Rhinegold Photo credit: Paul Moore
The Finalists at the conclusion of this year's Northern Ireland Opera Festival of Voice with Patron Sean Rafferty

Ian Bell

Discover Northern Ireland Opera’s Voice of 2020

2:46, 10th September 2020

FOV finalists David Howes, Jade Phoenix, Andrew Irwin

The Festival of Voice, Northern Ireland Opera’s annual competition spotlighting the finest emerging operatic talent from across the island of Ireland, usually takes place in the beautiful North Coast village of Glenarm. This year, however, due to the pandemic, the event was transferred to Belfast.

Opera lovers from around the world can experience this year’s competition for themselves on YouTube from 13 September, in a specially produced 40 minute film hosted by Northern Ireland Opera’s Patron BBC broadcaster Sean Rafferty and filmed by Belfast film company Streetmonkey TV.

Five singers competed in front of an expert jury panel and a live, socially distanced audience in the historic venue of First Church Belfast to win the Deborah Voigt Opera Prize and become the Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020. An Audience Prize was also chosen by votes collected from the those present at the event, who were among the first to experience opera singers performing live in Northern Ireland since lockdown.

The five finalists were David Corr (baritone), David Howes (bass baritone), Andrew Irwin (tenor), Sarah Luttrell (mezzo-soprano) and Jade Phoenix (soprano). Each of them worked with distinguished vocal coaches in Belfast in the build-up to the competition finale, in which they performed arias, ensemble pieces and Irish songs.

To see if you agree with the jury’s decision on the winner of the title of Northern Ireland Opera Voice of 2020, subscribe to Northern Ireland Opera’s YouTube channel here to watch the Festival of Voice Competition Finale from 8pm on 13 September.



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