16 opera singers are locked in a remote hotel

16 opera singers are locked in a remote hotel


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2021

This could be the plot for a shlock novel.

Instead, it’s the run-up to BBC Cardiff Singer of the World where international contestants are being quarantined for ten days in the same wing of a Welsh hotel, distanced from other inhabitants who might complain of loud singing.

“I have heard that because we are loud when we sing, we might be unpleasant for other regular guests here,” Jusung tells i. “So the hotel has put the singers close to each other.”

Another guest is the renowned Kosovar soprano Elbenita Kajtazi Halimi. She says the way to get through quarantining is to do 10,000 steps a day within her four walls.

Read on here.


  • andrew says:

    One hopes that (a) they are not getting up to anything naughty in that hotel [see earlier post by NL today], and (b) once they are let out to perform that they will really go for it and that it will be a vocal contest to remember – another Terfel vs Hvorostovsky would be a great way to silence the competition’s critics.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    Cardiff is our capital there is nothing remote about it or the hotel being used for the competition. Please get your facts right.

  • John Borstlap says:

    My fly on the wall told me that the real disturbance came from a visit of retired famous opera singer Bianca Castafiore who wanted to encourage the contestants with one of her arias that made all the glass in the building splintering to smithereens. (“Ah, je ris de me voir” etc.)

  • Joel Kemelhor says:

    This sounds like the template for one of those Agatha Christie-style movies in which the cars and the costumes are more authentic than the story.
    It turns out that the murderer was not one of the rival singers, but rather the bitter vocal coach (“I gave her everything….She had talent but no technique…”).