One lone British singer in Glyndebourne’s finalists

One lone British singer in Glyndebourne’s finalists


norman lebrecht

March 23, 2018

Tomorrow’s Glyndebourne Opera Cup finalists are:

Francesca Chiejina, 27, soprano (USA)
Samantha Hankey, 25, mezzo-soprano (USA)
Elbenita Kajtazi, 27, soprano (Kosovo)
Eléonore Pancrazi, 27, mezzo-soprano (France)
Emily Pogorelc, 21, soprano (USA)
Cody Quattlebaum, 24, bass-baritone (USA)
Jacquelyn Stucker, 28, soprano (USA)
Gemma Summerfield, 27, soprano (UK), pictured
Charles Sy, 26, tenor (Canada)
Hubert Zapiór, 24, baritone (Poland)

From the PR puff:

Among the finalists is soprano Elbenita Kajtazi (27), who as a young girl was forced to flee her home in war-torn Kosovo with her family, and live as a refugee in Albania. She fell in love with opera after watching clips of Maria Callas on YouTube. Soprano Francesca Chiejina (27), born in Lagos, Nigeria, had first planned to be a doctor before she caught the singing bug, as had her fellow semi-finalist, Canadian tenor Charles Sy (26). American bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum (24) was a chef for six years before he decided to commit to his musical career.



  • Una says:

    Yeah, well …

  • Ann Tinomy says:

    Strange competition.
    1) Only opera arias by Mozart – who liked high female voices and low male voices so there’s a bit of a repertoire challenge for any other voice, which will become more of a problem as the competition progresses and arias can’t be repeated.
    2) Reality TV style approach with Sky on board — i.e. please have a back story. Perhaps, like The Voice, they’ll manage to find a close relative gravely ill in hospital for whom each is singing.
    3) Expensive entry requirements involving professional videoing.
    4) More artistic directors than singers judging.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Rather strong North American representation, most major European countries not on the list at all.

    • Anon says:

      Americans are more willing (and used to) to cough up the substantial expenses upfront. One reason I guess.