We have received these impressions of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2015 from the South African baritone Njabulo Madlala:
The Cardiff Singer of the World’s diversity is really inspiring and assuring. It needs to be congratulated, encouraged and celebrated. The work is terrific! I have watched in awe and wonder.
During this week of the competition I have seen so many people on there that look like me. This is not to say that is what I am constantly looking for but when one sees it it’s impact is huge. On stage I have seen incredible talent of all races, within the team of presenters and this year even on the panel there is that fantastic singer Claron McFadden. This is something I don’t think has happened before and boy do we need it. We need more of this kind of embrace everywhere especially in classical music where this is happening in very small numbers. I have a lot of admiration and respect for this kind of effort.
The embrace as I call it is not only interesting, morally correct but it’s also desperately needed by the kids aspiring to go into the field and those who could potentially make future opera stars. It makes me proud to have chosen this career path and most importantly to have chosen to come to the UK to study and pursue it where there is always possibility for change and dialogue.
There will be a lot, a lot of young black, Asian etc kids watching and thinking, I can do this too. It’s not just something for a certain few anymore.
It might sound like I am racially aware and maybe I am, I don’t know. But what I do know for sure is this, we and the children need role models and sometimes they really do have to look like us for the message to hit home.
This embrace says to the children and all of us that there are no boundaries and that anything can happen in the arts. How fortunate for us that we have this platform and that we can use it as catalyst that will continue to fuel all our desires for change. Thank you Cardiff Singer of the World #BBC
(c) Njabulo Madlala/Slipped Disc