Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Finalists Announced for THE VOICE OF BLACK OPERA

The competition will be staged at Birmingham Town Hall on 5 December 2022. 

Finalists Announced for THE VOICE OF BLACK OPERA Black British Classical Foundation has announced the five singers who have been chosen to advance to the Grand Final Concert of the Voice of Black Opera competition to be staged at Birmingham Town Hall on 5 December 2022.

The five finalists, selected at Semifinal rounds featuring artists from throughout the Commonwealth held in Birmingham on 24 and 25 November, will be accompanied by the Welsh National Opera (WNO) Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Kofi Waldren. The concert will be hosted by Marverine Cole.

Along with voice type and nationality, the finalists are: Rachel Duckett - soprano (British), Chantelle Grant - mezzo-soprano (Canadian), Thando Mjandana - tenor (South African), Yolisa Ngwexana - soprano (South African), and Isabelle Peters - soprano (British).

Each singer's repertoire at the concert will include a performance of at least one contemporary song or aria by a Black or South Asian composer and finalists will also perform a duet with other professional singers.

Chair of the judging panel for the Final will be internationally renowned tenor and composer Tom Randle. He will be joined by Aidan Lang - General Director of Welsh National Opera, Stephan Meier - Artistic Director of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Jean Ronald La Fond - tenor and vocal coach, Philip Herbert - composer, Rupert Christiansen - writer and critic, and Odaline de la Martinez - composer and conductor.

Two prizes will be awarded at the Final: The Sir Willard White Trophy (the winner will be awarded £10,000, repertoire coaching with music staff of Welsh National Opera, and a concert appearance with the WNO Orchestra); The Samuel Coleridge Taylor Award (the recipient will receive £5,000 and three performances of a specifically commissioned new work from Daniel Kidane for voice and ensemble with The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. This will be presented to the singer who, in the judges' opinion, gives the best performance of a contemporary song by a Black or South Asian Composer.)

Each finalist will be fitted with a bespoke fashion item, designed by students of Birmingham City University (BCU) School of Fashion & Textiles, to wear at the Final. Bespoke jewellery will also be made for the singers by students of the BCU Birmingham School of Jewellery.

The Voice of Black Opera Competition is organised by Black British Classical Foundation in collaboration with Welsh National Opera, to showcase the finest Black and South Asian singers as they launch international operatic careers.

Black British Classical Foundation exists to address classical music's under-representation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds. The first Voice of Black Opera competition was held in 2008 and helped launch the careers of winners Elizabeth Llewellyn, Peter Braithwaite and Nadine Benjamin. From this year the relaunched competition will be held biennially.

Vincent Osborne, BBCF Founder and Artistic Director, says: "I've been blown away by the Semifinals, and the Grand Final Concert of the Voice of Black Opera competition at Birmingham Town Hall on 5th December promises to be an unforgettable night of exceptional talent. Sharing the joy of opera, these artists will inspire people, so they too can say yes, I will begin - or continue ­- my own journey to become a singer, a classical musician, or a passionate supporter of this wonderful artform."

Tickets for the Grand Final Concert

Monday 5 December 2022 at 7:00pm Birmingham Town Hall, Victoria Square, Birmingham

Tickets: £5 - £38.50 https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2211535®id=4&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fbmusic.co.uk%2Fevents%2Fvoice-of-black-opera?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1



Theatres Trust Announces Theatres at Risk Register 2023 Photo
Theatres Trust, the charity that campaigns to protect the UK’s theatres, has published its annual Theatres at Risk Register, which highlights theatres across the UK under threat of closure, redevelopment or severe decay, but which all have the potential to be revived for their local communities. 

WICKED Appoints Starling Arts to Bring Wellbeing, Anti-Bullying and Musical Theatre Worksh Photo
The stage musical Wicked has announced a partnership with Starling Arts to exclusively deliver school and community group workshops, with an emphasis on wellbeing and self-confidence.

New Musical THE BOOK THIEF  Will Play in Coventry and Leicester Beginning in September Photo
The stage adaptation of best-selling novel The Book Thief, with libretto by Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald and music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, will be presented at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre and Leicester's Curve Theatre in autumn 2023.

A West End Gala Night of Theatrical Consequences Comes to the Savoy Theatre in May Photo
The game of Consequences - drawing an image, turning over the page to hide it and passing it on - often ends in astonishing and eye-wateringly funny results. Now inspired by this “what will happen next?” children's game, there will be a one night only fundraising gala evening at the Savoy theatre on Monday 15 May, 2023.


More Hot Stories For You


BROKEN CHORD Comes to Sadler's Wells Theatre in MarchBROKEN CHORD Comes to Sadler's Wells Theatre in March
February 6, 2023

Sadler's Wells presents the UK premiere of Broken Chord by acclaimed choreographer Gregory Maqoma in collaboration with Musical Director Thuthuka Sibisi in March. The production, co-commissioned by Sadler's Wells, tells the story of a South African chorus whose tour through North America and England in the late 19th century was marred by the realities of racism.

WICKED Appoints Starling Arts to Bring 'Wellbeing', 'Anti-Bullying' and 'Musical Theatre' WorkshopsWICKED Appoints Starling Arts to Bring 'Wellbeing', 'Anti-Bullying' and 'Musical Theatre' Workshops
February 6, 2023

The stage musical Wicked has announced a partnership with Starling Arts to exclusively deliver school and community group workshops, with an emphasis on wellbeing and self-confidence.

New Musical THE BOOK THIEF  Will Play in Coventry and Leicester Beginning in SeptemberNew Musical THE BOOK THIEF Will Play in Coventry and Leicester Beginning in September
February 6, 2023

The stage adaptation of best-selling novel The Book Thief, with libretto by Jodi Picoult and Timothy Allen McDonald and music and lyrics by Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson, will be presented at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre and Leicester's Curve Theatre in autumn 2023.

A West End Gala Night of 'Theatrical Consequences' Comes to the Savoy Theatre in MayA West End Gala Night of 'Theatrical Consequences' Comes to the Savoy Theatre in May
February 6, 2023

The game of Consequences - drawing an image, turning over the page to hide it and passing it on - often ends in astonishing and eye-wateringly funny results. Now inspired by this “what will happen next?” children's game, there will be a one night only fundraising gala evening at the Savoy theatre on Monday 15 May, 2023.

Théatre Lapis to Present Concert of GALAXY TRAIN at The Other Palace in MarchThéatre Lapis to Present Concert of GALAXY TRAIN at The Other Palace in March
February 5, 2023

Théatre Lapis will present a concert version of a new musical 'Galaxy Train', which runs between the 24th and 26h March 2023 at The Other Palace Theatre Studio. The musical was created by director Yojiro Ichikawa (My Neighbour Totoro, Urinetown, Pearl and Dagger) and composer-lyricist Eden Tredwell (The Last Nativity, Pearl and Dagger), based on the beloved 1927 Japanese novel 'Night on the Galactic Railroad' by Kenji Miyazawa.