There was a distinguished gathering yesterday evening in Bertelsmann's elegant Berlin headquarters at that special address Unter den Linden 1. And the greatest distinction was on the platform where four of last year's prizewinners gave a delightful programme of mixed song and opera, with a bit of West Side Story thrown in for good measure.
We had the French soprano Elsa Dreisig, Italian mezzo Miriam Albano, South African tenor Lukhanyo Moyake, and Belorussian bass Anatoli Sivko. They were heard first in preliminary auditions in Berlin, Prague, Cape Town, and Vilnius and were just four of the 44 finalists chosen at that stage of the process. They then went through a week of further examination in Gütersloh in October - and each came out as prize winners.
It was so good to hear them again - all are doing brilliantly in their burgeoning careers and we were proud of these four young people.........
I am off to the Staatsoper (in their temporary home at the Schiller Theater) to hear the studio members this afternoon. Then home to London. That is enough travelling for the moment.