BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2021
The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is a competition known throughout the classical music world as the premier showcase for opera and concert singers at the outset of their careers. It has launched the careers of some omajor starts including Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros and Jamie Barton. It takes place every two years and is organised in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by the City of Cardiff Council. The competition’s patron is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the Artistic Director is David Jackson.
The competition is open to singers at the start of their professional careers aged 18 to 32. After a three-stage selection process up to 20 singers are invited to compete in Cardiff to perform opera and concert music with full orchestra in four concerts, in front of a distinguished jury. The winner from each concert, plus one wild card (the best of the rest) compete in the final.
The singers may also take part in the parallel competition, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize, in which they perform art songs with piano accompaniment. There are four preliminary rounds plus the final with five singers selected by the jury, which all take place in Cardiff. It is not possible to enter the Song Prize only.
The deadline for entry for the 2021 competition has now passed, with a record-breaking 518 applications from 74 countries including, for the first time, Barbados, Bolivia, Guernsey, India, Madagascar, Malaysia and Puerto Rico. These applications will be whittled down by a series of adjudicators to determine who will come to Cardiff in June 2021.
Whilst it is hoped that the 2021 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World will run in the same format as previous years, there is a need to be mindful and realistic about the restrictions which may be placed on it due to the COVID-19 pandemic.