Cardiff Singer of the World: Jamie Barton wins song prize
A mezzo-soprano from the USA has won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World song prize, for the best performer of art song, accompanied by piano.
Jamie Barton beat four other finalists at St David's Hall in the city to win the crystal trophy, along with £5,000.
Following her triumph on Friday evening, she said: "I'm so happy I cried on stage."
The final for the contest, which has launched the careers of many classical singers, will be held on Sunday.
End Quote Jamie Barton
I'm so happy I cried on stage”
The Song Prize is given to the best singer of art song, folk song or lieder, accompanied by piano.
Barton, who is from Georgia, competed against Hungarian soprano Mária Celeng, Ukrainian soprano Olena Tokar, Belarusian tenor Yuri Gorodetski, and English tenor Ben Johnson.
After the competition's patron, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, presented her with her prize, Barton said she felt overwhelmed and "extremely happy".Audience opinion
She goes on to compete in Sunday's final, where five singers will perform their choice of repertoire and will be accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
She will be joined by Marko Mimica from Croatia, Olena Tokar from Ukraine, Daniela Mack from Argentina and Teresa Romano from Italy.
They will be judged by Dame Kiri, Dame Felicity Palmer, Neil Shicoff, Bernd Weikl, Maren Hofmeister, Per Boye Hansen and chairman, Nicholas Payne.
BBC Four's coverage of the final is presented from St David's Hall, Cardiff by Petroc Trelawny, with young soprano Danielle de Niese profiling the singers and talking to them as they come off stage, and Josie D'Arby gauging the opinions in the audience.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World - now in its 30th year - is organised by BBC Cymru Wales in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by the Cardiff council.
The final can be followed on Sunday on BBC Radio 3 at 15:00 BST, on BBC Radio Cymru at 19:00, and on BBC Radio Wales and BBC Four at 19:30.