prize money.
Clips from her winning performance can be found on the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World website.