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



Review: THE BOYS ARE KISSING, Theatre503 Photo
Zak Zarafshan’s debut play dives into playground politics and marital disputes, but with a touch of divine intervention, and some Britney Spears for good measure. The show follows two sets of parents meeting to discuss a kiss between their two nine-year-olds sons, and the glittery queer guardian angels that help them figure it out.

Review: BUTCHERED, VAULT Festival Photo
There are some shows that fit perfectly within the walls of The Vaults. Magic is made when old bricks and humidity meet the right production. Expial Atrocious’ Butchered is one of those that feel at home enveloped by the horrid architecture and the rumblings of Waterloo Station. The love child of Sweeney Todd and Hannibal, it’s a grim look at life and death in a dog-eat-dog world.

Review: THE LAMB DISAGREES, VAULT Festival Photo
It’s equally funny and stimulating, opening up a broader conversation about people’s use of foreign cultures and experiences to further their own goals. Wang only gives a taste of the issue in The Lamb Disagrees, but we hope her budding career will explore the subject in more detail.

Review: FOR A BRIEF MOMENT AND NEVER AGAIN SINCE, VAULT Festival Photo
It’s a missed opportunity to explore young parenthood and the effects of thoughtless actions on a couple.


More Hot Stories For You


UK Stage Directors Release Census 2023, Conducted By SDUKUK Stage Directors Release Census 2023, Conducted By SDUK
January 28, 2023

Stage Directors UK (SDUK) has released the findings of the 2023 Stage Directors Census. Over 500 UK based stage directors participated in the survey, representing all levels of the profession.

Photos: See Aimee Lou Wood, John McCrea & Nathan Ives-Moiba in Rehearsals for CABARET at the Kit Kat ClubPhotos: See Aimee Lou Wood, John McCrea & Nathan Ives-Moiba in Rehearsals for CABARET at the Kit Kat Club
January 27, 2023

Get a first look at Aimee Lou Wood, John McCrea and Nathan Ives-Moiba in rehearsals for CABARET at the Kit Kat Club!

Christina Bianco Makes Pheasantry Concert Debut
in London Next MonthChristina Bianco Makes Pheasantry Concert Debut in London Next Month
January 27, 2023

Internationally acclaimed singer, actor and impressionist, Christina Bianco makes her Pheasantry debut with her first solo concert in over a year.  

Drag Cast Announced For ACID'S REIGN at VAULT FestivalDrag Cast Announced For ACID'S REIGN at VAULT Festival
January 27, 2023

Relish Theatre brings a new drag cabaret play about the climate crisis and its impact on the queer community to the world-famous VAULT Festival.  From award-winning writer James McDermott (Eastenders; Time and Tide, Park Theatre), with musical direction from Olivier-nominated Joe Beighton (SIX: The Musical), Acid’s Reign will debut at VAULT Festival at their new 125 seat cabaret venue The Flair Ground.

Cory English Will Play Doctor Emmett Brown in BACK TO THE FUTURE - THE MUSICALCory English Will Play Doctor Emmett Brown in BACK TO THE FUTURE - THE MUSICAL
January 27, 2023

Celebrated theatre actor, Cory English, will join the cast of BACK TO THE FUTURE The Musical at the Adelphi Theatre, playing the role of 'Doctor Emmett Brown'. The show will also extend its booking period until Sunday 22 October 2023. Tickets for the new booking period are on sale now.