We managed to hear 120 singers in the two days here in Berlin. And there was a handful of hugely talented young people amongst them. But, as ever, we had a sequence of excellent singers unfortunately lacking the "unique selling points" that elevate the very good to the excellent level. But a yield of six top class singers from 120 is about par for the course.
The real hero of these two days in the large rehearsal room at the Berlin Staatsoper's temporary home at the Schiller Theatre were the two pianists. We have been blessed for some years now in having Jonathan Alder and Sebastian Stoermer to play for our Berlin auditions. They are two remarkable men who give essential support at the highest level to these auditions. Their ability to do ten hour days and play as superbly at 7:30 pm as they were playing at 10 am is remarkable. It makes such a difference.......
Next stop is Prague - a four hour train journey from here and a mere 32 singers to be heard there tomorrow. A light load after the last two days.
Meanwhile I have managed to keep track of the Cardiff competition. It must have been a close run thing at the end. With a simple scoring system of each juror putting down their favoured order 1-5 there is room for anomalous results, and potential juror's remorse! Whether there was in this case we will never know - but congratulations to the winners. Each of these finalists will be heard again - doing well in Cardiff makes a difference.