Rhinegold Keval Shah and Emma Stannard

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Emma Stannard wins Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition

10:55, 21st November 2017

Mezzo-soprano Emma Stannard has won the 2017 Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition. She received £1,500.

Tenor Wagner Moreira was this year’s runner-up, and Keval Shah, who accompanied Stannard, received the inaugural accompanists’ prize.

The final round of the competition took place on 19 November at Oxford’s Holywell Music Room, with Bonaventura Bottone and Jean Rigby as adjudicators.

Bottone said: ‘We were looking for a well-chosen balanced programme where the singers engaged with the text creating the character and atmosphere of the pieces from the outset, sung within their vocal capabilities. Emma fulfilled this criteria in her prize-winning performance. The balance of her performance was superbly supported by Keval Shah, who underpinned Emma’s programme with effortless musical poise.’

Stannard recently completed her studies at Royal Academy Opera. She has since performed in two Grange Festival productions, received training as a Britten-Pears Young Artist, and toured the Verdi Requiem with Merry Opera Company. She is supported by Help Musicians UK.

Moreira is a member of Royal Academy Opera, where he studies with Richard Berkeley-Steele and Iain Ledingham. Recent concerts include Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s Mass in C and ninth symphony, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s St John Passion.

Winner of the 2017 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, Shah performs extensively as a song accompanist. He studied at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from both institutions with distinction, and is currently a Fellow at the Academy. Engagements in 2017/18 include debut recitals at the Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square and the Heidelberger Frühling.

This biennial Young Singers Competition was launched in 2013 to celebrate Bampton Classical Opera’s 20th birthday, and aims to identify the finest emerging singers currently studying or working in the UK. Mezzo-soprano Anna Starushkeyvch won the inaugural competition, and soprano Galina Averina took first prize in the 2015 contest.

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