Yorkshire Festival Hosts Major Vocal Competition

A festival run by a small charity in a rural Yorkshire village hosts a major new national singing competition this June. Eight semi-finalists have been shortlisted for Northern Aldborough Festival’s…

A festival run by a small charity in a rural Yorkshire village hosts a major new national singing competition this June.

Eight semi-finalists have been shortlisted for Northern Aldborough Festival’s nationwide hunt for the best UK classical vocal talent (aged 21-32 years-old).

The New Voices Singing Competition offers £7k cash prizes and performing opportunities for the winners. It boasts a distinguished judging panel, featuring one of Britain’s best-loved sopranos, Dame Felicity Lott.

Robert Ogden, artistic director at the Northern Aldborough Festival, said: “It promises to be a really exciting, high-end, and inspiring live sing-off, where the brightest new classical vocal talents will be competing to be crowned the New Voices 2023 winner. The eight semi-finalists are truly remarkable talents from leading music colleges across London, the North and Scotland. It really is a rare opportunity to see tomorrow’s rising stars live in the intimate setting of Aldborough.”

The winner will receive The Seastock Trust Prize of £5,000, with a second prize of £1,500 from The Yorkshire Music Future Fund, and a third, Audience Prize of £500.

As part of the prize, winners have an opportunity to perform at festivals including Leeds Lieder, Newbury Spring Festival, Ryedale Festival, Music@Malling, as well as the Northern Aldborough Festival itself.

Also on the judging panel is the artistic director of The Early Opera Company, Christian Curnyn, director of Leeds Lieder, Joseph Middleton, and artistic director of the Northern Aldborough Festival, Robert Ogden. The panel is chaired by Sir Andrew Lawson-Tancred, chairman of the Northern Aldborough Festival.

Aldborough is a picturesque Roman village, just half an hour from York or Harrogate.

16-year-olds and under are also eligible for free tickets for the live semi-finals. Tickets are limited, so booking is required.

Now in its 29th year, the Northern Aldborough Festival has become a leading fixture on the classical music calendar. A charity, its founding mission is to bring world-class talent to rural locations.

The semi-finalists of New Voices 2023:

Aileen Baker and Daniel Silcock

Mezzo-Soprano Aileen studied at the Royal Academy of Music.  She has performed opera and oratorio arias all over the world. She’s accompanied by pianist Daniel Silcock from the Royal Academy of Music.

Rachel Barnard and Beth Haughan

Mezzo-Soprano Rachel studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She recently performed in recital in Birmingham and London. Scottish-born pianist Beth was a Weingarten Scholar at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest.

Alexandra Beason and Yupeng He

Soprano Alexandra studied at the Royal Academy of Music and recently made her recording debut, and performed at Opera Holland Park. Pianist Yupeng holds a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music and has performed in venues worldwide.

Jack Holton and Max Bilbe

Baritone Jack is currently a Young Artist on the National Opera Studio’s Global Talent Programme.  He has sung with companies including British Youth Opera.  Pianist Max Bilbe is a repetiteur at the National Opera Studio.  He was a Leeds Lieder Young Artist in 2021.

Betty Makharinsky and Vladyslav Kuznetsov

Betty is a soprano working as a recitalist, opera, concert, and consort singer, and has performed at several European festivals. She performs with Ukrainian composer and pianist Vladyslav Kuznetsov, who studied at the National Music Academy in Kyiv.

Georgie Malcolm and Edward Campbell-Rowntree

Soprano Georgie Malcolm studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. Edward read music at King’s College London and the University of Oxford before joining the Royal Northern College of Music as a postgraduate. They will be Leeds Lieder Young Artists in 2023.

Camilla Seale and Evi Wang

Mezzo Soprano Camilla studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, and has recently performed in Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Pianist Evi Wang is currently doing a postgraduate course at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Lea Shaw and Kristina Yorgova

Mezzo-Soprano Lea graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was a Scottish Opera Emerging Artist. Bulgarian pianist Kristina Yorgova is a master student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The semi-finals take place on 20 June at 12pm and 3pm at St Andrew’s Church in Aldborough, with the grand-finale on 21 June at 7.30pm.

Go to https://aldboroughfestival.co.uk/ to book tickets.

To access photos of the semi-finalists, go to: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/va9u3l7hyznqk40c0dinv/h?dl=0&rlkey=dwo58qxpjy69kmrfk4nkj5335


Notes to the editor:

For further media info, contact Ann Chadwick, ann@causeuk.com M: 07534892715.

Photos of 2023 festival acts for media use: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/id0holi8ewv5dxrn8j6rc/h?dl=0&rlkey=atp8y9y1cso5dfcnc4arjsf71

Northern Aldborough Festival

The Northern Aldborough Festival was born in 1994, centred around the picturesque village of Aldborough near York.  It was recently described by the Times as ‘well on its way to being one of the leading fixtures on the classical music calendar’.

Its core aim is to bring exceptional music to new audiences, in rural locations where it would not normally be heard. With musical talent sourced from all over the world, the festival offers audiences a consistently high standard of music.


2023 Festival Highlights: Thursday 15 to Saturday 24 June 2023

Hosted in the picturesque Roman village of Aldborough, North Yorkshire, the ten-day festival features the hottest talents from opera and classical music.

Audiences experience performances fit for the world’s biggest concert halls in the intimate settings of St Andrew’s Church in the picturesque village.

Highlights include:

  • The fastest-rising trumpet star and winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year, 26-year-old Matilda Lloyd.
  • The youngest winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition for 40 years, Sunwook Kim.
  • Bampton Classical Opera present a double bill of comedies with a rare chance for audiences to experience Haydn’s seductive comedies, The Diva and The Apothecary.
  • The Armonico Consort will perform the towering musical masterpiece Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610.
  • Virtuosic jazz ensemble, The Tim Kliphuis Sextet, present a double bill of Brandenburg Revamped and The Five Elements.
  • The Senegalese kora-player Jali Fily Cissokho performs.
  • The festival will also host its annual Young Artists Showcase.
  • Plus, a talk from this historian Lucy Worsley on ‘Agatha Christie: A Very Elusive Woman’.