Press Office

Sunday 13 Jul 2014

Press Release

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to be BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Patron

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will take time out of her international concert schedule to join BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition as patron and jury member, 12-19 June, 2011.

The internationally renowned soprano, whose operatic career has spanned four decades, has heralded the competition as an essential opportunity for emerging singers at a crucial point of career development: "It is a thrill and honour to be asked to be patron and jury member for this year's BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.

"The event is of great significance to the opera world, giving young talented singers the opportunity to perform in the beautiful St David's Hall in Cardiff, where they will be heard on BBC radio as well as viewed by millions on television.

"From my own early experiences of studying at the London Opera Centre in what is now the National Opera studio, I understand how essential it is to be given such a unique opportunity as this at the outset of one's career. There can be no doubt that the 20 singers will have a unique opportunity to be assessed by professionals from the world of music during the week, with each event presenting high standards of singing.

"It is an occasion which will reveal the finest quality of singers and I am very pleased to be a part of this extraordinary competition."

As such a strong supporter and mentor to the new generation of singers, as founder of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, the founding artistic director of the Solti te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto, she will now be passing on her invaluable experiences for the first time as jury member and patron of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

Dame Kiri is the competition's second patron, following the death last year of Dame Joan Sutherland. Dame Joan had a long friendship with BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, serving on five consecutive juries from 1993, before becoming patron in 2003.

With a wide selection of renowned artists on the jury this year, with vocal talent, sound technique and presence at the forefront of their requirements, John Fisher, chair of the panel said: "I'm delighted that we have such a distinguished and expert jury for the 2011 competition, with the welcome return of Marilyn Horne, Dennis O'Neill and Hakan Hagegard, as well as the exciting 'debut' at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

"These are all great artists, esteemed around the world, but also all hugely dedicated to the nurturing of young talent - one couldn't ask for a more perfect team."

The biennial competition which will be shown on television, heard on radio and online, has become known throughout the classical music world as the premier showcase for opera and recital singers at the start of their careers. 

This March, following months of auditions across the globe, BBC Cymru Wales will announce the 20 singers who will have the opportunity to represent their country in the competition.

Every competitor will perform their choice of opera and concert repertoire in front of a distinguished jury and enthusiastic audience at St David's Hall, Cardiff. They will also have the option of entering the Song Prize competition in recitals of Lieder and Art Song at the New Theatre Cardiff.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is organised by BBC Cymru Wales in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by the City and County of Cardiff.

Season tickets include four concerts, the final and the song prize final and are priced from £50 to £190. Song prize season tickets for the four recitals at the New Theatre are £24. Tickets to join the audience for the masterclasses, led by members of the world famous jury, are £8. Masterclasses will be held on Saturday 18 June at the New Theatre Cardiff and at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Season tickets are available by post only. Brochures with booking forms are available from St. David's Hall, Cardiff CF10 1AH. Booking forms should be returned to St. David's Hall by Friday 4 February, 2011.

A booking form to download and details about the competition can be found on the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World website.

Notes to Editors

Jury for Main Prize: John Fisher, Hakan Hagegard, Marilyn Horne, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dennis O'Neill.

Jury for Song Prize: John Fisher, Bengt Forsberg, Adam Gatehouse, Hakan Hagegard, Marilyn Horne.


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