Yekaterina Shcherbachenko — Singer of the World 2009


Even before her triumphant appearance at the Cardiff competition, the young Bolshoi soloist had been advancing confidently up the career ladder. While still a Moscow Conservatoire student, she appeared at Moscow’s Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre. Then, came a successful debut in a production of Moskva-Cheryomushki at Opera National de Lyon, after which the conductor and production director Alexander Lazarev advised her to think seriously about joining the Bolshoi Theatre.

The future ’singer of the world’ took his advice and, while continuing her studies at the Conservatoire, successfully underwent casting for Natasha Rostova (Prokofiev’s War and Peace). Her success in this role surpassed all expectations. She was nominated for a Golden Mask and invited to join the Bolshoi Opera Company where, equally successfully, she has appeared as Tatiana in Dmitri Tcherniakov’s famous production of Onegin, Liu (Turandot), Mimi (La Boheme) and Micaela (Carmen). She is shortly due to make her debut at the Theatre in the title role of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta.

The Singer of the World, is so called because it opens a wide range of opportunity in the international arena to its laureates. (It was with his victory at the 1989 competition that Dmitri Khvorostovsky’s international fame began).

At the final round of the Competition, on 14 June, Yekaterina Shcherbachenko sang Marguerite’s aria “Je voudrais bien savoir” from Charles Gounod’s Faust, Liu’s aria “Signore, ascolta!” from Turandot and Anne Trulove’s aria “No word from Tom” from Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. In addition to the prize and Singer of the World title, victory at the Competition brings the possibility of engagements with BBC Wales and Welsh National Opera.

The bi-annual Singer of the World Competition was founded in 1983 by BBC Wales in association with Welsh National Opera, and has since become the world’s premier singing contest. The final 25 competitors are selected from worldwide auditions. Each competitor represents a particular country (only one representative from each country is allowed). All the competitors take part in five preliminary concerts at St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, at which they sing a repertoire of their own choice accompanied by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales or Welsh National Opera Orchestra. After the 5th concert, five finalists are chosen. The final round of the Competition is usually transmitted live on BBC TV and Radio and is also broadcast on the web.