Mzansi’s 27-year-old soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha has been named the winner of the Song Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World 2021.
Masabane impressed the judging panel, chaired by Wigmore Hall’s artistic and executive director John Gilhooly, along with classical singers US soprano Roberta Alexander and Welsh bass-baritone Neal Davies.
“We look forward to hearing these wonderful singers again in the future, in concerts around the UK and beyond.”
Gilhooly praised all 14 contestants and said the performances were outstanding, adding that it was inspiring to know that the future of opera was “secured with so much talent clearly emerging”.
“Sadly, there could only be one winner, and Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha performed with such assured technique and emotional power that the jury was unanimous in naming her the winner,” Gilhooly said in a statement released by the BBC.
In a statement, the BBC said the initial announcement was made during the broadcast of the competition’s Song Prize final on June 17, without an audience in attendance and in strict compliance with Covid-19 guidelines.
At an early age, Rangwanasha started singing at school and church before she completed her studies at UCT as well as the Tshwane University of Technology.
She then went to London where she was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in the 2019/20 season, the BBC said.
The competition showcased the voices of 14 of the BBC Cardiff Singer Of The World 2021 contestants.