Only 2 EU singers selected in BBC Cardiff finals

Only 2 EU singers selected in BBC Cardiff finals


norman lebrecht

April 27, 2021

The finals will be held in June and the contestants were announced today. Only two out of 16 are from the European Union. Were there fewer continental applicants this year? Here’s the list of finalists:

Christina Gansch (Austria, 31 – pictured)

Chuan Wang (China, 32)

Nicolai Elsberg (Denmark, 31)

Stephanie Wake-Edwards (England, 27)

Natalia Kutateladze (Georgia, 29)

Álfheiður Erla Guðmundsdóttir (Iceland, 27)

Michael Rakotoarivony (Madagascar, 28)

Ankhbayar Enkhbold (Mongolia, 32)

Gihoon Kim (Korea, 29)

Jusung Park (Korea, 27)

Elbenita Kajtazi Halimi (Kosovo, 30)

Evgeniia Asanova (Russia, 26)

Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha (South Africa, 27)

Reginald Smith Jr (USA, 32)

Maria Brea (Venezuela, 30)

Sarah Gilford (Wales, 29).



  • Stephen Maddock says:

    It’s only 2 isn’t it? Denmark and Austria.

    • BRUCEB says:

      Does Iceland belong to the EU?

    • Maria says:

      And two from the United Kingom/Britain – Wales and England. We may not be part of the EU but we are still part the continent of Europe and a long history of classical music and some wonderful singers. Maybe fewer applied when thd singing world, due to the pandemic, with so much singing in public forbidden, and the singing world in pieces.

  • Andreas B. says:

    If that fact is relevant to their singing, I wonder how
    – Iceland being in the European single market (EFTA) and
    – Kosovo having the Euro as its currency
    will affect the performance of the two contestants from these countries …

  • fred says:

    as always this is not exactly a singing competition but more of an audition of singers. At that stage -if they’re really talented- they should all be on the stage already, singing competitons should be for under 26….and again all females no tenors to speak of….

  • Andreas B. says:

    Isn’t the competition called “singer of the World” ?

    … but while we’re at it: at least nine of the other contestants have either been studying in the EU or are company members of an opera ensemble there (or both).

  • Dominic Stafford says:

    Although 8/16 are from Europe.

  • Marfisa says:

    BBC Cardiff Singer of the WORLD! The EU is over-represented. Only one from the USA, only one from the African continent, only one from Latin America, nobody at all from the Indian sub-continent …

  • Andreas B. says:

    2019 finalists: 2 UK, 1 remaining EU.


    ‘Humiliation: Post-Brexit EU doubles number of contestants at British competition’

    would have been another possible and catchy headline – and just as artistically irrelevant …

    (Btw: this year there seem to be fewer finalists than usual, 16 compared to 20 previously)

  • Kenneth Griffin says:

    Does the UK Home Office view this competition as work? If so, perhaps they refused entry to all the other selected EU competitors? And perhaps the successful Ireland singer was turned back at Holyhead for having an incorrectly stamped animal health certificate.

  • Patrick John Gordon Shaw says:

    Two British Finalists! Always LOVE this Competition + trying to guess the Winners!

  • yujafan says:

    This competition is not what it used to be. Having reviewed both prizes in their entirety back in the days of Dame Joan, there used to be such a buzz about this as an event that could launch a career. Rarely though, have the judges got it right in the long run.

  • henry williams says:

    i will go for christina Gansch. she is very
    attractive. i wish i was 3 months younger

  • Gary Freer says:

    Karita Mattila is the one who stands out in my memory.