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New father John hits another high point.

TENOR John Pierce has been chosen to represent Wales in one of the world's most important competitions for classical singers.

The 27-year-old has sealed his place in BBC Cardiff Singer of the Year 2011 after winning the 2010 Welsh Singers Competition.

It is the second big event to happen in his life recently - eight weeks ago he became a father for the first time.

And Mr Pierce, from Holywell, Flintshire, has also now fulfilled his grandmother's thwarted ambition to become an opera singer.

"All I can say is I am really shocked to win the competition and even more shocked as it comes just eight weeks after becoming a dad to my daughter Sophie," he said.

"My maternal grandmother had a talent for singing - she was offered a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the age of 13, but due to financial restrictions she could not take up her place and pursue a musical career.

"My mother inherited her singing abilities and for a few years she sang with a local amateur operatic society. My grandmother and my parents encouraged me to develop my singing skills and have been a great source of inspiration and support over the years."

It was second time lucky for the tenor as he also reached the Welsh Singers Competition final in 2008 when Swansea soprano Natalya Romaniw took the title.

But this time round it was Mr Pierce's turn to impress the panel of judges, including Bryn Terfel, at the final of the biennial competition at St David's Hall, Cardiff. As well as going on to represent Wales in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2011, he won a cash prize of pounds 2,000 and a trophy.

He now plans to spend the summer performing the role of Rudolfo in Puccini's La Bohme for British Youth Opera and, soon afterwards, covering the same role for English National Opera.

The other finalists were Catrin Aur Davies, soprano, 31, from Beulah, Ceredigion; Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, mezzo soprano, 31, from Montgomery; and Samuel Evans, baritone, 30, from Aberaeron.

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John Pierce being presented by Bryn Terfel
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 30, 2010
Words:354
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