Press Releases 2014-2015

Young opera singer wins prestigious prize

16.06.2014

British baritone, Matthew Durkan, 23, has won the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award and the top prize of £4,000 in the competition held at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David over the weekend.

Winner of Stuart Burrows International Voice Award 2014

Matthew, from Derby, is currently studying at the Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV) in Cardiff under the directorship of internationally renowned tenor Dennis O’Neill.  He impressed judges Brian Hughes and Elizabeth Woollett with a repertoire that included E fra quest’ansie  from Pagliacci  (Leoncavallo), Der Atlas  (Schubert), I was not sorrowful (Ireland), Papagena! Weibchen! Täubchen! from The Magic Flute (Mozart).

Matthew was one of six soloists to reach the final from the preliminary rounds held during Sunday, 15 July at the University’s Carmarthen campus.  The other finalists, who each received £200, were soprano Tereza Gevorgyan, from Armenia, (http://terezagevorgyan.weebly.com/)  Baritone Aidan Giles Smith, England, (http://aidansmithsinger.com/Aidan_Smith_CV.pdf), soprano Mari Wyn Williams, from Llanberis North Wales, (http://www.mariwynwilliamssoprano.co.uk/), as well as John Pierce, from Flintshire,Wales http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/cardiffsinger/sites/2011/pages/wales.shtml and Mezzo soprano Eirlys Myfanwy Davies, Timsaran, Wales,(http://www.operabarcarola.com/eirlys-myfanwy-davies.html), who both reach the final for the second year in succession.

Judges Brian Hughes and Elizabeth Woollett praised the competitors for the high standard of the competition.  Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice-Chancellor added “I congratulate Matthew on winning this award and also wish to congratulate all of the finalists for the high standar of the competition. The Stuart Burrows International Voice Award grows from strength to strength and we are honoured that the world renowned tenor lends his name to the competition”.

Stuart Burrows, a former student of Trinity College, (now known as the University of Wales Trinity Saint David), is considered one of the World's Great Lyric Tenors. Born in Wales, his career has taken him to all the major Opera Houses of the world singing all the leading tenor roles. He has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York on twelve consecutive seasons - a record for any British singer and the distinction of being invited by the Met on four occasions to join them on tour of the USA.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is central to the development of opportunities within the arts and culture in Wales and is home to the Wales International Academy of Voice under the directorship of its founder, Welsh tenor Dennis O'Neill CBE, with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as its patron.

The accompanists for the preliminary rounds and final competition were Jane Samuel and Caradog Williams.  The Artist Director for the Stuart Burrows International Voice Award is Eilir Owen Griffiths.

 Stuart Burrows International Voice Award 2014  Finalists

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University. (www.uwtsd.ac.uk)

  2. Further Education Colleges  Coleg Sir Gâr and Coleg Ceredigion are also a part of the UWTSD.

  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.

  4. The Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV) under the directorship of Dennis O’Neill, provides a highly specialised and unique environment for a small number of exceptional singers at the early-professional stage, selected and recruited globally, to develop and polish their talent to the highest professional standards.  The Academy provides a world-class institution within one of the UK’s leading centres of higher education and an opportunity to lead in a field in which Wales is historically pre-eminent and globally admired. http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/wiav/about-wiav-/

Further Information

Eleri Beynon: 01267 676790  e.beynon@tsd.uwtsd.ac.uk