So sitting in the hall waiting for the judges to come back I made my own list of the likely finalists and reflected on a few things. I had Summerfield and Brancy clearly top, despite their contrasting styles. Osowsky and van Mellaerts seemed the most likely to join them in the final though I would not have ruled out one of the others sneaking the fourth place. And it turned out that Brancy, Osowsky, Summerfield and van Mellaerts were, indeed, the judges’ choice.
A couple of thoughts: Watching Summerfield/Wybrew and Brancy/Dugan was interesting. These are clearly well developed and established partnerships and the pianists really helped the singers. I think that must be much harder when the singer is working with a staff pianist who is working both competitions with multiple singers.
Art song as the classical Liederabend or as a more popular (populist?) form of entertainment? Both approaches worked here. Maybe it’s a North America versus Europe thing? A German John Brancy is hard to imagine. I don’t know. I enjoy both.
Anyhow, tomorrow at 3pm at Bourgie Hall it’s the final showdown.
Photo credit: Tan Lan Truong