The competition, which has been running since 1956, will be streamed live from Henry Wood Hall – an elegant regency building used as an orchestral rehearsal space and recording studio in London’s Southwark.
The Kathleen Ferrier Awards is historically renowned for being one of the most prestigious opera singing competitions due to the opportunities at stake for young contestants – which typically open the door to a blossoming opera career.
The Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship Fund, which funds the award, was founded in 1953 in memory of the much-loved contralto, Kathleen Ferrier who died at the devastatingly young age of 41. Notable previous winners of the awards include Elizabeth Harwood, Alfreda Hodgson, Felicity Palmer, Joan Rodgers, Bryn Terfel, Karen Cargill, Ben Johnson and Christina Gansch amongst others.
This year, the contestants will be judged by an outstanding panel including the likes of Rosalind Plowright, an eminent Mezzo-soprano opera singer with a career spanning over 40 years, Welsh Tenor Ryland Davies who has appeared at all of the world’s major opera houses and is now a highly respected teacher in four languages; Christopher Glynn, Grammy award-winning pianist, accompanist and Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival; and jury chair Valerie Beale, who began as a singer and has since worked in management at ENO, Decca Record Company and the Vancouver Opera.
This year’s final will stream on Sunday 13 December, and the semi-final will stream on Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 and Friday 11 December. All performances will take place at 6pm on the competition’s website.
The free-to-view awards will be presented by BBC Radio 3 Presenter Martin Handley who enjoys coaching young singers starting out on their careers, having been involved in the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House and other locations.
There are four monetary prizes to be won, ranging from a first prize of £12,500 to an Accompanist’s Prize of £5,000 funded by Help Musicians, available to any pianist whose singer makes it through to the semi-final.
WildKat PR looks forward to working on press and marketing for the campaign.