BOIBA 2019

Bath Opera Isobel Buchanan Awards 2019

BOIBA 2019


Natalie Davies – Mezzo Soprano

Jack Lee – Baritone

Erin Rossington – Mezzo Soprano

Myrna Tennant – Soprano

Kieron Connor Valentine – Countertenor

Bethan Terry – Soprano

The prestigious Bath Opera Isobel Buchanan Award is made annually to a promising young opera singer aged between 18 and 26. The award was launched in 2018 by international soprano and distinguished teacher Isobel Buchanan.

BOIBA 2019 will be held on Thursday 7 November 2019 from 7pm at the Michael Tippett Centre, Bath Spa University. The winner will receive a first prize of £1,000 and a runner up will receive £250. The winner will also be engaged to perform in a concert at Bath Spa University in 2020.

Above: BOIBA 2018 with winner Scottish soprano Monica Toll (2nd from left)

The Competition

  • The judging panel will select six applicants to sing in the final on 7 November. 
  • Each successful applicant will be required to perform two arias and an art song in sequence – songs may be performed in the language of your choice.
  • The total singing time shall not exceed 12 minutes (lengthy arias may be curtailed). 
  • An experienced accompanist will be available – but you may provide your own if you wish.
  • There will be the opportunity to rehearse in the auditorium with the accompanist in the afternoon.
  • A photograph and a 65 word biography for the programme will be required.
  • The announcement of the awards will be made that evening.
  • The judges decision will be final.
  • The criteria for the award is the all-round quality of the performance and the potential to progress in a professional career in opera.

BOIBA winner 2018
Scottish soprano Monica Toll (pictured above), winner of BOIBA 2018

The Grand Final

The six selected finalists will each perform their 12-minute programme at the Michael Tippett centre, Bath Spa University on Thursday 7th November at 7pm. 

International soprano and distinguished teacher Isobel Buchanan was impressed by the high standard of singing at the 2018 launch of this vocal award competition.

Bath Spa University is pleased to be part of this partnership with Bath Opera, and expect this prestigious event to attract even more interest this year. 

Join us to experience an evening listening to these wonderful young artists as they compete for a first prize of £1,000, and the runner-up prize of £250. 

On the panel of adjudicators led by Isobel Buchanan are: 

Isobel Buchanan

Isobel Buchanan had a stratospheric early career: in the 1970s she was Scotland’s golden operatic talent, swept off to Australia by no less a figure than Joan Sutherland and catapulted into star roles and a staggeringly young international career.

Dr Charles Wiffen is Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts at Bath Spa University, and former visiting professor of music at Shanghai University. This following a distinguished career as a concert pianist. Charles is former Chair of the Board of Trustees of Bath Philharmonia.

Morag McLaren is a Scottish singer, director and coach. She is the founder and artistic director of Cooper Hall, Frome. She now focusses on helping young singers at the start of their careers.

Bath Opera is the only company in Bath which performs fully staged operas, and one of its charitable objects is “to foster musical education by offering young singers the opportunity to work alongside experienced opera practitioners to showcase and build on their talent”.

Grand Final tickets

Tickets are strictly limited. Priority booking is now open to members, friends and patrons of Bath Opera at £10 (students are offered free entry, but still have to apply for a ticket).

The ticket hotline number is 01935 475219 – early booking is advised.

This is a ‘Bath Spa Live’ event, by kind permission of Bath Spa University. Bath Opera wishes to thank Bath Spa University for the encouragement and support for this project and for the provision of the venue.