an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me | Advertise | Follow me:

You gotta be in it to win it: 20 finalists announced for 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

It’s the biennial event that gave us Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, Lisa Gasteen and, no, not Katherine Jenkins, but a lot of super losers like Nina Stemme who went on to make huge careers despite the Cardiff setback. Finalists were announced today for the contest, which takes place in June.

The local favourite is Gary Griffiths. i’m putting a canny fiver on one of my Facebook friends, the Egyptian Gala el Hadidi. Full list below.

gary griffithsgala el hadidi


  • Argentina – Daniela Mack, Mezzo-soprano, 30
  • Belarus – Yuri Gorodetski, Tenor, 30
  • China – Yi Li, Tenor, 28
  • Croatia – Marko Mimica, Bass-baritone, 25
  • England – Katherine Broderick, Soprano, 30
  • England – Ben Johnson, Tenor, 29
  • Egypt – Gala El Hadidi, Mezzo-soprano, 30
  • Hungary – Mária Celeng, Soprano, 24
  • Italy – Loriana Castellano, Mezzo-soprano, 31
  • Italy – Teresa Romano, Soprano, 28
  • Lithuania – Eglė Šidlauskaitė, Mezzo-soprano, 29
  • Poland – Michał Partyka, Baritone, 27
  • Portugal – Susana Gaspar, Soprano, 31
  • Russia – Alexey Bogdanchikov, Baritone, 27
  • South Africa – Luthando Qave, Baritone, 26
  • South Korea – Jeongcheol Cha, Bass-Baritone, 31
  • South Korea – Kihwan Sim, Bass, 29
  • Ukraine – Olena Tokar, Soprano, 25
  • USA – Jamie Barton, Mezzo-soprano, 31
  • Wales – Gary Griffiths, Baritone, 29

Here’s Gala at the Dresden New Year show, depping for Renee Fleming.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Sam McElroy says:

    Ah, fond memories! Of course I don’t know most of them, but Jamie Barton’s “Oh mon Fernand” (La Favorita) at the recent Richard Tucker Gala was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. A huge and gorgeous voice and a wonderful singer. If it doesn’t break any rules, here is a link to the whole gala, worth watching for so many great performances. I hope you can watch it outside of the USA.

    • Yes, Sam. Barton is tremendous. Without the slightest doubt a star in the making. She has a wonderful Horne-like quality to her voice. My significant other gasped after she started singing. If I may also say, based solely on public/social media, she seems quite a personable woman.

      If I may, here is the “Oh Mon Fernand” from Barton you mentioned ->

    • Thank you, Sam and Janey, for voicing my thoughts, exactly!. Jamie Barton has to be heard! She is, indeed, a star in the making! Thank you both, also, for including the links you did. She was incredible at the Tucker gala, and I’m so proud that she’s representing the USA at Cardiff.
      And yes, Janey, she is very personable, and a lovely person. I wish her all the success she so richly deserves!

      • Very glad to hear, Berta. A friend informed this morning that the Met has announced Barton as Adalgisa next season and also perhaps Fricka? My friend was unsure of the latter.

        • Janey, I saw the Adalgisa announcement, and I am overjoyed! Jamie will be sensational! It’s especially appropriate, since she mentioned that one of her mentors is the great Marilyn Horne. The greatest Adalgisa, sort of handing over the torch to a young singer who is simply superb.

  2. Graf Nugent says:

    Daniela Mack is very good, should have a great chance.

  3. Looks like a pretty strong field.

    Katherine Broderick is already pretty well known, having won Kathleen Ferrier Award in 2007, the Susan Chilcott Award in 2005 and the Maggie Teyte Prize in 2006. She has sung Donna Anna at ENO and appeared at Covent Garden and the Proms.

    Ben Johnson is also singing major roles with established opera companies (Nemorino at ENO) and is also a past winner of the Kathleen Ferrier award.

    Susana Gaspar is on the Covent Garden young artists programme and has shone in several roles at Covent Garden.

  4. Have the changed the rules? I don’t remember there being 2 singers from England before?

    • Sam McElroy says:

      They have changed the rules. It used to be one singer per country, then the best 25 countries went through to the television stages. But some countries produce more singers, and it seems fair to allow those countries better representation, which ups the standard, of course. They also used to say a singer could have appeared in big roles in smaller houses, or small roles in bigger houses, but once they had appeared in big roles in big houses then there was no need for them to be in competitions. That has changed, too. On this change, I prefer the old system, in that Cardiff Singer should be about talent emerging from corners of the globe which don’t get a chance to showcase themselves on the international stage. There doesn’t seem much point in showcasing yourself when you are already under big management and singing principal roles in the big houses, in my opinion. But it is a truly fabulous competition, and a REAL talent show! I only wish it would get the same exposure as the phony TV talent shows!

  5. Robert Moffat says:

    Susana Gaspar is on the new Opera rara recording of Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon – a really lovely voice! Should make for another very interesting competition.

  6. That’s what I call an Arab spring !
    She’s super fun and has a gorgeous warm timbre, a bit soprani-ish though.
    There are/were several good voices from the Arabic middle east but somehow they don’t seem to be making careers. I remember a super Syrian soprano Al Quntar, I wondered what happened to her. Never made a career and the present situation in her homeland won’t make it easier either. As soon as the ‘rebels’ take over it’s the high way for this kind of entertainment, x-ians, gays andlesbos etc, of course the jews were expelled years ago.

an ArtsJournal blog