Wednesday, October 28, 2009 'Birmingham hosts grand final of Voice of Black Opera competition'

[Boyce Batlang; Photo from]

On Oct. 22, 2009 AfriClassical posted: “Mmegi Online Botswana: 'Batlang to compete in Voice of Black Opera' for Coleridge-Taylor Award.” Another story on the competition has appeared in the online version of the Birmingham Post:

Birmingham hosts grand final of Voice of Black Opera competition
Oct 27 2009
Birmingham is to host the final of an international competition to find the best black or Asian opera singer in the Commonwealth. The inaugural Voice of Black Opera competition, a biennial event organised by the British Black Classical Foundation, reaches its climax in the Great Hall, at the University of Birmingham on Saturday, October 31. Seven finalists will be performing in the final, accompanied by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, in front of a judging panel which includes legendary African-American mezzo and soprano Grace Bumbry, Detroit-born soprano Maria Ewing and virtuoso pianist, composer and broadcaster Julian Joseph.

The Foundation's Patron, one of this country's greatest singers, Sir Willard White has given his name to the winning trophy – The Sir Willard White Trophy will go, along with the title The Voice of Black Opera 2009 to the winner. The Samuel Coleridge Taylor Award will go to the singer who gives the best performance of a song or aria by a black composer and the Brixtonian Trophy will be presented to the most promising voice.

Prizes include an engagement during the Rosenblatt Recital series at St John’s Smith Square, London, in 2010, coaching with Welsh National Opera, a travel and vocal development bursary and a package of other benefits including photography, wardrobe consultancy and language coaching. Presented by the Black British Classical Foundation, VOBO seeks to encourage, promote and recognise excellence among black and Asian classical singers, whilst developing audience attendance of classical music and opera in those communities. [Full Post] [The Afro-British composer and conductor Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is profiled at]

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