International Handel Singing Competition names 2022 winner

The Handel International Singing Competition on Friday named its 2022 winner as countertenor Alexander Chance.

Chance, a former choir scholar at New College, Oxford, also received the People’s Choice Award at the London event. The award will be added to a CV that includes recent appearances with choral personalities such as Jonathan Cohen of Arcangelo and David Bates of La Nuova Musica, taking part in a European tour of Purcell’s King Arthur and the Fairy Queen with Gramophone Winners of Recording of the Year, Vox Luminis, and last year he performed the role of Oberon in The Grange Festival’s production of Dream of a summer night.

In Gramophone‘s, he was singled out for praise in a review dating back to 2016, of John Blow’s “Symphony Anthems” on New College’s Novum label, run by Robert Quinney, when David Vickers wrote of “polished solo singing in the verses (notably by countertenor Alexander Chance).’ More recently, in March of this year, in his review of John Eliot Gardiner’s recording of Bach Passion according to Saint John on DG, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood praised its “tone and true ‘Es ist vollbracht’ sound – a perfect match for his father’s memorable tale in Gardiner’s first recording” – his father being the counter- acclaimed tenor Michael Chance.

You can see Alexander Chance sing an excerpt from Bach’s St. John Passion below:

Laurence Cummings, Music Director of the London Handel Festival and who led the final stage of the competition, said: “It has been a real joy to work with all of our finalists and I look forward to seeing their whole careers flourish. . In the end, there is only one winner. Congratulations to Alexander Chance. The judges were particularly impressed with her expressive and engaging singing.

Chance follows past winners and finalists including Iestyn Davies, Lucy Crowe, Grace Davidson, Tim Mead and Ruby Hughes.

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Martin E. Berry