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Review: BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 - 3rd Main Prize Concert @ SDH

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 19/06/2015 at 04:27
0 comments » - Tagged as Festivals, Music

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 - 3rd Main Prize Concert
Saint David's Hall
Wednesday 17th June 2015

I am immured in all things opera this week. The Singer of the World events are plentiful, with an action-packed list of events.

Chapter Arts Centre had the great idea to show opera on film to coincide with the festival. Three classic screen versions including Powell & Pressburger's camp, sumptuous take on Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. It can be like eating too many sweets, but still has charm to spare. Zeffirelli's masterful interpretation of Verdi's Otello (based on Othello) is a joy to watch with a (blacked up!) Placido Domingo, sublime and pure Katia Ricciarelli as his wife Desdemona and the wicked Justino Diaz playing Iago, who conspires against them both resulting in horrendous jealous and murder. This is a must-see for opera fans (even if half an hour of the score is cut).

Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier can't claim to be fulfilling. Lacking in much of a story or even a lot of humour, these three hours are spent enjoying the music without much more than sifting through its elongated froth.

For the third night of the main prize, Ilker Arcayurek from Turkey. It was a disappointing start, as he struggled with his frequent high notes. Other than that is was a most pleasing list of Mozart, Puccini and R. Strauss. French entrant Anais Constans added a supplement of beauty. The evocative songs of Mozart, the eloquent Massenet and the floating serenity of Verdi's Caro nome from Rigoletto.

Amartuvshin Enkhbat of Mongolia presented Glinka, Giordano and an aria from Rigoletto. Later in the night, he would win this round, due to this sturdy bass-baritone and his choice of arias. US J'nai Bridges hand-picked songs to impress, and impress they did. Her Bellini, Berg and Gounod gathered the audience. The final and fantastic piece by John Carter, Ride on King Jesus could have won her this round alone, praising the "king of kings" and leaving the audince wide eyed. Ending for the evening was Blaine Malaba, the first ever entrant from The Democratic Republic of Congo. The Glinka, Mozart and Bizet all showed off his low range, almost as if to crumble into the earth. He too, could have won here but sadly did not.

More singing, please.

UPDATE: The five singers competing for the Main Prize are:

Jongmin Park (Wild Card Choice), South Korea
Lauren Michelle (soprano), US
Amartuvshin Enkhbat (baritone), Mongolia
Oleksiy Palchykov (tenor), Ukraine
Nadine Koutcher (soprano), Belarus

Best of luck to them all!

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 continues at Saint David's Hall till Sunday 21st June.

Related:

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Image Credit: BBC Website

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