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Opera stars of the future perform for public

31 October 2007

The first graduates from Cardiff University’s academy to train opera stars will be showcasing their vocal and performance skills in a succession of concerts throughout November.

Students from the Cardiff International Academy of Voice (CIAV), which provides individual voice coaching to some of the most exciting talent in world opera, will give a series of song recitals and an operatic gala over the course of the month.

Held at the University Concert Hall on Corbett Road, the first concert on Friday 2 November 2007 showcases music by British composers both celebrated and neglected, together with Lieder by Schubert and Schumann (including his tender song-cycle encapsulating a woman's love and life, 'Frauenliebe und -leben') and a handful of songs which survived the Frenchman Henri Duparc’s destruction of his own output.

Cardiff based pianist Michael Pollock will play for the first two song recitals, the second of which will be held on November 9th when the first song-cycle ever composed - Beethoven’s passionate hymn to the distant beloved, ‘An die ferne Geliebte’ will be performed alongside music by a German composer of a later generation, Richard Strauss; the Russian outpourings of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov are then contrasted with the warmth and exuberance of songs from Spain and Latin America.

Renowned Welsh Tenor Dennis O’Neill is the Director of the Cardiff International Academy of Voice: "These concerts should be a real treat for anyone interested in opera or singing because some of the students have already begun making quite a name for themselves around the world, and have taken this early career break in order to refine their technique. The concert series is really exciting and provides an ideal opportunity to display this amazing talent."

The academy opened its doors to its first group of exceptional, early-professional stage operatic stars in January. The Song Recital Series allows the students to exhibit their new found skills, and offers the public the chance to hear singers from countries such as Australia, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania and Wales, many of whom have the potential to become opera stars of the future.

Pelham Andrews is one of the CIAV students who will be performing in the first concert on November 2, singing pieces by Schubert and 'Three Shakespeare Songs' by Roger Quilter. Pelham, originally from Australia said: "For opera singers, the chance to explore in recital some of the vast repertoire of classical song is a special event, and often adds even more vivid colours to the operatic voice. We have an exciting partnership with pianist Michael Pollock that can really bring the poems, stories and music to life."

Joining Pelham in the first of the Recital Series concerts will be fellow CIAV students Norah King, Jurgita Adamonytė and Paul O’Neil. Further concerts will be held on the 9 and 16 of November, and the autumn concert series will culminate with a lively Operatic Gala on the 30 November where CIAV students will perform a stirring collection of operatic arias, duets and ensembles.

The Song Recital Series concerts start at 7.30pm and tickets can be bought for £9 (concessions £7) on 029 2048 1853, or


Notes to Editors:

1. Cardiff International Academy of Voice

The Cardiff International Academy of Voice was formed to perfect the voices and musicianship of a new elite in world Opera. It is a joint initiative by Cardiff University and the Academy’s director, the renowned Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE. Students are selected from among the world’s most promising opera singers and each is given an individually-tailored programme of coaching. The programme includes daily one-to-one tuition, regular public performances in Wales and internationally, and a unique series of masterclasses from some of the world’s most eminent singers, conductors, accompanists and coaches. The Academy is ideally sited at Birchwood House, in the Cyncoed district of Cardiff, with specialised practice facilities and student accommodation in secluded, landscaped grounds.

2. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

3. Interviews available with CIAV students and Director of the Academy Dennis O’Neill on request

Further Information:

Gwawr Owen
Cardiff International Academy of Voice
: 02920 481753

Victoria Dando
Public Relations
: 02920 879074