Competitors Announced for 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition

Andrei Kymach – winner of the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition

Competitors Announced for 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition

Competition will take place from 12 to 19 June.

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition has announced this year’s sixteen finalists. The biennial competition, which holds a top prize of £20,000, is now in its twentieth edition and will take place from 12 to 19 June. 

The finalists have already participated in three initial rounds and will perform for the competition’s main jury in St David’s Hall in Cardiff – without an audience due to Covid safety restrictions. Accompanying the singers are the Welsh National Opera orchestra with conductor Michael Christie and BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Andrew Litton. The jury will be chaired by General Director of Welsh National Opera Aidan Lang and includes Welsh bass-baritone Neal Davies and American soprano Roberta Alexander. 

The full list of finalists is as follows: 

Christina Gansch, soprano – Austria 
Chuan Wang, tenor – China 
Nicolai Elsberg, bass – Denmark 
Stephanie Wake-Edwards, mezzo-soprano – England
Natalia Kutateladze, mezzo-soprano – Georgia 
Álfheiđur Erla Guđmundsdóttir, soprano – Iceland
Michael Rakotoarivony, baritone – Madagascar 
Ankhbayar Enkhbold, baritone – Mongolia 
Jusung Park, bass-baritone – Republic of Korea 
Gihoon Kim, baritone – Republic of Korea
Elbenita Kajtazi Halimi, soprano – Republic of Kosovo
Evgeniia Asanova, mezzo-soprano – Russia 
Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, soprano – South Africa 
Reginald Smith Jr, baritone – USA 
Maria Brea, soprano – Venezuela 
Sarah Gilford, soprano – Wales 

In addition to competing for the overall title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, the singers will also compete for the Cardiff Singer Song Prize, which will see them perform lieder for a prize of £10,000. They will be accompanied by pianists Llŷr Williams and Simon Lepper and the judges are John Gilhooly, Neal Davies and Roberta Alexander. The Singer Song Prize performances will take place at the Dora Stoutzker Hall of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, with the final happening at St David’s Hall.

In 2019, baritone Andrei Kymach from Ukraine was the overall winner. Other previous winners include Scottish mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison in 2017, soprano Nadine Koutcher from Belarus in 2015, and American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in 2013. 

Commenting on this year’s competition, David Jackson, Artistic Director of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World,  said: 

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World has long been a vital launchpad for world-class singers at the beginning of their careers, and after one of the most difficult years for all performers this is more true than ever. We hope that this year’s edition will be a beacon of hope for all young singers – those competing and those possibly  watching from home – as we show our support for up-and-coming artists, provide a much-needed showcase for their extraordinary talent and revel for a few days in live music-making of the very highest order.

Audiences will be able to watch the performances on BBC 4, with programmes also available on BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC iPlayer. 

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Published on 5 May 2021

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