Singapore soprano win prestigious music festival in Wales , Latest Music News - The New Paper

Singapore soprano win prestigious music festival in Wales

On a stage in the town of Llangollen in Wales on July 6, Shimona Rose soared.

Resplendent in a black and gold dress and with a piano accompaniment, the 29-year-old Singaporean soprano sang eight minutes of Stravinsky.

Her performance earned her the Pendine International Voice of the Future award at music festival Llangollen International Musical Eistedfodd. 

In an Instagram post on July 7, Rose shared her win.

“What an incredible honour to represent Singapore in this very special competition,” she said. 

She was also awarded £3,000 (S$5,200) in prize money.

The Daily Post, a newspaper in North Wales, described Rose as a “gifted soprano” who “delivered dazzling performances” throughout the competition.

A total of 16 entrants were whittled down to six semi-finalists, before Rose and Welsh soprano Manon Ogwen Parry were chosen to sing off in the final.

“It has been an absolute whirlwind,” said Rose, as quoted by the Post.

“The other competitors were all immensely talented so it is an incredible honour to be awarded this title. More than that, it is a personal affirmation for me that this is absolutely what I am meant to do.”

Mr Mario Kreft, director of care organisation Pendine Park, which sponsors the music competition, said: “The calibre of singing was outstanding. These are two such promising talents of the future.

“It is heartening to know that through our involvement in sponsoring this competition we are helping nurture the promising young stars of the future.”

Rose has travelled widely for her musical pursuits – she completed her bachelor’s degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and graduated with a master’s degree from the Royal College of Music in London. 

She has also taken on both leading and ensemble roles in local and foreign productions, such as romantic heroine Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s opera The Rake Progress.

The Llangollen International Musical Eistedfodd, held annually in July, began in 1947 with representatives from seven countries.

Since then, more than 400,000 competitors from over 140 nationalities and cultures have stepped on its stage. 

It launched the career of many famous musicians, such as the late Luciano Pavarotti, who participated in 1955. Then 20 years old, his ensemble won the overall prize, and he decided to make singing his career. 

Singaporean talents are no stranger to the stage in Wales. In 2005, Janani Sridhar took first prize in the vocal solo under-16 category.

In 2018, the National University of Singapore’s NUSChoir was the first choir to clinch the Choir Of The World award.

The Singapore Youth Choir, now known as the SYC Ensemble Singers, won first prize in the youth choir section in 1989.