After an exciting first round of the Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2023 in London on 28 and 29 October, eight singers have been chosen for the public final in the Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, Wolfson College, Linton Road, Oxford, on 25 November at 6.00pm.
The eight finalists are
- Sarah Chae soprano
- Aleksandra Dunaeva soprano
- Melissa Gregory mezzo-soprano
- Rhydian Jenkins tenor
- Georgie Malcolm soprano
- Dan D’Souza baritone
- Myrna Tennant mezzo-soprano
- Kieron-Connor Valentine countertenor
The public final is always an entertaining and thrilling event and a chance to hear some remarkable performances. Each finalist will present a programme of around 15 minutes.
Judges for the competition include the internationally renowned British singers tenor Bonaventura Bottone and mezzo-soprano Jean Rigby.
They are joined by the esteemed vocal coach, pianist and accompanist Ingrid Surgenor, who is the senior coach at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and principal opera coach at the Royal Academy of Music. For many years, she was the official accompanist to the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
The winner will receive a cash prize of £2,000, and the runner-up £1,000. There will also be a £600 Accompanists’ Prize.
The Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition was launched in 2013 to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday.
It is now well established and identifies, rewards and nurtures some of the country’s most talented young professional singers aged 21 to 32 and their accompanists.
The previous winners were mezzo-soprano Anna Starushkevych (2013), soprano Galina Averina (2015), mezzo-soprano Emma Stannard (2017), soprano Lucy Anderson (2019) and soprano Cassandra Wright (2021).
In 2017, an Accompanists’ Prize was introduced, and the first winner was Keval Shah, followed by Dylan Perez in 2019 and Ilan Kurtser in 2021.
Bampton Classical Opera has a reputation for its commitment to young talent, and several singers who have appeared on the Bampton stage have gone on to work with national companies such as The Royal Opera, English National Opera and Opera North.