BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 underway

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 is under way, with two singers already making it through to Sunday’s grand final at St David’s Hall, Cardiff. Oleksiy Palchykov, a tenor from Ukraine, and Lauren Michelle, a soprano from America, qualified from Monday’s and Tuesday’s preliminary rounds respectively.

Michelle, who trained at the Julliard School and UCLA, said: ‘Tonight I was just in my own zone, it was about combating my emotions.’ She has recently won the 2015 Francisco Vinas International competition, and also made her Carnegie Hall debut earlier this year in Kurt Weill’s The Road of Promise.

Palchykov is also in the final four, having made it through from an original group of 350 singers that was whittled down to just 20 who travelled to Cardiff. Last year he won the Prix Lyrique du Cercle Carpeaux and Priz Lyrique de L’AROP, while later this year he appears as Ruiz in Il torvatore at Opera national de Paris.

Also announced last night were the five singers who have reached the Song Prize Final, which is broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 on Friday. Amartuvshin Enkhbat from Mongolia, Aviva Fortunata from Canada, Ilker Arcayurek from Turkey/Austria, Nadine Koutcher from Belarus and Jongmin Park from South Korea will perform at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition has been running biennially since 1983, and is considered a launch pad for the careers of promising young singers. Past winners include Bryn Terfel, Elizabeth Watts and Jamie Barton.

This year’s judging panel comprises director of Welsh National Opera David Pountney; music director of The Norwegian Opera & Ballet John Fiore; Finnish soprano Soile Isokoski; American soprano Claron McFadden and Welsh operatic tenor Dennis O’Neill.

This week’s qualifying concerts, and the final itself, are being broadcast on BBC Four and Radio 3, with a full schedule available from the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World website.