The prize-winners of the 66th Kathleen Ferrier Awards were announced on 14 November after a competition which saw the semi-finalists and finalists perform at the Henry Wood Hall in London.
Countertenor Hugh Cutting, a member of the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio and a Vocal Masters graduate of the Royal College of Music, won the first prize of £12,500. He has recorded with The King’s Consort and Robert King, and with Iestyn Davies and Fretwork for Signum Classics.
The Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship Fund was founded in 1953 in memory of the much-loved contralto from Lancashire who died at the tragically young age of 41 and whose career as a singer lasted just 12 years.
Latvian soprano Laura Peresivana, a current student at the Guildhall Opera School, won the second prize of £6,000 and the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize of £5,000 went to British mezzo Helen Charlston. The Accompanist’s Prize was awarded to Israeli pianist Ilan Kurtser.
The jury for the Awards was chaired by Sir Thomas Allen, star for 50 years of the major opera houses of the world and a Trustee of the Ferrier Awards since 1994.
Ferrier Chairman, Valerie Beale, said: ‘All the singers who entered the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Awards have persevered through an extraordinarily difficult 18 months and after a strong competition we are delighted that Hugh Cutting is joining the distinguished and exclusive club of Kathleen Ferrier winners. We look forward to seeing where this journey takes him.’
The Awards will be streamed online free via the Kathleen Ferrier Awards website.
The semi-final will be shown in four parts, available successively on Monday 29 November, Tuesday 30 November, Wednesday 1 December and Thursday 2 December 2021, each at 7.30pm.
The final will be in two parts, respectively available to watch from Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 December, each also at 7.30pm.
The streams will then remain on the Kathleen Ferrier Awards website for one month to enable repeated viewing.