It's the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition again, and the preliminary rounds are being screened on BBC4 each evening this week, with other broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. I tuned in yesterday in time to hear what the commentators referred to as a 'Rolls-Royce of a voice': the Russian mezzo Olesya Petrova. Dear reader, her singing blew my socks off.
Apart from the fact that it must take guts to sing Saint-Saens' 'Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix' in front of the great Marilyn Horne (who's on the jury), this was one incredible artist with one vast crimson rose of a voice. She scooped the prize of the evening and though there were several other fine performances in the programme, she seemed in a class of her own.
The broadcast from last night is on BBC iPlayer, and here is the Saint-Saens from the contest website. But iPlayer isn't available outside the UK, and I'm not sure about the website either, so I've had a hunt on Youtube and found this from Vienna a couple of years ago. It's an aria from Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans. Enjoy.