Launch of BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World 2007
Record number of singers auditioned
Three countries competing for first time
New sponsorship and increased prize money
The waiting is finally over for the record number of singers who auditioned to
take part in the world's greatest singing competition, BBC Cardiff Singer Of
The final 25 singers have been selected from more than 1,000 who applied to
A record 677 singers from 64 counties took part in auditions held in
This year's series of concerts to find the 2007 recipient of the coveted title
BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World and the winner of the Rosenblatt Recital Song
Prize will be held between Saturday 9 June and Sunday 17 June 2007.
Singers from as far afield as Brazil and China, Australia and Norway will
gather in Cardiff to compete in the prestigious competition that has helped
launch the careers of such star names as Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Karita Mattila,
Inger Dam-Jensen, Lisa Gasteen and Bryn Terfel.
The 2005 winner American soprano Nicole Cabell has seen her career rocket since
the competition with rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic including her
Royal Opera House debut.
Her first solo CD with Decca will be launched in the
spring and her Metropolitan Opera, New York debut is scheduled in her busy
Nicole joined Menna Richards, Controller of BBC Wales, at the launch of the 2007
competition at St David's Hall, Cardiff today (Thursday 22 February).
Announcing the names of the 25 finalists, Menna said: "Each BBC Cardiff Singer
Of The World competition brings the attention of the music world to Wales for
this unique search for excellence in opera and song.
"Singers and audiences alike enjoy what are both fiercely contested
competitions and an unparalleled experience for young singers.
"All are winners
in this friendly competition as the singers get to work with two excellent
orchestras, gain concert and broadcast experience and have the opportunity to
take part in Master Classes with jury members who include some of opera's most
"With the BBC's extensive broadcast coverage on television, on radio and online
we are delighted to be able to welcome audiences around the globe to join with
us in Wales for the world's greatest singing competition."
Making a welcome return to Wales this year is the competition's Patron Dame
She said: "Like so many other lovers of music and song I am
eagerly looking forward to being back in Wales for the world's greatest singing
competition in June.
"I am delighted to see the huge success 2005's winner Nicole Cabell is now
enjoying which she happily acknowledges was thanks to her success in Cardiff.
"The competition is always a wonderful experience for not only the St David's
Hall audience and multimedia audiences across the world but is also a delight
for every competitor taking part."
In recognition of the competition's place in the cultural life of Wales'
capital city, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Gareth Neale, said: "BBC
Cardiff Singer of the World is one of the sparkling highlights in our city's
cultural calendar and the council is delighted to be an ongoing partner in this
celebration of opera and song.
"The competition not only brings some of the world's most talented young
singers to our capital city but also attracts visitors to Wales from Britain
"Such is the well-deserved reputation of the competition, it also brings the
attention of a global audience to Cardiff, highlighting what our great city has
to offer and demonstrating the council's commitment to the cultural life of
Estonia, Croatia and Uzbekistan have singers taking part in the competition for
the first time.
Ensuring the widest possible audience, the competition will receive extensive
BBC television and radio coverage and there will also be full online coverage
including audience interactivity at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger.
BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World 2007
The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World preliminary concerts take place at St
David's Hall, Cardiff from Sunday 10 June to Thursday 14 June with the
glittering final on Sunday 17 June.
The winner will receive £15,000 which is an increase in prize money of £5,000
and is generously provided by Cardiff County Council.
The winner will receive a
trophy donated by Welsh Royal Crystal and there may be an opportunity of
engagements with the BBC and Welsh National Opera.
The prize money for each of this year's other four finalists is £2,500.
has been made possible thanks to new sponsorship from the Richard Lewis Trust.
The award is created in memory of the internationally distinguished Welsh
Mrs Elizabeth Muir-Lewis said: "Our trust gives vital financial support to the
finalists in BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World, while at the same time the
artistry and voice of Richard Lewis lives on.
"I cannot think of a better place
for his name to resonate in and I am sure he would have been absolutely
Welsh National Opera's General Director John Fisher chairs a distinguished
panel of jurors including the legendary singers Marilyn Horne and Siegfried
Mr Fisher said: "I have always followed BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World with
great interest over the years, and I am particularly proud to be taking over as
chairman of the jury this summer.
"The competition is internationally recognised as one of the most important
singing competitions in the world, often responsible for the launch of major
"I have thought it appropriate that such a competition
should take place in Wales, with its renowned tradition of singing, and I look
forward very much to being part of this exciting event."
The Orchestra of Welsh National Opera conducted by Carlo Rizzi and the BBC
National Orchestra of Wales conducted by John Nelson accompanies competitors in
the preliminary round concerts.
BBC National Orchestra of Wales will accompany
competitors in the final on 17 June, conducted by John Nelson and Carlo Rizzi.
The international flavour of the competition, with nations from every continent
taking part, has attracted generous sponsorship from Visit Wales.
The St David's Hall, TV, radio and online audiences will again be able to have
their say in choosing a winner through the BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World's
Audience Prize in association with Visit Wales, the tourism arm of the
Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks in the Welsh Assembly
Andrew Davies, the Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks, said: "Visit Wales is delighted to sponsor BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World's Audience
Prize, for the third successive competition.
"The prize has been very popular
with audiences and with competitors too as it is recognition by the people of
Wales, the people who make up The Land of Song, the country that stages the
world's leading vocal competition.
"With eight million viewers worldwide, BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World
competition plays a part in raising the profile of Wales and with that our
country's potential as a tourism destination."
BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize
All contestants may take part in the competition to win the coveted title, the £5,000 prize and a trophy donated by Welsh Royal Crystal.
The winner will also
be offered a recital as part of the Rosenblatt Recital Series at St John's
The winner may also join BBC Radio 3's BBC New Generation Artists
There will be four concerts at the New Theatre, Cardiff from Saturday 9 June
to Tuesday 12 June and a glittering final at St David's Hall on Friday 15 June.
Ian Rosenblatt said: "I am delighted to be sponsoring the Song Prize, perhaps
the most prestigious vocal music prize in the world.
"The BBC could not be a
better partner for the Rosenblatt Recital Series in its goal of sustaining and
encouraging interest in the vocal arts."
The 2005 winner Andrew Kennedy is now one of opera's most sought after young
tenors. He is currently singing the lead role in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore
with Opera North.
In a message Andrew Kennedy acknowledged the pivotal role the competition has
had in advancing his career.
"Driving down the M4 it was so difficult to believe that the last ten days had
really happened, made more surreal by the fact that a couple of hours later I
would be dressed in a huge padded leather doublet and woollen cloak in the
middle of summer and standing on the same stage as Ben Heppner, Renée Fleming
and Robert Lloyd with Tony Pappano conducting," he said.
"It was only when all four of them found a moment to say that they had seen me
on TV the previous evening, as did a great many of the chorus and other
colleagues and friends, that I knew for certain it had really happened.
"It astonished me just how many people had seen the competition from agents to
directors through to a couple who stopped me on the Tube soon after the final
"Indeed I got offers from as far afield as Prague, Boston and
even Delhi as a direct result of the competition and this is surely a measure
of how important the BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World competition is in
promoting and shaping young singer's careers."
Judging the Song (formerly Lieder) Prize will be an equally distinguished jury
including Brigitte Fassbaender and Helmut Deutsch. The Song Prize jury is also
chaired by John Fisher.
The official accompanists will be Phillip Thomas, Simon Lepper and Llyr
The competition is also sponsored by Welsh bottled water company Brecon Carreg.
Details of the competition are available at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger. A booking
form can also be downloaded from this site.
Notes to Editors
Information about the singers is published on bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger.
BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World main prize, Sunday 10 June to
Thursday 14 June and final on Sunday 17 June, St David's Hall, Cardiff
Rosenblatt Recital Series Song Prize, Saturday 9 June to Tuesday 12 June at
the New Theatre, Cardiff and final on Friday 15 June at St David's Hall.
Master Classes at the New Theatre, Cardiff on Saturday 16 June.
Booking opens on 24 February 2007.
All tickets can be purchased in person or by telephone either from St David's
Hall box office (Tel. 029 20 87 8444) or New Theatre box office (Tel. 029 2087
Tickets for BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World concerts and final at St David's
Hall and the final of the Rosenblatt Recital Song prize at St David's Hall can
also be purchased online by visiting www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk.
Tickets for the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize preliminary concerts and Master
Classes at the New Theatre can also be purchased online by visiting www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk.
A booking form can also be downloaded from bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger.
BBC Wales Press Office