Charlesworth took home the Regina Etz prize of £3,000 and the chance to perform at the London Handel Festival 2014 ( Founded by Denys Darlow in 1978 the London Handel Festival has contributed to a Handel revival in the UK, specialising in the performance of lesser-known works of the period ). The Devon-born singer performed arias from Handel’s opera Rodelinda and the oratorios Theodora and Belshazzar.
As well as taking first place, Charlesworth received the Audience Prize, a rare double win in the competition’s history.
The second prize was awarded to Stephen Chambers (tenor), who will also perform at the 2014 London Handel Festival.
The other finalists were Natalie Montakhab and Heimi Lee (sopranos), Hagar Sharvit (mezzo-soprano) and Frederick Long (bass-baritone). Each finalist receives £300 and the chance to perform a Lunchtime Recital at the festival.
Each performer was accompanied by members of the London Handel Orchestra directed by Laurence Cummings, and the judging panel included Ian Partridge, Edward Blakeman, Michael George and Rosemary Joshua.