Soraya Mafi wins 2016 Chilcott Award

15 Jul 2016

28-year-old soprano Soraya Mafi awarded the £10,000 Chilcott Award for young British opera singers.

The Chilcott Award is offered biennially to an opera singer between the ages of 23 and 33 who has the potential to make an international impact within the world of opera. The Award is specifically designed to enable advanced training or career development. This year, 59 young singers applied for the Chilcott Award.

Soraya Mafi is currently a Harewood Young Artist at English National Opera, this season singing Papagena in Simon McBurney’s The Magic Flute, and most recently Karolka in David Alden’s production of Jenufa.  She will sing the role of Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte with West Green House Opera from 30 July. Soraya will use her award to fund ongoing singing lessons with her teacher, Janis Kelly, language tuition, performance coaching as well as to support travel/audition and promotional costs.

Iain Burnside, Chairman of the Susan Chilcott Scholarship*, comments:

“It is a pleasure and privilege to listen to the young singers selected to audition for the Chilcott Award. Soraya lit up the audition room with her voice, her artistry and her engaging personality. There is an integrity to her singing that struck a chord in all of us. We hope the Chilcott Award will enrich her artistic development, helping her on her journey to a very bright future”.

*The Chilcott Award is offered by the Susan Chilcott Scholarship, an independent charity set up in 2005 in memory of Susan Chilcott, one of the outstanding singers of her generation, who died from cancer in 2003 aged 40.

Read Soraya's blog for the RPS
Read Soraya's biography
Download the press release
More about the Chilcott Award

18 July 2016


David Lowe, Music Lover: I'm always pleased to hear about the work done by the RPS to assist young performers and composers. They are indeed the future of music.


In 1980 pianist extraordinaire Stephen Hough won the first RPS Julius Isserlis scholarship, enabling him to study abroad at Julliard.