One of the most prestigious singing competitions in the world, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World will be back at St David’s Hall for 2023. The previous competition, held in 2021, went ahead without an in-person audience due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The competition runs from 10-18 June, with events taking place in St David’s Hall and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Sixteen singers from around the world have been selected via virtual auditions from almost 500 applications.
This prestigious event is celebrating its 40th year in 2023. It has launched the careers of some of the biggest opera stars, including Finnish soprano Karita Mattila, winner of the first competition back in 1983, Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky in 1989, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, winner of the Song Prize in 1989, German soprano Anja Harteros in 1999, American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in 2013 and 2021 winner, South Korean baritone Gihoon Kim.
A special gala concert will celebrate the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World’s 40th anniversary. Taking place on 16 June at 7.30pm in St David’s Hall, it will feature former winners and finalists including British soprano Louise Alder, British mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones and Ukrainian baritone Andrei Kymach. They will be accompanied by the Welsh National Opera Orchestra and conductor Pietro Rizzo. They will perform well-known pieces by Verdi, Rossini, Mozart and more. Tickets cost £19-£42.
The competition will be judged by a jury drawn from the world of classical music. It includes Welsh National Opera general director Aiden Lang, Belize-born British composer Errollyn Wallen, accompanist Anna Tilbrook and New Zealand soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who is also the Patron of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
All 16 singers compete for the Main Prize and can also take part in the Song Prize. The former sees all 16 compete in one of four heats, with the five strongest singers selected to take part in the final. The winner takes home the Cardiff Trophy and £20,000.
Heat 2 is on 12 June at 6pm. Chinese soprano Meigui Zhang, Turkish bass-baritone Oğulcan Yilmaz, Welsh soprano Jessica Robinson and Croatian bass Toni Nežić will be singing.
Heat 3 is on 13 June at 6pm. The singers are South Korean tenor Beomjin Angelo Kim; Swedish soprano Johanna Wallroth; Chinese baritone Huhegala; and South African mezzo-soprano Siphokazi Molteno.
Heat 4 is on 14 June at 6pm. Taking part are Ukrainian tenor Vasyl Solodkyy; Colombian soprano Julieth Lozano Rolong; Italian bass Adolfo Corrado; and Scottish mezzo-soprano Beth Taylor.
All four heats take place at St David’s Hall. The orchestra for Heats 1 and 3 is the Welsh National Opera Orchestra conducted by Michael Christie; for Heats 2 and 4, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be conducted by Ryan Bancroft. Tickets for all four heats are on sale now, costing from £24-£45.
The Song Prize heats all take place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Heat 1 is on 10 June at 1.30pm; Heat 2, 10 June at 7.30pm; Heat 3, 11 June at 1.30pm; and Heat 4, 12 June at 1.30pm. The performers are yet to be announced. They will be accompanied by internationally renowned pianists Llŷr Williams and Simon Lepper.
The winner receives the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize Trophy and £10,000. Tickets are on sale now and cost £25. The Song Prize final is on 15 June at 6pm, in St David’s Hall. Tickets cost £35.
The highlight of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is the Main Prize final. This will take place at St David’s Hall on 18 June at 5pm. Tickets cost £35-£70. The Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Prize, voted for by the audience, will also be presented during the grand final. The winner can be any of the 16 competing singers. They receive £2,500 and a crystal trophy.
All heats and finals will also be broadcast on the BBC, online, on radio and on the TV, as well as being available on iPlayer after the event. Details will be announced on the BBC website.
Sixteen talented young singers from around the world will take part in this year’s BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition.