Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.







Recently in Commentary

Atsuto Sawakami — Sponsor of Italian Opera in Japan

Atsuto Sawakami is a slightly built man in his late sixties with impeccable, gentlemanly manners. He communicates a certain restless energy and his piercingly bright eyes reveal an undimmed appetite for life.

Mark Stone — Oxford Lieder Festival

‘Lieder v. Opera’? At first glance it might seem to be a pointless or nonsensical question.

Rhymes With Opera Presents New Opera About Dolly Parton Fans

Extreme Dolly Parton fans may sound like unlikely subjects for an opera, but they are the major characters in Heartbreak Express, a collaboration of composer George Lam and librettist John Clum.

Oxford Lieder Festival 2015 - Sholto Kynoch interview

Last year's Oxford Lieder Festival made something of a splash when it encompassed all of Schubert's songs, performed in the space of three weeks. This year's festival, the 14th, which runs from 16 to 31 October 2015 has a rather different, yet still eye-catching theme; Singing Words: Poets and their Songs.

Sondra Radvanovsky Stars in the Title Role of Anna Bolena

The First of Three Donizetti Queens She Will Sing at the Met This Season

For Odyssey Opera, No Operatic Challenge is Too Great

For a company founded in 2013, Odyssey Opera has an astounding track record. To take on Korngold’s Die tote Stadt is ambitious enough, but to do so within only a year of the company’s founding seems almost single-minded.

Hibla Gerzmava to Debut at Carnegie Hall

The name of Hibla Gerzmava has been famous in the opera world since 1994, when at age 24 the Abkhazian-Russian soprano won the Grand Prix at Tchaikovsky International Competition, entering its history as the first and only vocalist to have been awarded the highest prize.

A Chat with Tenor René Barbera

American tenor René Barbera is fast making a name for himself as one of the top bel canto singers in opera houses around the world.

Odyssey Opera Presents the Boston Premiere of Le Cid in One-­Night-­Only Concert Event

(Boston, MA) — Odyssey Opera, a Boston-based opera company dedicated to exploring the full spectrum of adventurous repertoire, presents the Boston premiere of one of France’s great operas, Le Cid (1885), composed by Jules Massenet (1842–1912).

Stefano Mastrangelo — An Italian in Japan

I’m interviewing Stefano Mastrangelo in the immediate aftermath of his conducting La Traviata for the Chofu City Opera in Tokyo on 22 November 2014; he conveys an air at once of tiredness and exhilaration.

Apotheosis Opera to Stage Tannhäuser

Apotheosis Opera is proud to announce their inaugural production will be a fully-staged English translation of Richard Wagner’s early masterpiece TANNHÄUSER on Friday, July 31, 2015, at 7pm and Sunday, August 2, 2015, at 3pm at the theatre of El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue) .

Operalia 2015

‘Competitions are for horses, not artists.’ The words of Béla Bartók seemed apposite on Sunday night at the Royal Opera House, as 11 soloists walked swiftly onto the Covent Garden stage, performed their chosen aria, briefly acknowledged the applause and then returned summarily to the wings.

The ‘Other’ Così

Twin sisters – one pensive, the other gregarious – are soon to wed their beau, whose contrasting characters – one earnestly introverted, the other a boisterous hedonist – perfectly match their respective betrotheds’.

Scalia/Ginsburg Premiere at Castleton Festival

Derrick Wang is a composer who graduated from law school and has an interest in this country’s highest court.

Sara Gartland Takes on Jenůfa

Sara Gartland is an emerging singer who brings an enormous talent and a delightful personality to the opera stage. Having sung lighter soprano roles such as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, Gartland is now taking on the title role in Leoš Janáček’s dramatic opera Jenůfa.

Press Release: Welsh National Opera explores Madness for autumn season

Madness descends upon Welsh National Opera for its autumn 2015 season, with three new productions that will explore human turmoil through some of the finest musical expressions of madness and the human condition.

A Chat with Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer Jennifer Higdon

American composer Jennifer Higdon has won many awards for her imaginative music. Her percussion concerto received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

Falling in love with Wolf-Ferrari — An interview with Friedrich Haider

Bratislava in Slovakia might seem an unlikely place to come across the opera I gioielli della Madonna (The Jewels of the Madonna) a 1911 rarity written by the Italian/German Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, a composer best known for his one-act opera Il segreto di Susanna ( Susanna’s Secret) and his comedies based on Goldoni.

Jac van Steen in Conversation

Last year’s Strauss anniversary year — 150 years since his birth — offered, at least in the United Kingdom, a typical number of opportunities and frustrations.

Jonathan Dove’s Flight, Opera Holland Park

On 6 June, Jonathan Dove’s Flight touches down in Kensington, west London. Opera Holland Park is to stage the first London production of Dove’s operatic presentation of the real-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian exile who, lacking residency rights or refugee status, was forced to live in the departure lounge of Terminal One at Charles de Gaulle Airport for 18 years.



Bryn Terfel [Photo by Harlequin Agency Limited]
20 May 2009

Bryn Terfel Gives Advice to BBC Cardiff Singer of World Competitors

With just one month to go before facing the judges in the world’s most prestigious singing competition what could be better than some advice from past competitor and opera super star Bryn Terfel?

Bryn Terfel Gives Advice to BBC Cardiff Singer of World Competitors

Above: Bryn Terfel [Photo by Harlequin Agency Limited]


That was the opportunity for three of the singers representing their countries in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World in June who were able to enjoy some pearls of wisdom from Bryn.

The world famous Welsh singer took time out to meet the young singers at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, scene of many of his triumphs.

Bryn took part in the Cardiff competition 20 years ago and won the Lieder Prize (now the Song Prize). He had only weeks before won the Gold Medal at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Bryn met Natalya Romaniw from Swansea who this year follows in his footsteps, representing Wales in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World straight from being a student at the Guildhall.

He also chatted with this year’s Japanese contestant Eri Nakamura and the Korean contestant Ji-Min Park, both of whom are members of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House.

Bryn, who last sang Der fliegende Holländer at the Royal Opera and returns in July to sing Scarpia in Tosca, told them; “Remember that your performance starts the moment you walk on to that stage so have a big smile on your face.”

Keep hydrated was his “top tip”. “You will be doing so many rehearsals, interviews and then the performances just keep on drinking water, keep it in your bag and drink it whenever you can.”

Eri appears at St David’s Hall in the concert round on Sunday, June 7; Ji-Min on Monday, June 8 while Natalya makes her claim for the title of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World on Wednesday, June 10. The final is on Sunday, June 14.

All three are also taking part in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize is also held that week at the city’s New Theatre with its own final at ST David’s Hall on Saturday, June 13.

Bryn-Terfel-and-Opera-final.gif(l-r) Natalya Romaniw, Eri Nakamura, Bryn Terfel and Ji-Min Park [Photo by Brian Tarr]

Although Bryn quickly rose to international stardom he did not win that coveted BBC Cardiff Singer of the World title but did take the Lieder Prize (now the Song Prize).

“I had never won anything at college,” Bryn said. “I tried jazz and Gilbert and Sullivan, English songs and nothing! But then I won the Gold Medal! Cardiff Singer was the first time I had sung with an orchestra.

“I told the singers you must enjoy the competition and, yes, it is important but you still have to do your auditions, sing to conductors. But it is a great platform to be given the chance to make yourself know to these people before you do have to take those auditions.”

After meeting Bryn, Natalya said, “It is really busy now. I have a table of how many days are left! I have my final recital at the Guildhall on May 28 which is part of my degree and then I finish. In the recital I am incorporating songs from the Competition so it will be kind of like a mock run.”

Ji-Min from Seoul was performing in Lohengrin at the Royal Opera that evening but said he did not want to miss the chance to meet one of his heroes. “It is one of my dreams to sing in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. I bought a DVD of the competition and I listen to hit hundreds of times and listen it every day,” he said.

Eri from Kagoshima is in the first year of the Young Artists Programme and sings in L’Esire d’amore at Covent Garden before setting her sights on the Competition. “Before coming to London I was in the Opera Studio in Amsterdam and my colleagues there were talking about this competition and I checked the website and when I got contract here in London I decided to try. It is exciting to go to another city because I am always here in London.”

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, June 6 to 14. Tickets from New Theatre, Cardiff: 029 2087 8889, St David’s Hall, Cardiff 029 2087 8444 or online at

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):