Mezzo Clare Presland, 30, has won the award in memory of Susan Chilcott, a soprano cut short in her prime.
The Chilcott Award is offered biennially to an opera singer between the ages of 23 and 33 who, like Susan Chilcott herself, has the potential to make an international impact within the world of opera. The Award is specifically designed to enable advanced training or career development. The first recipient, in 2012, was Baritone Duncan Rock. This year, over 40 young singers applied for the Chilcott Award.
Clare Presland, who is shortly to sing the role of Miss Jessel in Nevill Holt Opera’s production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw (5 & 6 July), was chosen following audition. The award was made by a distinguished jury, chaired by pianist and close friend of Susan Chilcott, Iain Burnside and featuring Chilcott Scholarship Trustees, soprano Dame Josephine Barstow, international voice coach, Lady Pappano, Pamela Bullock, bass baritone, Neal Davies, Ian Rosenblatt, Founder of the Rosenblatt Recital Series and RPS Trustee and John Gilhooly, Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society. They were joined by Camilla De Rijck, Producer at Cypres Records, radio host and producer and owner of Forumopera.com, David Sigall, Director of Ingpen and Williams, and Eva Kleinitz, Opera Director, Stuttgart Opera and President of Opera Europa.
Clare Presland has appeared at English National Opera, Grange Park Opera, Longborough Festival Opera, Garsington Opera and with Opera UpClose.