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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Finnish flourish for song contest
Hakala can expect a boost to his career
Finnish baritone Tommi Hakala was named BBC Singer of the World at the prestigious Cardiff vocal contest.

The 32-year-old beat off competition from 25 countries to take away a prize of £10,000 - and potentially lucrative exposure.

Hakala, a Sibelius Academy graduate, can now expect great attention in the music world - his act will have been watched by scouts and agents from around the world.

In its 20th year, BBC Singer of the World is an internationall-renowned week-long contest, culminating in a final show at St David's Hall.

What he did was amazing - he met the challenge
Beverley Humphries, critic
An initial line-up of 951 hopefuls was whittled down to just 25 for the competition - which for the first time this year has been split into two parts - the main competition and a separate Leider section.

Irish soprano Ailish Tynan won the Song Prize.

But in the main competition, Riihimäki-born Hakala performed works by Mozart, Wagner and Verdi, finishing with a flourish.

"It was almost like an operatic plot," said critic Beverley Humphries.

"It had been a foregone conclusion that Angela Marambio from Chile would be the outright winner after her performance last Wednesday.

"On Tommi's performance last Sunday, I would not have put him as the winner - but what he did was amazing. He met the challenge.

"Such opportunities will open up now - he's already on his way. The shop window that it provides for singers is next to none."

Chilean Marambio may have missed out on the main prize, but she did win the Audience Prize.




SEE ALSO:
'Jinx' hits singer contest
25 Jun 03  |  Wales
BBC Singer of the World begins
22 Jun 03  |  Wales
Soprano on song for home show
27 Mar 03  |  Wales
Terfel's road to opera glory
31 Dec 02  |  Wales


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