Saturday, June 13, 2015

Cardiff Singer of the World Competition features 6 low voices

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Bryn Terfel
There is no shortage of great low male voices in this year's Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, as six baritones and basses are competing. The include Jongmin Park, Blaise Malaba, Sebastian Pilgrim, Amartuvshin Enkhbat, Ryan Speedo Green and Insu Hwang. 

A number of operas most famous low voices were winners at Cardiff, most famously Dmitri Hvorostovsky who won the main prize in 1989 and Bryn Terfel who won the Song Prize that same year. Other winners have included Tommi Hakala who won the main prize in 2003, Christopher Maltman who won the Song Prize in 1997, Paul Whelan who won the Song Prize in 1993 and Jacques Imbrailo who won the coveted Audience Prize in 2007.
This year, fans around the world will have two ways to enjoy the competition, either on BBC radio or for a fee on, which will be the first international broadcast outside the U.K. The broadcasts of the first rounds on Sonostream are on 24-delay and are simultaneous with the BBC transmissions. The main competition final on Sunday, June 21 is LIVE. Broadcasts of the initial rounds begin on June 16 at 8:30PM CEST/3:30 PM EST/12:30 PM PST.

Over 300 young singers from around the world applied to participate in the current competition, but only twenty artists were selected to perform with the orchestra at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Wales.

Parallel to the main competition, there is also the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize, in which singers perform art songs to piano accompaniment at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and St. David's Hall.  

Purchased programs  on Sonostream. tv will be available for 30 days on demand after the first broadcast date.

Jongmin Park
Jongmin Park studied at the Korea National University of Arts and at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where he worked with Mirella Freni and Renato Bruson. His roles at La Scala included Bartolo in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and the Doctor in Verdi's Macbeth.

Jongmin Park sings Rossini's La calunnia:

From 2010-13, he was a member of Hamburg State Opera where he performed Masetto in Mozart's Don Giovanni, Sparafucile  in Verdi's Rigoletto, the King of Egypt in Aida, and Truffaldino in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. He joined Vienna State Opera at the start of the 2013/14 season.  He won the Birgit Nilsson Prize at Operalia, first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition and second and Audience Prizes at the Neue Stimmen international singing competition.

Blaise Malaba
Blaise Malaba was born in Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of Congo and is studying at the Faculty of International Relations and the Faculty of Culture and Arts at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. 

Blaise Malaba sings "Let my people go"

He started singing in the church choir as a soloist, then the student choir at my university and with the male choir of Lviv. Since January 2014,  he as been studying with Professor Bogdan Bazylykut. He enjoys singing Verdi and sacred songs.  

Sebastian Pilgrim
Sebastian Pilgrim was born in Herford in North Germany and studied in Detmold and Hannover with Sabine Ritterbusch and Alessandra Althoff-Pugliese. He won the Wolfgang Wagner Award for performances as Daland and Hagen at the 2012 International Competition for Wagner Voices. While still a student, he became a member of the Theater Erfurt, performing such repertoire as Tierbändiger and Athlet Lulu and Kaspar and Eremit Der Freischütz.  

He subsequently joined the ensemble at Nationaltheater Mannheim in 2013, singing leading roles such as Sarastro Die Zauberflöte, Fiesco Simone Boccanegra, King and Cook Love for Three Oranges and King Philip Don Carlo. He also composes and conducts and has given several premieres of new music.
You can listen to Sebastian Pilgrim's clarinet sonata HERE

Amartuvshin Enkhbat
Amartuvshin Enkhbat was born in Sukhbaatar and studied at the State University of Arts and Culture, Ulan Bator. He won second prize and the audience prize at the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition; shared first prize in Operalia 2012 and second prize and two special prizes at the International Singing Contest Francisco Viñas in 2013. He is a principal Soloist of the State Academic Opera House of Mongolia where he has performed Escamillo and Morales in Carmen, Tonio in Pagliacci, Amonasro in Aida, Count di Luna in Il trovatore, Iago in Otello, Renato in Un ballo in maschera; and numerous other roles.

Ryan Speedo Green

Virginia native Ryan Speedo Green studied at Florida State University and the Hartt School of Music. He made his Metropolitan Opera stage debut in the 2012/13 season as the Mandarin in Puccini's Turandot, and the Second Knight in Wagner's Parsifal  He was a National Grand Finals winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Ryan Speedo Green sings This Nearly Was Mine from South Pacific:

In 2014, he received a George London Foundation Award, first prize in the Opera Index Competition, an Annenberg grant, first prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation competition and both the Richard and Sara Tucker Grants from the Richard Tucker Foundation.  Operatic highlights include the Commendatore in Mozart's Don Giovanni with The Juilliard School, Colline in Puccini's La bohème with Central City Opera and Don Magnifico in Rossini's La Cenerentola with Opera Colorado.  In 2014, he joined the Wiener Staatsoper ensemble, where he has performed Sparafucile, Basilio, and the King in Aida. 

Insu Hwang
Insu Hwang was born in Seoul, South Korea and studied at Yonsei University, then in Germany at the Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruhe. He reached the finals of the 2011 Queen Elizabeth competition and in 2013 won third prize and the Mozart special prize at the Veronica Dunne International singing competition, and 2nd prize at the Gut Immling international singing competition.  He is currently a member of the Young Artist program at the Landestheater Detmold, where he has performed the roles of Montano Otello, First Nazarene Salome and Sarastro Die Zauberflöte.  

Other competitors in this year's BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition include soprano Nadine Koutcher, mezzo Marina Pinchuk, soprano Aviva Fortunata, soprano Anaïs Constans, tenor Nico Darmanin, mezzo Ingeborg Gillebo, soprano Kelebogile Besong, tenor Jaeyoon Jung, soprano Regula Mühlemann, tenor Ilker Arcayurek, tenor Oleksiy Palchykov, soprano Lauren Michelle and soprano Céline Forrest. 


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