Toi toi to Edmund Choo, lyric coloratura tenor, presently furthering his operatic singing career in London. He is one of just 11 semi-finalists in the annual Kathleen Ferrier Award semi-finals, to be held at the Wigmore Hall in London on April 23rd.
Antipodean winners of the competition have included bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu (joint winner in 2002), and mezzo-soprano Wendy Dawn Thompson (2002), both New Zealand born and both of whom have sung in Sydney for Opera Australia.
Kathleen Ferrier was born in Lancashire in1912 and to this day, thanks to recording technology, continues to be regarded as as one of the finest contraltos Britain has produced. Born in 1912, she was just 41 when she died in 1953 having carved a prolific though brief career, touring to the US, Europe and Canada and performing repertoire that extended from the Baroque oratorios to Lieder. Benjamin wrote the title role in his opera The Rape of Lucretia for her.
The first competition was held in 1956. In another Antipodean connection, Australian soprano Yvonne Kenny sits on the board of trustees which manages the fund supporting the prizes.