Belfast soprano Sinéad O’Kelly wins Voice of 2013 at Glenarm Festival of Voice

Belfast soprano Sinéad O’Kelly wins Voice of 2013 at Glenarm Festival of Voice

Wednesday, 4 September 2013, 1.50pm

Belfast-born soprano Sinéad O’Kelly was crowned NI Opera Voice of 2013 on 1 September by BBC Radio 3’s Sean Rafferty, after a gala final that marked the climax of this year’s Glenarm Festival of Voice. 

Sinéad, who is studying Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music in London, was competing against four other talented young opera singers from across Ireland, and impressed the judges and the sell-out audience with her performance of arias and songs by Donizetti, Bizet, Monteverdi, Fauré and Barber.

Sunday night’s final was the culmination of a festival weekend during which the five singers received intensive vocal coaching from experts including David Gowland, Artistic Director of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Kathryn Harries, Director of the National Opera Studio in London; and Iain Burnside, broadcaster and pianist.

Sinéad said, ‘I’m thrilled to have won the Festival of Voice final. It’s been an intense but hugely rewarding weekend, and I think all the finalists have learnt an enormous amount from the coaches. I can’t wait to start working and performing with NI Opera, and I’m already looking forward to returning to Glenarm to perform at next year’s Festival!’

Fionnuala Jay O’Boyle, Chair of the Jury and Vice Chair of NI Opera added, ‘The judges were all extremely impressed by the five finalists. These young singers have displayed very high standards of vocal ability, and have clearly benefited from the workshops this weekend. It has been a real privilege to have had such renowned singing coaches as David Gowland, Kathryn Harries and Iain Burnside here in Glenarm for this year’s festival, and I’m sure the long-term benefits for these young Irish and Northern Irish opera singers will be very significant.’

Other highlights of this year’s Festival of Voice included a recital by the 2011 and 2012 Festival winners Ben McAteer and Dawn Burns, two BBC Invitation Recitals featuring Claire Booth, Robin Tritschler, Ailish Tynan and Stephan Loges, and performances of Samuel Barber’s 10 minute opera A Hand of Bridge. The Festival of Voice will return to Glenarm in 2014.

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