Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Valentina Naforniţă wins BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011

Valentina Naforniţă being presented the winning trophy by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

The winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011 is 24-year-old Moldovian soprano, Valentina Naforniţă.

And Valentina capped her triumph by also winning the audience prize, voted for by listeners and viewers at home.

Valentina was among the five finalists to perform in front of the distinguished jury and enthusiastic audience at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Sunday 19 June. The other finalists were Meeta Raval from England, Olesya Petrova from Russia, Hye Jung Lee from South Korea and Andrei Bondarenko from Ukraine.

Valentina delighted the jury and audience this evening with a stunning programme of Donizetti, Dvořák and Gounod that brought the week to a thrilling close.

The decision of the panel of international judges was announced by John Fisher, former chief executive and artistic director of Welsh National Opera with the new Patron of the competition, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa presenting the Cardiff Trophy and £15,000 prize to Valentina, who said: "I am so happy, I feel I'm in heaven right now. It is everything to me."

A wide selection of renowned artists were on the jury this year, with musical talent, vocal technique and stage presence at the forefront of their requirements. Former chief executive and artistic director of Welsh National Opera John Fisher chaired the jury and said: "I'm delighted that we had such an expert jury for the competition. They are all world famous, but also hugely dedicated to the nurturing of young talent."

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa joined the jury for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World for the first time. Other newcomers were Russian-born conductor Alexander Polianichko and Lorenzo Mariani, the artistic director at Palermo Opera House. Marilyn Horne returned for her fifth visit, and Dennis O'Neill and Håkan Hagegård both appeared for the second time.

Announced by Elan Closs Stephens, BBC Trustee for Wales, the Audience Prize, worth £2,000 was also awarded to Valentina. Chosen by a public telephone vote, it had been renamed the Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize in memory of the legendary soprano and in recognition of her long association with the competition.

The singers performed their choice of repertoire and were accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Jac van Steen and Lawrence Foster.

Six hundred opera and concert singers at the start of their careers auditioned for a place in the competition, hoping the prestige and exposure to large audiences, both in Cardiff and across the BBC's television, radio and online services, would give a unique boost to their careers.

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


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