Young singers from every continent are now taking part in auditions in the hope of being selected to represent their country in the worldís most prestigious singing competition.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is organised by BBC Cymru Wales in association with Welsh National Opera and the City and County of Cardiff.
The Competitionís musical adviser Julian Smith is travelling the globe to hold auditions enabling singers from every continent to stake their claim for operatic stardom.
The 25 finalists will travel to Cardiff early next summer to sing at the National Concert Hall of Wales, St Davidís Hall, before a panel of distinguished jurors and equally discerning audiences.
Julian Smith said; ìOver 600 aspiring singers will be hoping to be selected to take part in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Auditions will take place in venues ranging from Rio to St Petersburg and from Toronto to Melbourne. Those singers selected will have to demonstrate high levels of vocal talent, musicianship and communication skills.î
The series of concerts to find the 2007 recipient of operaís greatest singing title will be held between Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 17.
The winner will follow in the footsteps of such operatic stars as Karita Mattila (Finland, 1983), Katarina KarnÈus (Sweden, 1995) Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Russia, 1989), Lisa Gasteen (1991 winner) and the winner of the inaugural Lieder Prize in 1989, Walesí Bryn Terfel.
The 2005 winner of the biennial Competition, American Nicole Cabell, has shot to international stardom. The lyric soprano has signed an exclusive recording contract with Decca with her first solo recital album scheduled for release in 2007.
In August 2006 Nicole made her BBC Proms debut in Brittenís Les illuminations and in September came her Royal Opera House dÈbut at the Barbican as Princesse Eudoxie in a concert performance of HalÈvy’s La Juive.
The 2007 winner will receive £15,000 which is an increase in prize money of £5,000. The rewards for each of the four other finalists has been increased by £500 to £2,500. This has been made possible thanks to new sponsorship from the Richard Lewis Trust.
The winner may also be offered high-profile engagements with both the BBC and Welsh National Opera.
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by John Nelson, and Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, will accompany the competitors in the preliminary round concerts. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will accompany competitors in the final.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize
The 25 contestants are also eligible to compete for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize. This competition takes the form of a series of four preliminary round concerts at the New Theatre, Cardiff, and a final at St Davidís Hall.
The winner will receive a prize of £5,000 and may be offered a recital as part of the prestigious Rosenblatt Recital Series at St Johnís Smith Square, London. The winner may also be selected to be one of BBC Radio 3ís New Generation Artists.
The accompanists will be Ll?r Williams, Simon Lepper and Phillip Thomas.
Masterclasses will also be held during the competition, led by such operatic legends as Brigitte Fassbaender and Siegfried Jerusalam, on Saturday, June 16.
The St Davidís Hall, TV, radio and online audience will again be able to have their say with the Audience Prize, sponsored by Visit Wales.
Postal booking forms are now available for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World season tickets and the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize Final at St Davidís Hall and Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize season tickets, which include the four preliminary round concerts at the New Theatre and Final at St Davidís Hall. Tickets can also be purchased for the Masterclasses at the New Theatre on Saturday, June 16. Booking forms are available from St Davidís Hall Box Office on 029 2087 8444 or online at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger
On February 24, 2007, bookings open for all tickets, including individual concert tickets for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Rosenblatt Recital Series Song Prize. Bookings can be made in person or by post to St Davidís Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1SH, by calling 029 2087 8444 and online at stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk from February 24, 2007. A booking form can also be downloaded from bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger