The Blakes Prize for Solo Song 2019

The Blakes Solo Song Competition 2019

Eleven boys gave some really excellent performances this year, before Adjudicator Russell Burton. Alex kicked off with the traditional The Banks of Allan Water and was followed by Dylan singing Gounod’s Ave Regina Coelorum. Tom gave us Fly me to the Moon in his newly-minted tenor voice and Thomas W gave us Purcell’s I attempt from Love’s Sickness to Fly. Olly shivered our timbers with Ride out the Storm and Max gave us the traditional Farmer’s Boy. Thomas E gave us Gluck’s famous O del mio dolce ardor and Cameron gave us Finzi’s delightful Who is Sylvia?. Rui gave us a stylish I got you under my and Edward a tongue-twisting Funiculi, funicula. Sam finished with a very dramatic O sole mio.

Russell Burton commented on stance, diction and conviction in performance, giving second place to Thomas E and first place to Sam, asking him to sing once more.

The Blakes Prize for Solo Song 2015

Wednesday 28th January 2015

The Blakes Competiton made a welcome return, with five boys competing for the Prize.  Our Adjudicator was Mr. William Mackie, former bass with ENO, WNO and Scottish Opera, and protégé of Peter Pears.

Tobias opened proceedings with a sensitive and well though-out account of Schuberts’ Die Forelle, and following was Rui, the youngest competitor, who gave Handel’s Where’er you walk, showing off his true and clear voice.  Oliver, newly resplendent as a baritone, gave us Schubert’s Lachen und Weinen and was followed by Peter, who sang Ireland’s famous Sea Fever with gravitas.  The programme closed with Christian who gave a dramatic account of Fauré’s Claire de Lune.

Mr. Mackie spoke of the importance of making a link with the audience, which could include better eye-contact or more immediate diction.  He gave second place to Christian, and first place to Oliver, who he asked to sing once again.

The Blakes Prize for Solo Song 2013

We were lucky this year to have Mr. Lindsay Gray to adjudicate, and the list of songs song did not disappoint.

Nathan opened, with Schumann’s Die Lotosblume, sung (as Mr. Gray remarked) with great sensitivity and line.  Oliver followed with a convincing and rewarding account of Franck’s Panis Angelicus, and was in turn followed by Robert giving us his Buss und Reu from the Matthew Passion.  Jason’s account of Where’re you walk in his pure and true treble was a delight, and Jonty’s performance of Bist du bei mir showed just what well-developed top notes he has.  Peter’s Dream Valley by Roger Quilter was a new departure for his voice, and very nicely sung too, and he was succeeded by Dewi’s very assertive and musical account of Haydn’s Piercing eyes.  Gareth finished up the performances with the perennial favourite Sweet Chance, sung in his newly-acquired rich baritone.

After some general tips about stage-craft and breathing, Lindsay, who held a choral scholarship at King’s College Cambridge and has just finished as Director of the Royal Schools of Church Music, gave second place to Jonty, and first place to Robert for his Buss und Reu, which has asked Robert to sing for us once more.