Congratulations to Samuel Sakker with his success in the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition which has just concluded with the Australian tenor gaining the second prize to British soprano Rowan Pierce’s winning performance. British-Serbian bass-baritone Božidar Smiljanić was placed third.
Around 150 young singers aged 33 and under from 28 countries entered the competition which culminated in a public finals performance with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Peter Robinson. The jury was chaired by Michael Chance, the festival’s artistic director and included the patron of the competition, Dame Felicity Palmer, ROH Jette Parker Young Artists artistic director David Gowland, the director John Copley and the pianist Roger Vignoles.
Rowan Pierce, 27, singing a programme of Handel, Mozart and Finzi won £7,500 and a role in a future production by The Grange Festival; Samuel Sakker (whose repertoire included Der Trunkene im Frühling from Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde) and Božidar Smiljanić were awarded £5,000 and £2,500 respectively as well as roles in future productions at The Grange Festival. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Prize was also awarded last night to Samuel Sakker.
Samuel Sakker returns to Australia in March next year to sing the role of Laertes in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Adelaide Festival.