10 Jun 2009

Ukrainian Counter-Tenor Wins Third Concert in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

Cardiff: 10 June 2009 — Ukrainian counter-tenor Yuriy Mynenko, aged 30, last night (TUES) won the third concert in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.

Chairman of the panel of international judges John Fisher made the announcement at the end of the third of the five concerts in St David’s Hall, Cardiff.

Mr Fisher, chief executive and artistic director of Welsh National Opera, presented the 30 year old counter tenor with a Welsh crystal trophy to make his achievement.

Yuriy is the only counter-tenor taking part in this year’s competition. He studied piano and choral conducting before concentrating on singing.

In 2004 he graduated from the vocal department of the AV Nezhdanova Odessa State Musical Academy, Ukraine. He continued his vocal studies there as a postgraduate.

In 2001 he won the Voice of Ukraine national competition in Kiev and the International Slavic Festival in Paris. He won a special award for best counter-tenor at the Francisco Viñas International Singing Contest in Barcelona in 2003.

In 2004 he won the Grand Prix at the AB Solovyanenko International Competition, Donetsk, Ukraine; the Rimsky-Korsakov International Competition for Young Opera Singers in St Petersburg; and was a finalist and award winner at the Gmyrya International Competition in Kiev.

He was a finalist and award winner at the Dresden International Opera Competition in 2007. Yuriy has given solo concerts in countries including England, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Germany, Spain, France and Israel. In June and November this year, tours are planned in Israel and America with a solo baroque masterpieces programme.

In his spare time, Yuriy enjoys sports, cooking, reading and computer programming.

The other singers were Tomislav Lučić, aged 31, bass, from Croatia; Izabela Matuła, aged 29, soprano, Poland; Csaba Szegedi, aged 27, baritone, Hungary and Claire Meghnagi, aged 31, soprano, from Israel.


The highlights from the third concert round can be seen on BBC FOUR this evening (Wednesday, June 10) from 7.30pm. The BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2009 final will be on BBC TWO and BBC Radio 3 from 5.30pm on Sunday, June 14.

Full concert programme below.

The 25 singers are competing for the title BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and receive a £15,000 prize, which is provided by the City and County of Cardiff. The Competition is organised by BBC Wales.

Although winner of his concert Yuriy is not guaranteed a place in next Sunday’s final as the judges wait until they have heard all 25 singers before selecting their top five. It is possible two singers may go through from one concert round and the winner of a concert round not be selected for the final five. Indeed this happened in 2007 when fellow Japanese soprano Mari Moriya won her concert round but did not reach the final.

The 25 singers who represent nations as far afield as Chile and Russia, Australia and Italy have been selected from more than 600 singers from around the world who took part in auditions in 44 locations in more than 30 countries for the biennial competition.

This year all singers taking part will also be eligible to benefit from a new bursary to help towards the development of their musical careers. A follower of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, Annie Sankey, has left the competition a bequest and a new bursary in her name to support singers who take part in the competition has been established. Menna Richards, Director BBC Cymru Wales said, “The bursaries will help support the studies of competitors, including helping with travel and the purchase of musical scores”.

Twenty of the singers are also taking part in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize which has its own final at St David’s Hall on Friday, June 12.

Both competitions are receiving extensive coverage by the BBC across the networks including BBC Cymru Wales, Radio 3, BBC Two and BBC Four and online.

Concert three programme:

Tomislav Lučić — Croatia
A te l'estremo addio ... Il lacerato spirito (Simon Boccanegra) — Verdi
Madamina, il catalogo è questo (Don Giovanni) — Mozart
Susanin's aria (A Life for the Tsar) — Glinka

Izabela Matuła — Poland
Ach, ich fühl's (Die Zauberflöte) — Mozart
Bel raggio lusinghier (Semiramide) — Rossini
Celui dont la parole efface toutes peines — Il est doux, il est bon (Hérodiade) – Massenet

Csaba Szegedi — Hungary
Largo al factotum (Il barbiere di Siviglia) — Rossini
Perfidi — Pieta, rispetto amore (Macbeth) — Verdi
Deh, vieni alla finestra (Don Giovanni) — Mozart
O Carlo, ascolta ... Io morrò (Don Carlo) – Verdi

Yuriy Mynenko — Ukraine
J'ai perdu mon Eurydice (Orphée et Eurydice) — Gluck
Va tacito e nascosto (Giulio Cesare) — Handel
Parto, parto (La clemenza di Tito) — Mozart

Claire Meghnagi — Israel
Giunse alfin il momento ... Deh vieni, non tardar (Le nozze di Figaro) — Mozart
Che più giova celarlo ... M'lai resa infelice (Deidamia) — Handel
Ich wollt' ein Sträusslein binden (Brentano Lieder) — R Strauss
Non monsieur mon mari (Les mamelles de Tirésias) — Poulenc