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Samantha Hankey wins first Glyndebourne Opera Cup

The first winner of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup is American mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey.

  • Samantha Hankey and Dame Janet Baker | Copyright: © Glyndebourne Productions Limited. Photographer Richard Hubert Smith

    Samantha Hankey and Dame Janet Baker © Glyndebourne Productions Limited. Photographer Richard Hubert Smith

  • Samantha Hankey performing in the semi-final of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup | Copyright: © Glyndebourne Productions Limited. Photographer Richard Hubert Smith

    Samantha Hankey performing in the semi-final of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup © Glyndebourne Productions Limited. Photographer Richard Hubert Smith

  • Audience Prize and Third place winner Elbenita Kajtazi with Dame Janet Baker | Copyright: © Glyndebourne Productions Limited. Photographer Richard Hubert Smith

    Audience Prize and Third place winner Elbenita Kajtazi with Dame Janet Baker © Glyndebourne Productions Limited. Photographer Richard Hubert Smith

A native of Massachusetts, Hankey, 25, attended the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco and recently graduated from The Juilliard School. She was presented with her prize by Dame Janet Baker, the competition’s honorary president who helped to adjudicate the final on 24 March.

Winning the Audience Prize, with a third of all votes cast by those in the auditorium who watched the final, was Kosovan soprano Elbenita Kajtazi, 27, who also took Third place.

Second place went to American soprano Jacquelyn Stucker, 28, currently a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, where she recently performed the role of Frasquita in Barrie Kosky’s production of Carmen.

The Ginette Theano prize for most promising talent was awarded to American soprano Emily Pogorelc, 21.

The full list of prize winners are:
Overall winner (15,000) – Samantha Hankey
Second place (£10,000) – Jacquelyn Stucker
Third place (£7,500) – Elbenita Kajtazi
Ginette Theano prize for most promising talent (£5,000) – Emily Pogorelc
Media prize (£5,000) (adjudicated by a media panel) – Samantha Hankey
Audience prize (£5,000) – Elbenita Kajtazi

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, conducted by James Gaffigan.

The final of the Glyndebourne Opera Cup was broadcast live on Sky Arts and medici.tv

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