Homecoming for Royal Conservatoire operatic talent ahead of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World final

Published: May 11, 2017


Three of the world’s finest young singers have returned to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as they prepare to join rising stars of opera for the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World final.

Alumni Anush Hovhannisyan, Catriona Morison and Dominic Barberi are receiving expert guidance and tuition at the Royal Conservatoire, ranked in the world’s top three for performing arts education.

From hundreds of initial applications, the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World judging panel narrowed down the competitors and auditioned singers from all over the world to determine the eventual line-up of 20 finalists. Previous competitions have launched the careers of leading performers including Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Bryn Terfel, Anja Harteros and Jamie Barton.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition is regarded the world over as a focal point for the finest emerging operatic talent to come together. To have three alumni in the final is a source of immense pride for the Royal Conservatoire during this, its 170th anniversary year.

“We are delighted to have welcomed Anush, Catriona and Dominic back to the Royal Conservatoire as they add the finishing touches to their performances ahead of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World final.”

During their stay Anush, Catriona and Dominic have been rehearsing intensively. They have also been receiving coaching from RCS staff members before performing in a closed concert for Royal Conservatoire staff and students.

Professor Tim Dean, Head of Opera at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Performing in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is the pinnacle for emerging opera singers like Anush, Catriona and Dominic as the curtain rises on their performing careers.

“They are all shining ambassadors the Royal Conservatoire, having learned from leading teachers and performers at the institution’s Alexander Gibson Opera School, itself just a stone’s throw from the home of Scottish Opera. It is with great pleasure we have welcomed them back to the Royal Conservatoire and say ‘toi toi toi’ as they prepare to take to the stage for the final of this prestigious competition.”

Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan graduated in 2013 before joining the Jette Parker Young Artist programme. Mezzo-soprano Catriona, from Scotland, also graduated in 2013 following studies at RCS and the Junior Conservatoire. Catriona was a member of the prestigious young singers project at the Salzburg Festival and is currently ensemble member at Oper Wuppertal, Germany. Dominic completed his undergraduate and masters studies at RCS in 2014 after studying with Stephen Robertson. He is currently a member of the International Opera Studio at the Berlin Staatsoper.

The trio will join the rest of the finalists to perform in front of an illustrious jury chaired by David Poutney, Artistic Director of Welsh National Opera and a former Director of Productions at Scottish Opera and English National Opera. Also on the panel is event patron, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, whose soprano voice has become one of the most famous in the world especially in the works of Mozart, Richard Strauss, Verdi and Puccini.

The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition runs from 11 until 18 June in St David’s Hall and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and will be recorded by the BBC for potential future broadcast. Those attending will be able to enjoy a range of fringe events across Cardiff including films, recitals, talks and masterclasses.

More information is available by logging on to the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World website.