By David Salazar
The Kathleen Ferrier Awards Competition has announced the winners of its 65th edition.
The first prize, which includes a cash award of £12,500, went to Jessica Cale, a graduate of the Royal College of Music. She has also appeared at the Ryedale Festival Opera and was a 2020 finalist for the London Handel Festival Singing Competition.
Coming in at second place and receiving £6,000, was Ella Taylor, who who studed at the Royal Academy. She was also a Young Artist a the National Opera Studio during the 2019-20 season.
The winner of the Ferrier Loveday Song Prize of £5,000 was Milly Forrest, who studied at the Royal College of Music. She won the Emmy Destinn Czech Competition in 2019 and was a finalist for the 2020 ROSL competition. Forrest is set to make her solo debut at Wigmore Hall in February 2021.
Finally, the Accompanist’s Prize, which is funded by Help Musicians, was given to former Oxford Lieder Young Artist Hamish Brown; Brown will receive a cash prize of £5,000.
The panel of judges for the competition included mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright, Welsh tenor Ryland Davies, Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist Christopher Glynn, and jury chair Valerie Beale.
“Winning the 2020 Kathleen Ferrier is a great start to Jessica’s career,” Beale stated in a press release. “In this year when so many musicians have been silenced we felt it important to give young singers a chance to show what they can do and we are happy that Jessica and the other singers in the finals took that chance. Jessica takes her place amongst the other Ferrier winners whose careers have been boosted by winning the competition.”