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 and continues to develop the format of the competition and its broadcast coverage. It takes place every two years - in 2015 it runs Sunday 14 June – Sunday 21 June. It is organized in association with Welsh National Opera and is 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. For 2015, more than 300 talented singers from 55 countries applied to come to the capital of Wales to represent their country. After a three-stage selection process involving DVD and live auditions, 20 singers were invited to compete in Cardiff. They will 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. This takes place 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.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World: the winner receives £15,000 and the Cardiff Trophy, and the four other finalists each receive £2,500.
In addition, the competition in liaison with BBC Radio 3 will commission a new piece from composer John Lunn. It will be written especially for the winner, who will give its first performance at the 2016 BBC Proms, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize: the winner receives £5,000 and the Song Prize Trophy.
The Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize: any of the 20 competitors singing in Cardiff is eligible to win £2,000 and a trophy. Voting is by telephone and online and is open between 2pm on Friday 19 June and 2pm on Sunday 21 June. The prize is supported by the Cardiff University School of Music.