Brand Snapshot | Samantha Hankey wins the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup

The first winner of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup was decided last week as the new international singing competition reached its closing stage at Glyndebourne.

Mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey, 25, from the USA, was crowned the overall winner, receiving £15,000 and the guarantee of a role within five years at one of the top opera houses represented on the competition jury.

A native of Massachusetts, Hankey attended the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco and recently graduated from The Juilliard School. In 2017/18 she makes her debuts as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia at Den Norske Opera, Siébel in Faust at Grand Théâtre de Genève, and her Carnegie Hall debut in Handel’s Messiah with Musica Sacra. She was Grand Finals winner of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and first prize winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Competition.

Hankey was presented with her prize by Dame Janet Baker, the competition’s honorary president who helped to adjudicate the final.

Sebastian F Schwarz, Chair of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup jury, said: ‘Throughout the competition, from the heats, through the semis to the final, Samantha Hankey was a winner. She had amazing stage presence, wonderful musicality, a beautiful voice – a voice that can be used in various sizes of theatres. She understood what she was singing about, and she conveyed it with absolute clarity and wonderful musical intelligence.’

The Glyndebourne Opera Cup focuses on a different single composer or strand of the repertoire each time it is held. In 2018 the featured composer was Mozart and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment accompanied the ten finalists.

Hankey impressed the judges with her two chosen Mozart arias – ‘Va pure ad altri in braccio’ from La finta giardiniera and ‘Parto, ma tu ben mio’ from La clemenza di Tito

The final of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup was broadcast live on Sky Arts, hosted by Chris Addison and Danielle de Niese.