Finalists Announced for THE VOICE OF BLACK OPERA

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

By: Nov. 26, 2022
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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


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