22nd June, 2016
The first entrant of the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2017 has been announced following a sensational final round of the Welsh Singers Competition, the contest which determines the Welsh entrant for this internationally renowned competition, at St David's Hall, Cardiff on May 26th.
We're delighted to announce that mezzo soprano Sioned Gwen Davies was victorious in last night's competition and will go on to represent Wales next year.
"It'll be an honour to represent my country at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition; it feels like a great prize after working so hard throughout my training. This will be a fabulous platform for me and I'll work hard throughout the year to make Wales proud."
"I'm feeling very overwhelmed with all the wonderful messages I've received congratulating me; everyone's being so kind and supportive. I haven't had much time to let it sink in as I've had to travel straight to Aberdeen to perform The Mikado, where I'm singing the role of Pitti-Sing, but I'm sure everyone at Scottish Opera will help me celebrate after the show."
Sioned will be the ninth singer from Harlequin's stable of artists to compete in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Harlequin has historically been successful in this contest, having represented four finalists in the main prize category and four winners of the 'Song Prize'.
Sioned Gwen, who comes from Colwyn Bay in North Wales, oozed personality and charm and gave an accomplished and winning performance accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Gareth Jones. She opened her programme with a feisty, energetic performance of 'Crude furie degl' orridi abisii' from Handel's Serse, followed by Charlotte's poignant aria 'Va! Laisse couler mes larmes' from Werther, by Massenet. Two pieces with the piano followed, excellently accompanied by Caradog Williams - Pauline's beautiful aria 'Da, vspomnila... Podrugi milie' from Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades and a comic cabaret song 'Amor!' by American composer Williams Bolcom, much to the audience's delight and amusement. She completed her programme on a grand scale performing 'O Mio Fernando' from Donizetti's La Favorita.
Sioned Gwen studied on the Guildhall School of Music and Drama's Opera Course and completed her training at the National Opera Studio last year with generous sponsorship from Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Formely an Emerging Artist with Scottish Opera, she returned there this season to perform the role of Third Nymph in Rusalka and is currently performing the role of Pitti-Sing in The Mikado for the company.