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Cardiff Singer Cardiff Singer | 10:47 UK time, Friday, 12 June 2009

The finalists for the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition have been announced.

Yuriy Mynenko, Ekaterina Shcherbachenko, Jan Martiník, Eri Nakamura and Giordano Lucà

Yuriy Mynenko, Ekaterina Shcherbachenko, Jan Martiník, Eri Nakamura and Giordano Lucà

'Last five' are the words which best describe the Thursday night of Cardiff Singer. Not only does the audience hear the last five competitors taking part in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, but they also get to find out which five singers from the twenty-five who came to Cardiff will sing in Sunday's final.

New Zealand's Wade Kernot entertained the audience at St David's Hall with his rendition of Leporello's Catalogue Aria. He consulted a Cardiff Singer leaflet as his list of women Don Giovanni has seduced - let's hope none of the 1,003 ('mille e tre') from Spain alone include any of our Cardiff Singer competitors!

Irish soprano Helen Kearns included a beautiful and little-heard piece from Stravinsky's Le Rossignol, one of the few 20th century offerings of the competition.

It's always good to hear the Italian tenor voice, and the audience enjoyed Giordano Lucà's programme of top tenor hits. Twenty-one-year-old Giordano, the youngest competitor this year, also seemed to be enjoying himself - this was the first time ever that he has performed with orchestra.

Andorran baritone Marc Canturri's programme included the charming song of Queen Mab from Gounod's Roméo et Juliette along with an aria from a little-known piece by Donizetti, Emilia di Liverpool.

Last to sing was Portuguese soprano Dora Rodrigues, who brought three very different roles to the stage - Marguérite from Faust, enjoying trying on her jewels; the sick Mimì as she parts from Rodolfo; and the seductress Giuditta, from Lehár's eponymous operetta.

The routine onstage at the end of concert five is always different from earlier in the week. All the competitors are invited onto the stage, to receive a crystal goblet from Menna Richards (Director, BBC Cymru Wales) and a hearty round of applause from the audience. Everyone was able to be there except Argentinian bass Fernando Javier Radó, who was performing in Berlin.

Then, things return to normal for the announcement of the winner of concert five - this was Italian tenor Giordano Lucà.

Things got even better for Giordano a couple of minutes later, when John Fisher read out his name as one of Sunday's finalists. He will be joined by the winners of all the previous concerts - Eri Nakamura from Japan; Ekaterina Shcherbachenko from Russia; Yuriy Mynenko from Ukraine and Jan Martiník from the Czech Republic.

Concert five will be broadcast on BBC Four this evening at 7.30pm.

The Audience Prize gives you the chance to have your say about the competitors. Voting is by phone and is open between 2pm today and 11am on Sunday - see the full details on the Audience Prize. Any of the 25 competitors can receive your vote, whether or not they have reached the final.

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