Cardiff Singer of the World 2001
The cream of the crop of young opera singers from across the globe compete for the Cardiff Singer of the World title, the acknowledged premier opera competition of its kind, over five glamorous nights filled with fantastic music and voices.
Hailing from 25 different countries, the sopranos, bassists, mezzos, tenors and baritones hoping to walk away with the £10,000 prize have been picked from more than 500 entrants.
Five of the competitors are the first ever to represent their countries on the Cardiff Singer of the World stage. Belarus, Slovakia, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Philippines are chasing the trophy for the first time.
In another first, BBC Knowledge is broadcasting each of the concert rounds, starting today, with coverage from the previous evening's entertainment. Each round has five contestants, from which the top five - chosen on points and not necessarily the winner of each round - will go forward to the final on Saturday 16 June, to be shown on BBC TWO.
Petroc Trelawny hosts the coverage of the 2001 competition, the 10th since the biennial contest was first staged in 1983, from St David's Hall in Cardiff.
Tonight's heat features: home contestant Gweneth-Ann Jeffers, a soprano representing England; baritone Nigel Smith of Canada; tenor Marius Brenciu from Romania; Stephanie Novacek, a mezzo-soprano from the USA; and soprano Klaudia Dernerova from Slovakia.
Joanne Thomas (Wales) and Leigh Melrose (Scotland) will be competing in the third and fourth rounds, respectively.
The distinguished jury panel, all hoping to discover the next Pavarotti or Callas, includes Dame Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne.
Running Time: 90 minutes (approx)
Database last updated: Today at 19:20