Fifteen talented singers have been selected to go through to the semi-finals of the BBC Radio 2 Kiri Prize, a nationwide hunt with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to find an opera star of the future. Over the next five weeks the singers can be heard performing in five special Friday Night Is Music Night programmes, introduced by Penny Smith.
The initiative, which further demonstrates Radio 2's commitment to supporting talent across a wide range of genres, launched in January 2010. Following regional auditions, 40 singers were invited to attend masterclasses in London with Dame Kiri, mezzo-soprano Anne Howells and renowned conductor Robin Stapleton.
The semi-finalists are accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra and their performances are judged by Dame Kiri, Anne Howells, Robin Stapleton and director John Cox.
Five singers will then go through to the final which is broadcast on Radio 2 on Friday 3 September. The winner will perform with Dame Kiri at BBC Proms In The Park in London's Hyde Park on Saturday 11 September and be given the opportunity to attend a three-week residential course at the Solti Te Kanawa Accademia in Italy.
Tonight's semi finalists are Tenor Andrew O Connor, Soprano Gwawr Edwards and Soprano Ilona Domnich. And they're joined by pianist Lara Melda, winner of the BBC Young Musician Of The Year.