Genesis Sixteen Alumnae Hilary Cronin and Bethany Horrak-Hallet win first and second prize in the 2021 Handel Singing Competition
29 October 2021
Soprano Hilary Cronin has won both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2021 Handel Singing Competition last week. Hilary Cronin impressed the judges with a performance which included works from Rinaldo, Semele and Brockes.
Fellow Genesis Sixteen alumna Bethany Horak-Hallett won Second Prize.
Singing with Laurence Cummings and the London Handel Orchestra in front of a live audience at St George’s, Hanover Square, London, the event was also live streamed on the London Handel Festival Youtube channel and Facebook page to music-lovers watching from home.
In addition to the cash prizes, the Competition supports the continuing professional development of the Finalists by offering them guaranteed performance opportunities at the London Handel Festival in the future.
Both Hilary and Bethany trained with Genesis Sixteen, a flagship Genesis programme with internationally-acclaimed choral group The Sixteen run by Harry Christophers. This fully-funded scheme for young singers aged 18-23 takes the form of concentrated courses over the period of a year.
Genesis Sixteen is nurturing the next generation of talented choral singers and creating a bridge into the singing profession for students at conservatories and universities. Almost 250 singers have participated in the course to date. Participants receive group tuition, individual mentoring, and masterclasses run by some of the industry’s top vocal experts. Since 2014 the programme has also included a scholarship for an emerging choral conductor.
Hilary Cronin said: “I have such fond memories of my time in Genesis Sixteen 2015-16. The training we received as developing ensemble singers and soloists was unrivalled and hugely important to me as I was coming to the end of my postgraduate studies and hoping to embark on a singing career. Being a Genesis Sixteen alumna enabled me to make contacts within other ensembles and so played a pivotal role during my first years in London.
The guidance and support from Harry and Eamonn back then still propels me now and I am so grateful for their encouragement and performance opportunities. The courses were also a wonderful way to make friends who would become dear colleagues and we had so much fun over the course of the year!”
Many congratulations to Hilary and Bethany on their memorable performances at the 2021 Handel Singing Competition.