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About Cardiff Singer

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is a competition known throughout the classical music world as the premier showcase for opera and concert singers at the outset of their careers. It has launched the careers of some major stars including Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros and Jamie Barton.

About the competition
In 1983, BBC Wales created BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (J Mervyn Williams was the man credited with founding the competition) and continues to develop the format of the competition and its broadcast coverage. It takes place every two years and is organized in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by The City of Cardiff Council. The competition’s patron is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the artistic director is David Jackson.

The competition is open to singers at the start of their professional careers, aged 18-32. After a three-stage selection process involving DVD and live auditions, 20 singers are invited to compete in Cardiff, to perform opera and concert music with full orchestra in four concerts, in front of a distinguished jury. The winner from each concert plus one wild card (the best of the rest) compete in the final in St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

The singers may also take part in a parallel competition, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize, in which they perform art songs with piano accompaniment. The preliminary round of four recitals takes place in the Dora Stoutzker Hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, with the five singers selected by the jury going on to perform in the final at St David’s Hall. It is not possible to enter the Song Prize only.

Main Prize
The performances are broadcast across the BBC to audiences around the UK and beyond, and the five strongest singers are selected to compete in the exhilarating final at St David’s Hall. The singer named BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, is presented with the Cardiff Trophy and £20,000.

The Song Prize
The Song Prize puts our singers well and truly under the spotlight. Performing some of the most beautiful Lieder and art songs in the repertoire, the singers are accompanied by internationally renowned pianists including Llŷr Williams and Simon Lepper.

The intimate recitals take place at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, with a final at St David’s Hall. The winner receives the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize Trophy and £10,000.

The Audience Prize
The Audience Prize is voted for by our audiences and presented during the grand final. Winners receive The Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize, £2,500 and a crystal trophy. This year the prize is dedicated to the memory of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the much missed and beloved baritone who became Cardiff Singer of the World in 1989.