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Home / Latest News / Review: BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Review: BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Welsh contestant Gary Griffiths gave a strong performance in his concert heat of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

But as with his stab for success in his Song Prize round earlier in the week, triumph was to be elsewhere.

For each heat in the main competition a winner on the night is selected, although this does not guarantee he or she will make the final as it’s the five singers with the highest scores overall who will eventually compete for the £15,000 top prize.

But I would be extremely surprised if the lovely young Ukrainian soprano Olena Tokar, who I earlier described as the charming find of the Song Prize – the £5,000 award running alongside the main competition – does not storm into the final of the main competition.  Her Handel was exquisite, Mozart measured and masterful and her Glück inspiring.

This real young talent displayed just what this competition should be about – warmth, communication, strong technique, clever choice of repertoire and natural charisma.

The 25-year-old shared the audience’s praise with another rising star from Eastern Europe, as is now so often the case with this competition, the tenor from Belarus, who had also wowed in the Song Prize round. 

As in the Song Prize round, Yuri Gorodetski proved an elegant and expressive with his programme of Donizetti, Gounod and Tchaikovsky. Again this singer shows he has been taught excellent technique and this he balances with strong presence but there is a fear he may be pushing his voice too much.

Both Tokar and Gorodetski have already been guaranteed places in the Song Prize final.

Susana Gaspar from Portugal who also showed a fine, balanced programme, as did the Lithuanian mezzo soprano, Egle Šidauskaite.

There was a large Welsh presence in the hall and Pembrey-born baritone Griffiths did them proud with a performance that was a mature, professional performance, not just a stand and sing recital. 

Perhaps not in the best of voice, he was confident with a programme that started with a short and lively aria from Mozart’s Don Giovanni,  moving into a richly expressive Tchaikovsky and a powerful Mendelssohn before finishing a rounded, entertaining performance with a drinking song, giving his lips a wipe as a final flourish.

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2013 contestants:

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