Catriona Morison, 31-year-old mezzo soprano from Scotland, is the first British winner of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World.
At the final, held on Sunday 18 June at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Catriona performed pieces by Rossini, Strauss, Ravel and Purcell.
Following her triumph Catriona said: “I’m over the moon. I don’t know how to put it into words. It’s been a whirlwind of a week and I don’t know what to say.”
The four other finalists were Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar, Louise Alder, Kang Wang and Anthony Clark Evans.
The competition’s patron, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, presented the winner with a £15,000 prize and the Cardiff trophy. The distinguished jury included Chairman, David Pountney, mezzo-soprano Grace Bumbry, soprano Sumi Jo, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and conductor Anu Tali.
The £2,500 Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize, supported by Cardiff University School of Music was presented to Louise Alder from England by BBC Director General, Tony Hall. This award was chosen by the audience and viewers at home.
Catriona was also jointly awarded the Song Prize, along with Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar on Friday 16 June at St David’s Hall.
The singers performed their own programmes of operatic and concert works at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by their Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård and the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera conducted by Tomáš Hanus.
David Jackson, Artistic Director, BBC Cardiff Singer of the World said: “It’s been an amazing week of great singing, but what a thrilling finale! And to top it all, we have our first British winner!”
At auditions held in cities around the world from Houston to New York, Hamburg to London and Berlin to Warsaw, 19 singers were selected from 24 countries for a place in the competition. They joined the Welsh representative, Sioned Gwen. Nearly 400 international singers entered BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 – one of the most prestigious competitions in the world, now in its 34th year.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World was broadcast extensively on BBC Four along with BBC Radio 3, BBC Two Wales, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, S4C and online at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger.
BBC Cardiff Singer of the World is organised by BBC Wales in association with Welsh National Opera and supported by the City and County of Cardiff.
More details about BBC Cardiff Singer of the World can be found at bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger
Catriona was born in Edinburgh into a musical family and learned to play violin and viola before turning to singing. She studied at Berlin University of the Arts and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating with Distinction. Catriona won the Toonkunst Oratorio Prize at the 50th Hertogenbosch competition in Holland, and was a finalist at the Hilde Zadek Voice Competition in Vienna.
Catriona is a Samling Artist and was a member of the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project and the Thuringian Opera Studio. She debuted with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in 2014, and performed at the BBC Proms 2013, and at the Salzburg Easter Festival 2015. She has sung under distinguished conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Christoph Altstaedt, David Parry and Jos van Immerseel.
She is an ensemble member of Wuppertal Opera, where her roles this season include Nicklausse [Les contes d’Hoffmann], Clarice [The Love for Three Oranges], and Maddalena [Rigoletto]. Previous engagements include Annina [Der Rosenkavalier] at the Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, Pisandro [Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria] for Theater Erfurt, Jacob in Leonard Evers’ fairy-tale opera GOLD! for Theater Nordhausen, and staged versions of Mozart’s Requiem for Theater Hof in Bavaria and Handel’s Alexander’s Feast for the Lithuanian National Opera.