Saturday, 18 June 2011

Who's your Money On?

The five finalists; Olesya Petrova (Russia), Andrei Bondarenko (Ukraine), Hye Jung Lee (South Korea), Meeta Raval (England) and Valentina Naforniţă (Moldova)

It goes without saying that my Cardiff Singer post today is lacking in something, a review of last night’s Song Prize Final, which I contrived to miss – short story, not worth going into at this moment in time. I’ll be settling down to watch it on BBC4 tonight at 7.30pm, but if you prefer to get (what I assume to be) the full version then BBC Radio 3 are broadcasting the final from 8pm, running a whole hour longer than the TV broadcast.

But it’s tomorrow’s final that I know endow with my slapdash attention, and sentence structure. As is custom, the final is shown live(ish) on BBC 2 and BBC Radio 3 from 5.30pm to 8pm UK time. TV viewers, and Petroc Trelawny, will have a trio of musical divas on hand dispensing wisdom and thoughts on the proceedings in the shapes of Mary King, Nicole Cabell and Joyce DiDonato. Radio listenes will have the double act of Donald Macleod and Iain Burnside.

In a rare act of You Tube bravery I’ve uploaded all the broadcasted performances of the five finalists from the preliminary rounds, this is for the aid of opera folkies outside of the UK who will be listening to the BBC Radio 3 broadcast tomorrow to give them some idea of what to expect. But it would really be handy if BBC considered making the competition available to followers outside of the UK. One look at my blog stats for this week would convince the Powers that Be of a huge potential audience away from these Sceptered Isles, or as I like to call the place, the Humpbacked Pig, for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. In these days of global communications it’s odd that the last word in the title isn’t as fully embraced as it should be, but perhaps it could be by the time the next edition rolls around – the 30th anniversary of its inception. In order not to have BBC lawyers geting in touch I'll be taking the videos offline in a few days time, so catch them while you can.

Anyway, before I fall off my soapbox and fracture a follicle, here are your five finalists hailing from Russia, England, Moldova, Ukraine and South Korea. I hope the sound quality
does the singers justice since stuck, as I am, with my laptop speakers for company, I can't really tell if the sound is bravo! or buffo!

Who’s your favourite? I’m up in the air. At the start of the week I felt that Petrova would take some beating, and even though I still think that, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or two others pip her to the post - but it'll be some pipping to the post!


  1. Like you, I was all about Petrova after round one. Since then, Bondarenko has completely stolen my heart- I've just shed tears during the Spiridov... Hard not to appreciate Nafornita and Jung Lee as well. Amazing. I'm so excited about tomorrow.

  2. Andrei doubt ! People here in Spain is saying these days that BBC is going to open its TV iPlayer to us, poor foreigners, for a mere 6 euro a month ;) But it's only a rumour...

  3. @opera chat

    I've swung all over the place - Petrova, Nafornita, Bondarenko, Crocetto, Jung Lee (the Adams was sensational in the hall with the orchestra & Lee letting rip). I'd say Bondarenko is the most complete performer of the lot, but Petrova & Nafornita have a touch of captivating magic about them. I'd love a tie, but I'm afraid that only happens in schmaltzy movies.

  4. @Kenderina

    What is it with all you women and Bondarenko ;)) He is good - I bet Glyndebourne on tour are selling a few more tickets off the back of his performances!

    I'd heard the same thing about iPlayer earlier in the year and thought Cardiff Singer would have been the ideal time to launch it - but since then nada.

    Have you had any luck with Tosca tickets?

  5. hahaha, I like him because he is pretty good communicating feelings even when you don't understand a word of the language he is singing in :)))) A lot of attention to words and intonation, I bet he is good at lieder , has he joined the lieder contest ? The beautiful dark voice doesn't hurt either ;))))

    I hope they launch the iPlayer thing when Pappano will do his new series, I will forgive them for the delay ;)))

    I have a very nice ticket for Tosca on Sunday, and no ticket at all for the 14th, so I bought a flight that will be landing at Gatwick at 7: 30 in the evening.I believe Mario should be dead by the time I get to ROH.

  6. @Kenderina

    Pop up a post or two and you can see him in the Song Prize contest - I think you'll enjoy!

    I'd love for them to open the iPlayer up - it would have saved me a lot of uploading this week...

    Good to hear about Tosca - but you never know about Mario being dead, you know how long it takes tenors to die ;))))