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Sensational Success: Weimar Voice Student Catriona Morison named "BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017"

Catriona Morison | Photo: John Cooper

Sensational Success: Weimar Voice Student Catriona Morison named "BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017"

A Weimar voice student won what is likely to be the largest and most competitive international voice competition: Since June, Catriona Morison is entitled to call herself "BBC Cardiff Singer of World 2017". The mezzosoprano who studies with Prof. Siegfried Gohritz at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar was able to succeed among 400 contestants, of which 20 singers were invited to the final rounds in Cardiff, Wales.

"I still cannot believe it. I'm speechless," Prof. Gohritz remarked shortly after the announcement of the prize. "In the opinion of the British Broadcasting Company and the jury, she is the best young singer in the world." Especially since his student also won the competition for the no less coveted song prize: Two days before the grand finale she won the "Song Prize BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017", together with the Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar.

The competition in Cardiff is special in several ways. It is distinguished by an especially demanding, international selection process, and the main prize is awarded to only one singer; there are no second and third prizes. "The competition was terrific", says Siegfried Gohritz, who accompanied his student to Wales.

The top-class jurors in Cardiff, who were under the patronage of Kiri Te Kanawa, were David Pountney (chairman), Grace Bumbry, Su Mi Jo, Wolfgang Holzmair, Anu Tali, John Gilhooly and Ailish Tynan. The competition rounds took place with the BBC National Orchestra Wales conducted by Thomas Søndergård and the Orchestra of the Cardiff Opera conducted by Tomasz Hanus.

During the final round, which was broadcast live by the BBC, Catriona Morison sang Arias by Rossini, Strauss, Ravel and Purcell for an audience of about 2,000 in the St. David's Hall in Cardiff. After the announcement, patron "Dame" Kiri Te Kanawa said to her: "Now you must make the right decisions...!"

Catriona Morison, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, began her studies in Berlin und Glasgow, and then continued at the Weimar Institute for Voice | Music Theatre in the class of Prof. Siegfried Gohritz. She has already achieved much success: Toonkunst Oratorio Prize's-Hertogenbosch, finalist at the Hilde Zadek Voice Competition in Vienna, member of the Salzburg Young Artists Project.

She has sung with the Bamberg Symphoniker, at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall and at the Salzburg Osterfestspiele. Catriona Morison became a member of the Thuringian Opera Studio in 2015 and in the 2016/17 season she became a member of the ensemble at the Wuppertal Opera. She is currently working on her Konzertexamen degree ("concert exam") under Prof. Siegfried Gohritz at the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar.