19 Nov 2019

Bampton Classical Opera's Young Singers' Competition - Winner Announced

Bampton Classical Opera is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2019 Young Singers’ Competition is soprano Lucy Anderson. The runner-up prize has been awarded jointly to soprano Daniella Sicari and mezzo-soprano Carolyn Holt. The winner of the accompanists’ prize, a new category since 2017, is Dylan Perez, who accompanied Lucy Anderson.

The decision was reached after a superb final on Sunday 17 November at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford. The adjudicators were renowned British singers Bonaventura Bottone and Jean Rigby, and the esteemed accompanist and conductor Phillip Thomas.

Lucy is awarded £1,500, Daniella and Carolyn £300 each. Dylan is awarded £500.

This biennial competition was first launched in 2013 to celebrate Bampton Classical Opera’s 20th birthday, and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging singers currently studying or working in the UK. From an initial entry of over 50 young singers aged 21-32 and after two preliminary rounds, six were chosen to compete at the public final in the Holywell Music Room. The finalists were Natasha Page (soprano), Jade Moffat (mezzo-soprano), Daniella Sicari (soprano), Lucy Anderson (soprano), Giulia Laudano (mezzo-soprano) and Carolyn Holt (mezzo-soprano). Unfortunately Jade Moffat was unable to participate in the Final due to ill health.

Lucy Anderson’s varied programme included Smetana’s ‘Och, jaký žal!...Ten lásky sen’ from The Bartered Bride, Fauré’s ‘Nell’ from 3 Songs Op.18, Richard Strauss’ ‘Cäcilie’ from 4 Lieder Op 27, James MacMillan’s ‘Ballad’ from 3 Scottish Songs and Ben Moore’s The Audience Song.

The judges were impressed with Lucy’s overall performance, and her partnership with Dylan Perez. Bonaventura Bottone said:

“The First Prize winner, Soprano Lucy Anderson, was wonderfully partnered by the outstanding accompanist Dylan Perez who took the award of accompanists’ prize. Strongest in her characterisation of Marenka's aria ‘Och, jaký žal!...Ten lásky sen’, through to closing with Ben Moore's sizzling 'The Audience Song', Lucy communicated in delightful collaboration with Dylan to present a musically expressive recital programme.”

LA and Dylan Perez.jpgLucy Anderson and Dylan Perez. Photo credit: Robert Piwko.

Scottish soprano Lucy Anderson has recently spent a season as an Emerging Artist with Scottish Opera, where she made her debut in the role of First Lady (The Magic Flute) and took part in the Opera Highlights Tour. She completed the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, performing roles including Blanche (Dialogues des Carmélites) and Magda (The Consul). Lucy is a Britten-Pears Young Artist and has received awards including the Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarship, the Norma Greig French Song Prize and the Mary D Adams Scholarship. Recent concert highlights include Strauss's Four Last Songs, Mahler's Symphony No.4 and solo performances in Barbican Hall, Aberdeen Music Hall and the Usher Hall. Lucy is a finalist in the forthcoming Wagner Society Competition at Wigmore Hall and will make her debut with Opera Holland Park in the 2020 season.

Daniella Sicari completed her postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Mary Plazas. Roles includes Despina (Così fan tutte), La Fée (Cendrillon), and Gretel (Hansel and Gretel). She previously trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with Patricia Price. Daniella is the recipient of numerous awards such as the WA Young People and the Arts International Award, Amanda Roocroft Prize, the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Strauss Prize, John Cameron Award for Lieder, the Elizabeth Harwood Prize and Robin Kay Memorial Prize. In 2018 she worked with Clonter Opera and this year she had her debut at the Buxton International Festival, performing the role of Sticks in the UK premiere ofThe Orphans of Koombu and has just returned from Norway performing Sweeney Todd with Bergen National Opera.

Carolyn Holt is from a farming background in Ireland. She was the winner of the Dermot Troy Prize for the best Irish singer in the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and recently sang the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the UK staged premiere of Dead Man Walking in Glasgow, to great critical acclaim. She was a semi-finalist at the Grange Festival International Singing Competition, the winner of the Irish Heritage Bursary, the Audience Prize winner at the NI Opera Festival of Voice and the Sybil Tutton Award. She is a graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she performed many roles including Dido (Dido and Aeneas) and Mrs Jones in Weill’s Street Scene. She has performed with Irish National Opera and the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and performs regularly with orchestras and choral societies at home and abroad.

American pianist Dylan Perez is the current Lord and Lady Lurgan Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Royal College of Music. He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Distinction in the Artist Diploma. Dylan has received the Gerald Moore Prize for Accompanists, the Paul Hamburger Prize for Accompaniment and was a semi-finalist in the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition and Das Lied International Song Competition. Dylan is a Britten-Pears and Oxford Lieder Young Artist, and an alumnus of the Franz-Schubert-Institut. Dylan recently made his Wigmore Hall recital debut and has performed at Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Cadogan Hall.