Last week soprano Rachel Bate was awarded the Opera and Arts Support Group Vocal Scholarship in the 80th Anniversary McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod. Singing Einsam in trüben Tagen from Lohengrin and Pace pace mio Dio from La Forza del Destino, adjudicators John Pringle and Graeme Pushee placed Rachel at the head of the six finalists finishing ahead of New Zealand bass baritone James Ioelu. Rachel wins the $10.000 scholarship and runner-up James wins $3,000. The four unplaced finalists received $500 each, while reserve finalist Daniel Macey, who stepped in at the eleventh hour after one of the finalists withdrew due to illness won the Audience Vote and $1,000.
Carrying a total prize purse of $16,000, the Opera and Arts Support Group Vocal Scholarship is second in value only to the McDonald’s Operatic Aria Award in the Sydney Eisteddfod.
Earlier in the 2013 season, Rachel triumphed in the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Award, another prime event in the classical singing category and also sang her way into the final round of the McDonald’s Operatic Aria event which will take place at 5pm on Sunday, 22 September at Sydney Town Hall.
If Rachel wins this event as well, she will make history as the first entrant to win the hat-trick of three major prizes in the one competition.