A global search has been launched to find a new international singing star.
The prestigious Pendine International Voice of the Future competition will be one of the main highlights of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod which gets underway on Tuesday, July 4.
It will be the first full length festival since the pandemic struck, with international competitors once again returning to the picturesque town in the Dee Valley where Wales meets the world.
The aim of the Pendine International Voice of the Future competition which started in 2013 is to advance the careers of the world’s most gifted young singers.
Applications to take part are now being accepted with a £3,000 cash prize for the winner as well as exciting career development opportunities, while the runner up will receive a cheque for £1,000.
Last year’s winner, baritone Emyr Lloyd Jones from Bontnewydd near Caernarfon, Gwynedd put in a stirring performance to take the title and was dubbed the new Bryn Terfel.
He was presented with the Pendine Trophy – a solid silver salver – and the £3,000 prize by Mario Kreft MBE, proprietor of the arts-loving care organisation, Pendine Park, who sponsor the competition.
Once again the prize this year will come from the Pendine Arts and Community Trust (PACT) which supports cultural and community initiatives across Wales.
The festival’s executive producer, Camilla King, was excited by the changes being introduced to the competition for 2023.
She said: “Last year, we celebrated our 75th anniversary, and for the first time staged the final of the Pendine International Voice of the Future on our closing Saturday night, alongside the prestigious Choir of the World competition, broadcast live on S4C, and it proved to be a roof-raising climax to the Eisteddfod.
“Twenty competitors made it through to the live competition, with six in the semi-finals and two artists competing for the winner’s title. This year, we’ve added a third spot to the final stage.
“We’re also introducing an International Accompanists prize, in recognition of outstanding achievement by a young pianist. So many of our talented young singers form a creative partnership with their accompanists who are of a similar age and we wish to recognise their ability.”
She added aspiring young singers should be aged between 20 and 32 on July 5, 2023 and prepare a contrasting programme of music from oratorio, opera, lieder or song.
The International Accompanist competition carries a prize of £1,000 and eligible accompanists will be aged 28 or under on July 5, 2023.
The competition winners also enjoy the opportunity to perform at future Eisteddfod concerts and with other Welsh arts organisations, and will receive a working session with one of the UK’s leading opera companies.
Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE said: “My wife, Gill, and I are delighted to be sponsoring the Pendine International Voice of the Future competition once again via PACT.
“The Pendine Trophy, which is solid Edwardian silver bearing a Chester hallmark, was kindly donated by the late Tony Kaye of Kaye’s Jewellers. It’s a stunning and beautiful trophy.
“Our aim in supporting the competition is to provide a springboard for brilliant young singers from around the world to achieve their dreams of establishing a career on the global stage.
“The competition chimes perfectly with our ethos at Pendine Park because the arts in general and music in particular provide the golden thread running through everything we do to enrich the lives of our residents and staff alike.
“Last year a star was born when we were enthralled by the emerging talent of Emyr Lloyd Jones whose bravura performance was rightly likened to that of a young Bryn Terfel.
“I am sure that this year’s competition will also be a memorable musical treat.”
Looking forward to this year’s Eisteddfod, which runs until July 9, Camilla King said: “Audiences can expect six days of entertainment, with a new improved Eisteddfod Maes, the annual Parade back, bigger and better than ever, and some exciting changes for the closing Sunday, in the form of new competitions.
“Music, dance, culture, has the power to help us understand the world around us, and to lift our spirits, bringing people together in the joy of performance. This is what Llangollen was founded for, and what we strive to continue to do, 76 years later.”
Applications for the International Voice of the Year competition closes on March 24. Further details online at www.international-eisteddfod.co.uk