BBC's Cardiff Singer of the World Announces 2021 Winners

Held every two years, the competition announced baritone Gihoon Kim as its first prize winner

(Photo credit: BBC)

This year’s competition featured 16 singers from 15 countries. Due to COVID-19, it was unable to welcome audiences at St. David’s Hall in Cardiff, Wales.

Baritone Gihoon Kim from the Republic of Korea took home £20,000 in prize money and the Cardiff Trophy. A graduate of the Yonsei University in Seoul, the 29-year-old received a scholarship at the Junge Oper Hannover, where he sang the roles of Demetrius in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" and Marullo in "Rigoletto."

"It has been an inspiring journey — and one that I will definitely remember for the rest of my career," he stated.

The Dame Joan Sutherland Audience Prize, in which television audience members voted for at home, was awarded to mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones of England. The prize consists of £2,500 and a trophy.

David Jackson, the artistic director of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, said: "This year's edition was one of the most extraordinary in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World's history.”

"It was heart-warming to witness the dedication, resilience, and focus of all the 16 competitors as they prepared for their performances in unprecedented circumstances, and then gave their all on stage.”