VOBO Awards to take place on 31 October

The British Black Classical Foundation will be holding the first Voice of Black Opera Competition on 31 October 2009. The competition, set to take place every two years, is open to professional or final-year student singers of black and Asian heritage from across the Commonwealth.

The seven finalists will perform in the Grand Final at Birmingham City University’s Great Hall, accompanied by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, in front of a world-renowned jury, including legendary African-American mezzo and soprano Grace Bumbry, Detroit-born soprano Maria Ewing and virtuoso pianist, composer and broadcaster Julian Joseph.
The winner will receive the title Voice of Black Opera 2009, as well as the Sir Willard White Trophy, named after the Foundation’s Patron and great British singer.  There will also be awards for the singer who gives the best performance of a song or aria by a black composer and the most promising voice.  Prizes include an engagement at St John’s Smith Square in 2010, coaching with Welsh National Opera, a travel and vocal development bursary and a package of other benefits including photography, wardrobe consultancy and language coaching.

VOBO seeks to promote and recognise excellence amongst black and Asian singers, and encourage audience attendance of classical music and opera in those communities.  Jessye Norman, one of the world's greatest sopranos commented, “I am overjoyed to applaud the Voice of Black Opera’s plans for the overdue recognition of classical performers of African and Asian descent from the Commonwealth.  I extend my congratulations on the idea and my wishes for great joy in bringing this dream to fruition.”
VOBO Awards & Gala Event:
Saturday 31st October 2009, 7.30pm
The Great Hall, University of Birmingham
Box Office / Online Booking: 0121 303 2323 / www.birminghamboxoffice.com