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NZ Opera Singer into Finals of Singing "Olympics"

MEDIA RELEASE

17 June 2005


NZ Opera Singer into Finals of Singing "Olympics"

Wendy Dawn Thompson, one of New Z ealand 's rising young opera singers, is through to the Finals of the Main Competition at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, which is being held in Cardiff this Sunday evening. She is representing New Zealand in the presitigious competition, which is renowned as a major stepping stone for opera singers in pursing international careers.


The finalists of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition were selected from 507 singers chosen to audition out of over 700 applicants worldwide. Other well-known New Zealand singers to have made the finals in previous years include Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Paul Whelan, who won the Lieder Prize in 1993. International opera star, Bryn Terfel won the Lieder prize in 1989. The biennial competition is renowned for giving competitors valuable exposure and leverage into professional opera careers. This year's competition also forms part of Cardiff's celebrations marking 100 years as a city and 50 years as the capital of Wales.

Wendy was raised in Christchurch but developed her early singing career in Wellington studying at Victoria University. A Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with The NBR New Zealand Opera in 2000, she was selected for the post graduate opera programme at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Recently she has completed advanced opera studies at the Benjamin Britten Opera School at the Royal College of Music, London.

Her place as a finalist in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition is not Wendy's first major international achievement. In 2003 while in the UK she won the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Royal Overseas League Music Competition. Before leaving New Zealand she had won the Dame Sister Mary Leo Scholarship and was named New Zealand Young Performer of the Year in 1998.

Ends.

visit www.bbc.co.uk/cardiffsinger

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