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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Winner of Radio 2 Kiri Prize announced

Shuna Scott Sendall

Soprano Shuna Scott Sendall has won the Radio 2 Kiri PrizeBBC Radio 2's nationwide search with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to find an opera star.

Shuna's winning performance of Dich, teure Halle, from Wagner's Tannhäuser, and Morrò, Ma Prima In Grazia, from Verdi's Un Ballo In Maschera, was heard on Friday 3 September in the Radio 2 Kiri Prize final concert, which was recorded at The Mermaid in London.

Shuna was one of five singers to reach the final of the Radio 2 Kiri Prize. Each performed two arias and was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Martin Yates. They were judged by Dame Kiri, mezzo-soprano Anne Howells, conductor Robin Stapleton and director John Cox.

As part of her prize Shuna will join Dame Kiri Te Kanawa at BBC Proms in the Park in London's Hyde Park on Saturday 11 September in front of an audience of thousands. Shuna, who is from Glasgow, is also invited to attend a three-week residential course at the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia in Italy.

The other finalists were soprano Gwawr Edwards from Cardiff; tenor Alexander Grove from Congleton, Cheshire; soprano Hannah Bradbury from Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire; and soprano Laurie Ashworth from Wigan. Penny Smith presented the final, which was launched in January 2010 and, following regional auditions, 40 singers were invited to attend masterclasses in London with Dame Kiri, Anne Howells and Robin Stapleton.

Dame Kiri said: "My fellow judges and I knew that choosing the winner would be a very hard decision due to the exceptional standard of the singers. We wanted to find a voice which was special – and we chose a singer who is uniquely special. We were looking for the performance of a lifetime from each of the finalists and that is what Shuna delivered."

Shuna said: "I am honoured to have been chosen as the winner of the Radio 2 Kiri Prize. It has been a great privilege to be part of this competition and to get the chance to work with Dame Kiri, Anne Howells and Robin Stapleton in the masterclass and perform with the BBC Concert Orchestra. Words cannot express my delight at the opportunity I now have to perform alongside Dame Kiri at BBC Proms In The Park and I feel unbelievably excited and proud that I am able to do what I love best, sing!"

Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: "The Radio 2 Kiri Prize process has been an amazing project for everyone involved and I'm proud that Radio 2 founded such a prestigious event. We set out to find real talent that can go to the very top in the world of opera – and after over 600 entries and hours of auditions, that's what we found. Shuna is an incredible voice who has all the potential in the world to start her journey to reach the highest heights. We'll be hearing her for many, many years to come."

Following training at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Shuna graduated from the Alexander Gibson Opera School. Her work with the Scottish Opera includes roles in Madame Butterfly and Carmen.

The Radio 2 Kiri Prize is the highlight of Friday Night Is Music Night's summer season of programmes and further demonstrates Radio 2's commitment to supporting talent across a wide range of genres. Forthcoming highlights in Friday Night is Music Night include A Tribute to Lionel Bart, hosted by Barbara Windsor, at the Hackney Empire, and an evening of music celebrating the work of Kander & Ebb.

A full range of pictures are available at bbcpictures.com or picturerequests@bbc.co.uk.

Notes to Editors

The Radio 2 Kiri Prize launched in January 2010.

Over 600 entries were received.

Following regional auditions, 40 singers were invited to attend masterclasses in London with Dame Kiri, Anne Howells and Robin Stapleton.

Fifteen performers were then selected to go through to the semi final stages.

The five semi final concerts, each featuring three singers, were broadcast over five weeks in Radio 2's Flagship live music programme Friday Night Is Music Night on Radio 2 from 30 July to 27 August.

Penny Smith presented the semi-finals and the final.

The final was broadcast on Radio 2 on Friday 3 September.

BBC Proms in the Park takes place in London's Hyde Park on Saturday 11 September and can be heard on Radio 2. Gates open 4pm; entertainment on stage is from 5.30pm.

Tickets: £30 (under-threes free) Telephone booking: See Tickets on 0844 412 4630 (a transaction fee of £2.00, plus a booking fee of £1.25 per ticket applies) and from the Royal Albert Hall on 0845 401 5040 (a transaction fee of 2 per cent of the total value, plus £2.10 per ticket applies) or online at bbc.co.uk/proms (transaction fees vary, see website for details).

SH3

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