UWTSD student wins prestigious Rossini International Award 2017


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is delighted to announce that a student from its Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV) has won the prestigious Rossini International Award 2017.

Shanul singing in Dylan Thomas Centre

Shanul Sharma, who is studying the MA Advanced Vocal Studies at the Academy under the tutelage of Director Dennis O’Neill CBE, won the award at the competition held in Pesaro, Italy. Shanul began his musical career as lead vocalist for heavy metal band Sobrusion, and has released three studio albums. Following a period studying IT in Australia Shanul, made the decision to pursue a career in classical music in 2012 and joined the Wales International Academy of Voice as a student in 2016. Shanul said: "I am thrilled beyond words with this achievement, and it is a testament to Maestro Dennis O'Neill's incredible insight into vocal technique and the old Italian school of singing; which he readily imparts to all of us. This has led me on to a path of self discovery and growth where I have found new ways of communicating as a singer, all the while receiving tremendous support from the tireless staff at WIAV."

The International Rossini Prize 2017 is an annual prize that is dedicated to the work of Italian composer Gioachino Rossini who wrote the operas The Barber of Seville and William Tell. The prize is awarded to young artists with the objective of finding young talent and promote his unusual repertoire and develop artistic research that his music is inspired.

WIAV Director, the Pontarddulais-born tenor Dennis O’Neil, said: "Our student Shanul Sharma (tenor) has just returned from participating in one of Italy's most important international competitions which is devoted to the memory and works of the great Italian composer Rossini. Not only was he placed first in the vocal section but then, in the round for all instrumentalists, he was again placed first. Effectively the prix d'honeur of the festival. This is an extraordinary achievement and something that, for example, I personally could not have achieved at his stage of development. This is what WIAV is all about. An Indian born artist, naturalised Australian, came to WIAV, to study in Wales, and has achieved this international honour. Bravo Shanul!"

WIAV is based in Cardiff and is part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD). Recognising his earlier success in the field, UWTSD, invited Dennis O’Neill to establish an International Academy of Voice, a centre of vocal excellence and to locate it in Wales, an ideal environment justly famous as ‘the land of song’ the starting point for so many internationally successful singers. 

WIAV provides a highly specialised and unique environment for a small number of exceptional singers at the early-professional stage, selected and recruited globally, to develop and polish their talent to the highest professional standards. 

WIAV Opera Gala

10 May 2017, 18:30 / 6 June 2017, 18:30

Location: Tabernacl Chapel, The Hayes, Cardiff, CF10 1AJ

Further Information

Please contact WIAV on wiav@uwtsd.ac.uk or For further information, please email: press@uwtsd.ac.uk