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Cardiff opera students and international tenor celebrate 150 years of Puccini

15 April 2008

An operatic gala celebrating the 150th anniversary of the composer Puccini will mark the start of a concert series given by students from the University’s Academy to train opera stars.

Pupils from the Cardiff International Academy of Voice will perform a selection of excerpts from Puccini's operas La Boheme, Tosca, Gianni Schicchi and Turandot at their opening concert on Saturday 26 April 2008.

Born in 1858 in Lucca, Italy, Giacomo Puccini is one of the world's best-known opera composers. The gala celebrating his work will conclude with a performance of the famous aria Nessun Dorma from Turandot given by Academy director and renowned Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill.

The gala will launch the Academy’s 2008 programme of events which includes four Song Recital concerts throughout the year.

The concert series provides an opportunity for the Academy students to showcase their vocal and performance talent and gives members of the public the chance to hear singers from around the world.

The Academy provides specialist training for exceptional international opera singers. Through a series of master-classes and workshops given by established names in the operatic world, the students are able to perfect their vocal techniques and fulfil their world performance potential.

Tickets for the Operatic Gala, which is held at the University Concert Hall, Corbett Road, Cardiff, CF10 3EB on Saturday 26 April 2008 can be bought for £12 (£10 concessions & Cardiff University staff, £3 Students) on 02920 481853.



Notes to Editors:

1. Cardiff International Academy of Voice
The Cardiff International Academy of Voice was formed to perfect the voices and musicianship of a new elite in world Opera. It is a joint initiative by Cardiff University and the Academy’s director, the renowned Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill CBE. Students are selected from among the world’s most promising opera singers and each is given an individually-tailored programme of coaching. The programme includes daily one-to-one tuition, regular public performances in Wales and internationally, and a unique series of masterclasses from some of the world’s most eminent singers, conductors, accompanists and coaches. The Academy is ideally sited at Birchwood House, in the Cyncoed district of Cardiff, with specialised practice facilities and student accommodation in secluded, landscaped grounds.

2. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. It is also ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES).
2008 marks the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University having been founded by Royal Charter in 1883. Today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.
Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s leading research universities.
Visit the University website at:

Further Information:

Victoria Dando
Public Relations Office
Tel: 02920 879074