HCO SINGER OF THE YEAR COMPETITION

Inaugurated in 2018, the HCO Singer of the Year Competition provides an important platform for young vocal talent. It also provides a key to future performance opportunities with HCO, and offers the chance to develop over a period of time under the supporting wing of the professionals associated with the company. Details of previous competitions, including lists of prizewinners, can be found under these tabs: 2018 Report, 2019 Report and 2020 Report.

2021 COMPETITION

 

We're thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 HCO Singer of the Year Competition:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nigel Beale First Prize - £2000 

Shakira Tsindos, mezzo soprano 

John Harding Second Prize - £1000

Annabel Kennedy, mezzo soprano

Rosalind Armstrong Prize - £750

Johannes Moore, baritone 

Roger Higgins Prize - £500

Naho Koizumi, soprano 

Anthony Lowrey Audience Prize - £500

Johannes Moore, baritone

Wendy Blamire Award* - £300

Annabel Kennedy, mezzo soprano 

 

*The Wendy Blamire Award is given for outstanding linguistic and artistic commitment to text in at least two European languages other than English. 

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Finalists, from left: Johannes Moore, Naho Koizumi, Annabel Kennedy and Shakira Tsindos.

More about the 2021 competition...

Following the assessment of first-round online submissions, eight singers were chosen to attend the semi-finals and finals on Sunday, 14 November at Bournemouth University's Kimmeridge Hall: 

                   

                    Rhydian Jenkins, tenor                                                     

                    Annabel Kennedy, mezzo soprano

                    Naho Koizumi, soprano

                    Hamish McLaren, countertenor

     

Reserve: Olivia Carrell, soprano

Anita Monserrat, mezzo soprano

Johannes Moore, baritone

Daniela Popescu, soprano

Shakira Tsindos, mezzo soprano

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Judging the day's events was a distinguished panel comprising Sholto Kynoch, Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival (Chair), Mark Milhofer, international tenor and Lynton Atkinson, Artistic Director of Hurn Court Opera. Lynton kindly stood in for Dr Claire Rutter who was indisposed. 

To accompany the singers we were delighted to welcome pianists Hamish Brown and Dylan Perez.

During the morning session each semi-finalist performed a 15-minute programme, which included one operatic aria and two songs, each in a different language. 

After eight hugely enjoyable semi-final performances, Annabel Kennedy (mezzo soprano), Naho Koizumi (soprano), Johannes Moore (baritone) and Shakira Tsindos (mezzo soprano) were selected for the four finalist places.

From left: Lynton Atkinson, Sholto Kynoch, Naho Koizumi, Hamish Brown, Dylan Perez,

Shakira Tsindos, Johannes Moore, Mark Milhofer and Annabel Kennedy.

The 20-minute programme slots for the finals offered singers more scope for creativity, provided they fulfilled the competition criteria for a contrasting and balanced selection of music that included at least one operatic aria and one English song.  

Delivering the judges' final adjudication, Sholto commented on the quality of all four contestants. Among his observations, he highlighted the value of a coherent programme structure that gave the listeners connection between items, and the importance of singers being as familiar with the piano music as with the vocal music. 

HCO is immensely grateful to the judges who shared their time and expertise so generously.

We are also hugely indebted to the donors of prizes for the competition: Nigel Beale, the late John Harding, the Armstrong Family Trust, Roger Higgins, Anthony Lowrey and Helen Nott for generously providing the prizes for this year’s competition. Their support of the HCO venture is consistently fulsome, warm and much appreciated. 

And we give sincere thanks to Ian Davis and Bournemouth University for letting us use the University's facilities for this event.  

Nigel Beale with Shakira Tsindos
Nigel Beale with Shakira Tsindos

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Andrew Foot, representing the late John Harding, with Annabel Kennedy
Andrew Foot, representing the late John Harding, with Annabel Kennedy

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Annabel Kennedy with Wendy Blamire
Annabel Kennedy with Wendy Blamire

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Nigel Beale with Shakira Tsindos
Nigel Beale with Shakira Tsindos

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