The waiting is finally over for the record number of singers who auditioned to take part in the
world’s greatest singing competition, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
The final 25 singers have been selected from more than 1,000 who applied to take part. A record
677 singers from 64 counties took part in auditions held in 44 locations.
This year’s series of concerts to find the 2007 recipient of the coveted title BBC Cardiff Singer of
the World and the winner of the Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize will be held between Saturday,
June 9 and Sunday, June 17.
Singers from as far afield as Brazil and China, Australia and Norway will gather in Cardiff to
compete in the prestigious competition that has helped launch the careers of such star names as
Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Karita Mattila, Inger Dam-Jensen, Lisa Gasteen and Bryn Terfel.
The 2005 winner American soprano Nicole Cabell has seen her career rocket since the
competition with rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic including her Royal Opera House
debut. Her fist solo CD with Decca will be launched in the spring and her Metropolitan Opera,
New York debut is scheduled in her busy diary.
Nicole joined Menna Richards, Controller BBC Wales at the launch of the 2007 competition at
St David’s Hall, Cardiff on Thursday, February 22.
Announcing the names of the 25 finalists Menna said: “Each BBC Cardiff Singer of the World
competition brings the attention of the music world to Wales for this unique search for
excellence in opera and song.
“Singers and audiences alike enjoy what are both fiercely contested competitions and an
unparalleled experience for young singers. All are winners in this friendly competition as the
singers get to work with two excellent orchestras, gain concert and broadcast experience and
have the opportunity to take part in Master Classes with jury members who include some of
opera’s most respected stars.
“With the BBC’s extensive broadcast coverage on television, on radio and online we are
delighted to be able to welcome audiences around the globe to join with us in Wales for the
world’s greatest singing competition.”
Making a welcome return to Wales this year is the competition’s Patron Dame Joan Sutherland.
She said: “Like so many other lovers of music and song I am eagerly looking forward to being
back in Wales for the world’s greatest singing competition in June.
“I am delighted to see the huge success 2005’s winner Nicole Cabell is now enjoying which she
happily acknowledges was thanks to her success in Cardiff. The competition is always a
wonderful experience for not only the St David’s Hall audience and multimedia audiences across
the world but is also a delight for every competitor taking part.”
In recognition of the competition’s place in the cultural life of Wales’ capital city, the Lord
Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Gareth Neale, said: BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is one of the
sparkling highlights in our city’s cultural calendar and the Council is delighted to be an ongoing
partner in this celebration of opera and song.
“The competition not only brings some of the world’s most talented young singers to our capital
city but also attracts visitors to Wales from Britain and abroad.
“Such is the well deserved reputation of the competition, it also brings the attention of a global
audience to Cardiff, highlighting what our great city has to offer and demonstrating the Council’s
commitment to the cultural life of citizens.”
Estonia, Croatia and Uzbekistan have singers taking part in the competition for the first time
Ensuring the widest possible audience, the competition will receive extensive BBC television
and radio coverage and there will also be full online coverage including audience interactivity at
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2007
The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World preliminary concerts take place at St David’s Hall, Cardiff
from Sunday, June 10 to Thursday, June 14 with the glittering final on Sunday, June 17.
The winner will receive £15,000 which is an increase in prize money of £5,000 and is generously
provided by Cardiff County Council. The winner will receive a trophy donated by Welsh Royal
Crystal and there may be an opportunity of engagements with the BBC and Welsh National
The prize money for each of this year’s other four finalists is £2,500. This has been made
possible thanks to new sponsorship from the Richard Lewis Trust. The Award is created in
memory of the internationally distinguished Welsh singer.
Mrs Elizabeth Muir-Lewis said, “Our Trust gives vital financial support to the finalists in BBC
Cardiff Singer of the World, while at the same time the artistry and voice of Richard Lewis lives
on. I cannot think of a better place for his name to resonate in and I am sure he would have been
absolutely delighted.” (separate press release enclosed).
Welsh National Opera’s General Director John Fisher chairs a distinguished panel of jurors
including the legendary singers Marilyn Horne and Siegfried Jerusalem.
Mr Fisher said, “I have always followed BBC Cardiff Singer of the World with great interest
over the years, and I am particularly proud to be taking over as Chairman of the jury this summer.
“The competition is internationally recognised as one of the most important singing competitions
in the world, often responsible for the launch of major international careers. I have thought it
appropriate that such a competition should take place in Wales, with its renowned tradition of
singing, and I look forward very much to being part of this exciting event.”
The Orchestra of Welsh National Opera conducted by Carlo Rizzi and the BBC National
Orchestra of Wales conducted by John Nelson accompanies competitors in the preliminary round
concerts. BBC National Orchestra of Wales will accompany competitors in the final on June 17,
conducted by John Nelson and Carlo Rizzi.
The international flavour of the competition, with nations from every continent taking part, has
attracted generous sponsorship from Visit Wales
The St David’s Hall, TV, radio and online audiences will again be able to have their say in
choosing a winner through the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World’s Audience Prize in association
with Visit Wales, the tourism arm of the Department of Enterprise, Innovation and Networks in
the Welsh Assembly Government.
Andrew Davies, the Minister for Enterprise, Innovation and Networks said: “Visit Wales is
delighted to sponsor BBC Cardiff Singer of the World’s Audience Prize, for the third successive
competition. The prize has been very popular with audiences and with competitors too as it is
recognition by the people of Wales, the people who make up The Land of Song, the country that
stages the world’s leading vocal competition.
“With eight million viewers worldwide, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition plays a
part in raising the profile of Wales and with that our country’s potential as a tourism destination.”
(separate press release enclosed)
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize
All contestants may take part in the competition to win the coveted title, the £5,000 prize and a
trophy donated by Welsh Royal Crystal. The winner will also be offered a recital as part of the
Rosenblatt Recital Series at St John’s Smith Square. The winner may also join Radio 3’s BBC
New Generation Artists Scheme.
There will be four concerts at the New Theatre, Cardiff from Saturday, June 9 to Tuesday, June
12 and a glittering final at St David’s Hall on Friday, June 15.
Ian Rosenblatt said: “I am delighted to be sponsoring the Song Prize, perhaps the most
prestigious vocal music prize in the world. The BBC could not be a better partner for the
Rosenblatt Recital Series in its goal of sustaining and encouraging interest in the vocal arts.”
The 2005 winner Andrew Kennedy is now one of opera’s most sought after young tenors.
Currently he is singing the lead role in Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore with Opera North.
In a message Andrew Kennedy acknowledged the pivotal role the competition has had in
advancing his career.
“Driving down the M4 it was so difficult to believe that the last ten days had really happened,
made more surreal by the fact that a couple of hours later I would be dressed in a huge padded
leather doublet and woollen cloak in the middle of summer and standing on the same stage as
Ben Heppner, Renée Fleming and Robert Lloyd with Tony Pappano conducting.
“It was only when all four of them found a moment to say that they had seen me on TV the
previous evening, as did a great many of the chorus and other colleagues and friends, that I knew
for certain it had really happened.
“It astonished me just how many people had seen the competition from agents to directors
through to a couple who stopped me on the tube soon after the final was broadcast. Indeed I got
offers from as far afield as Prague, Boston and even Delhi as a direct result of the competition
and this is surely a measure of how important the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition
is in promoting and shaping young singer’s careers.” (text of full message enclosed)
Judging the Song (formerly Lieder) Prize will be an equally distinguished jury including Brigitte
Fassbaender and Helmut Deutsch. The Song Prize jury is also chaired by John Fisher.
The official accompanists will be Phillip Thomas, Simon Lepper and Llŷr Williams.
Details of the competition are available at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger. A booking form can also be
downloaded from this site.
product_title=Above: Nicole Cabell, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2005