Our 2019 highlights

Since 1995 the competition continues to give young singers the opportunity to compete at the highest international level. Here we catch up with some of the people involved in this year’s competition, including Artistic Director Veronica Dunne, Artistic Administrator Dearbhla Collins, inaugural winner Orla Boylan, Wigmore Hall Director John Gilhooly and our winner from 2019, UK Bass William Thomas

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Our 2019 Prize Winners

Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2019 – William Thomas, Bass
Photo Thomas Gimson

William Thomas


British bass William Thomas is winner of a number of major prizes, which include the Kathleen Ferrier Award and John Christie Award in 2018, and the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in 2019. William is a Drake Calleja Scholar and Help Musicians UK Maidment award holder, and is currently on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studies with John Evans.

Opera engagements have included the role of Nicholas in the UK premiere of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa for the Glyndebourne Festival, where he was as a Jerwood Young Artist in 2018, his Garsington Opera debut as Shepherd in Pelléas et Mélisande in 2017, and Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Guildhall Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Recently in concert, William performed Bartok’s Cantata Profana in his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth, and the Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Orchestre national de Lyon conducted by Alan Gilbert. He appeared in the Irish National Opera Gala at the National Concert Hall Dublin, where he further appears this season in Handel’s Messiah with the RTE Concert Orchestra and for Dvorak’s Requiem with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. Forthcoming concert work also includes the Messiah with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in Paris and Versaille with Les Siècles.

​Increasingly in demand as an interpreter of song, William has made several appearances at London’s Wigmore Hall, where he appeared most recently as part of Graham Johnson’s ‘Songmakers’ Almanac’ series. Elsewhere in recital, he returns to the Leeds Lieder Festival alongside Graham Johnson and appears at the Barber Institute with Joseph Middleton.

William made his Vienna State Opera debut in 2019 as Snug in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that was directed by Irina Brook and conducted by Simone Young, and he returns to the 2020 Garsington Opera as Don Fernando in John Cox’s production of Fidelio. Future operatic appearances will include his debut with the English National Opera, appearances with the Glyndebourne Festival and Glyndebourne Tour, and his U.S. debut at the Seattle Opera.

Read more about William Thomas

Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2019 – Joanna Kedzior, Soprano
Photo Ksenia Shaushyshvili

Joanna Kędzior


From the season 2020/2021 Joanna joins the ensemble of Vienna State Opera where her roles include Adina L’elisir d’amore, Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Norina Don Pasquale, Najade Ariadne auf Naxos, Fiakermilli Arabella, Sandmännchen/Taumännchen Hänsel und Gretel, Königin der Nacht Die Zauberflöte, and soprano soloist in Mahler Symphony No IV.

Salzburger Festspiele debut as Alcina Der Gesang der Zauberinsel, Erste Dame Die Zauberflöte, Frasquita Carmen, all for Polish National Opera,Yniold in Pelléas et Mélisande for Polish National Opera, Karolka in Jenůfa, Witch in Dido and Eneas for Poznan Opera.

Kędzior is a recipient of a range of prizes at the Polish and International competitions, including the 9th Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin ( Second Prize, special award), 5th J.E.J. Reszke Vocal Competition in Częstochowa (Third Prize and special award), 23rd Riccardo Zandonai International Competition for Young Opera Singers in Trento, Italy (special award), Rudolf Petrák Singing Competition in Žilina, Slovakia (First Prize, special award), 1st Ars et Gloria International Individual Vocal Competition of Sacred Music in Katowice, Poland (Second Prize), 1st Polish National Vocal Competition in Drezdenko, Poland (Third Prize), 6th Polish National Maria Stankowa Vocal Festival in Olsztyn, Poland (Second Prize).

Joanna Kędzior obtained her MM from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw under the tutelage of Professor Izabela Kłosińska and her BA at the Ignacy Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. During 2016 – 2018 Kędzior was a member of the Opera Academy Teatr Wielki Polish National Opera in Warsaw. Joanna is currently studying with Jolanta Żmurko and Olga Pasiecznik.

Read more about Joanna Kędzior

Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2019 – Thedore Platt, Baritone

Theodore Platt


British-Russian baritone Theodore Platt is a member of the Opernstudio at the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Theodore is an alumnus of the Verbier Festival Academy and the Royal College of Music Opera Studio, where he was helped by generous support from Marc Feigen, the Munster Trust Star Award, the Victoria Robey Scholarship, the Richard Toeman/Weinberger Opera Scholarship, a Help Musicians UK Sybil Tutton Opera Award, and the Josephine Baker Trust.

​​Theodore ​attended the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Germany, studying with Prof. Edith Wiens. This led to performances with the Nuremburg Symphony Orchestra and a recital of Schubert lieder broadcast on German radio.

Theodore studies with Russell Smythe and read Music at St John’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 2016.

Read more about Theodore Platt

Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2019 – Emmett O'Hanlon, Baritone

Emmett O’Hanlon


Irish-American baritone Emmett O’Hanlon’s 2020 – 2021 season sees his return to Deutsche Oper am Rhein as a resident artist to debut the role of Count in Le nozze di Figaro, Fritz in Korngold’s Die tote Stadt, and Kaiser Overall in a new production of Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis.

The 2019 – 2020 season saw Mr. O’Hanlon’s company debut at Deutsche Oper am Rhein in two role debuts as the title role in Don Giovanni and as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette. Mr. O’Hanlon was also schedule to make his role debut in the title role of a new production of Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis, which was cancelled due to COVID-19. Mr. O’Hanlon also made his role and house debut as Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Paramount Theater, which the Chicago Tribune called “beautifully sung.”

Operatic highlights include Mr. O’Hanlon’s European and role debut as Malatesta in Don Pasquale with the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, his role debut as Silvio in Pagliacci with Opera San Jose, conducted by Christian Reif, and Maximillian in Bernstein’s Candide with Des Moines Metro Opera. At Lyric Opera of Chicago include The Second Priest in Die Zauberflöte, Wagner in a new production of Faust, and Dancaīre in Carmen, where he also covered the roles of Valentin in Faust, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Marullo in Rigoletto, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and Captain in Yevgeny Onegin. Additional operatic highlights include his debut at Des Moines Metro Opera in a new production of Britten’s Billy Budd singing The Novice’s Friend and covering the title role, as well as covering the title role in Yevgeny Onegin, singing Bartley in Vaughn Williams’ Riders to the Sea, The Traveller in Britten’s Curlew River at the Juilliard School, and the Soldier in a workshop of Scott Wheeler’s The Sorrows of Frederick the Great in partnership with the Metropolitan Opera.

Concert work includes his debut with the New World Symphony for Unanswered Questions: A Leonard Bernstein Journey, conducted by Edwin Outwater. Recital appearances include being presented by Opera Birmingham at Brock Recital Hall at Samford University, and with Sun Valley Opera.

In addition to his operatic and concert career, Mr. O’Hanlon joined the group Celtic Thunder in 2014, as a featured artist. Highlights of his time with the group include appearances on the 2014 Celtic Cruise, the 2014 Christmas Symphony Tour, and the 2015 Very Best of Tour. He is also featured on both the DVD and CD of Legacy Vol I & II, as well as the re-release of their albums Heartland, The Show, Take Me Home, Heritage, and Voyage I & II.

Honors and awards include being named a finalist in the 2017 Operalia competition, a finalist in the south regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2nd place in the Verismo Opera competition, 3rd place in the Gerda Lissner Foundation competition, and an encouragement award from the Opera Index competition.

Mr. O’Hanlon holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Additional training includes participation as a Bel Canto young artist at Caramoor Opera, studies at La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, a summer with Oberlin in Italy, and the “Julliard in Paris” project, sponsored by the Edmond de Rothschild Foundation. A native of Manhasset, New York, Mr. O’Hanlon currently resides in Chicago.

Read more about Emmett O’Hanlon

Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2019 – Yuriy Hadzetskyy, Baritone

Yuriy Hadzetskyy


Yuriy Hadzetskyy is a Ukrainian baritone, born in Lviv in 1992. He studied at the Lviv Conservatory with singing as his main subject, and has worked with various conductors especially in the field of early music. He made his opera début in 2015 at the National Opera in Lviv in the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Since 2017 he has been a member of the Young Talents Training Programme “Opera Academy” at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw where his main teacher is Olga Pasichnyk. He is a laureate of the Queen Elisabeth Competition: Voice 2018, awarded of a gold medal at the Berlin International Music Competition at the same year and in 2019 is a laureate of the 9th Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and a winner of oratorio prize (Dublin, Ireland).

Read more about Yuriy Hadzetskyy

Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2019 – Cameron Shahbazi, Countertenor

Cameron Shahbazi


Praised for his “clear, flexible” and “voluptuous” voice, countertenor Cameron Shahbazi is quickly emerging as one of the most promising artists of his generation.

​The 2019/2020 season marked many house debuts for Shahbazi including at Oper Köln singing Guildenstern in Brett Dean’s Hamlet, and a ‘digital debut’ at the Dutch National Opera singing Sergey Diaghilev in Willem Jeth’s Ritratto. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the live performances of the opera were cancelled, however a digital streaming of the opera reached over 80 000 viewers worldwide. Shahbazi did make his main stage debut with the Dutch National Opera in concert singing Mozart and Handel arias with players of the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest.​

​Due to the global pandemic, the remainder of the 2019/2020 season has been postponed, including a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera Zuid, as well Shahbazi’s Russian debut as Tolomeo in a concert version of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto and alto soloist in Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, both in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall. All rescheduled dates will be shared once confirmed..

​The 2018/2019 season marked a house debut for Shahbazi at the Theater Aachen singing Disinganno in Handel’s Il Trionfo del Tempo del Disinganno. He appeared in several concerts and recitals including his afternoon recital debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In the Netherlands, Shahbazi returned to De Nationale Opera & Ballet with the Baroque & Beyond Orchestra as part of their afternoon concert series, was part of the Handel in Dublin concert with the Dudok Quartet conducted by maestro Kenneth Montgomery, and was invited to join pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen in concert at the TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht. In addition, Shahbazi was honoured to be named an ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Research Centre UK, for which he appeared in recital alongside graduates of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s Jette Parker Young Artist Program and Dame Ann Murray.

​The 2017/2018 season saw Shahbazi’s American debut in the title role of Cavalli’s Il Giasone with Opera Neo and his debut with the Internationale Händel Festspiele Karlsruhe as Alto Soloist in Handel’s Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne under the baton of Christan-Markus Raiser. On the recital stage, Shahbazi performed a solo recital at De Nationale Opera with pianist Jeff Cohen. Shahbazi featured in a promotional campaign produced by the Conservatorium Hotel and OUTtv in support of Amsterdam Gay Pride, singing in the Kleine Zaal of Het Concertgebouw alongside pianist Aidan Mikdad.

​The recipient of several notable awards and honours, Shahbazi was a finalist at the 2019 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition. He was awarded the Second Prize at the 2018 Innsbruck International Cesti Competition for Baroque Opera, and a prize granted by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at the 2018 International Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition in Jūrmala, Latvia. Shahbazi was the winner of both the Prix de Révélation and the Prix Grand Avignon at the 2017 Opéra Raymond Duffaut Jeunes Espoirs Competition, hosted by the Opéra Grand Avignon. In 2019 Shahbazi was a grateful recipient of the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Awards, the Jaqueline Desmarais Foundation Grant, and in 2018 the Staetshuys Fonds Grant.

Hailing from Canada, Shahbazi received his Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto, and his Master of Music at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Read more about Cameron Shahbazi

Our 2019 Jury

Jane Carty
Competition Chair

Richard Bonynge AC CBE

Orla Boylan

Peter Carwell

John Gilhooly

Olga Kapanina

Andreas Massow

Evamaria Wieser