This year, Opera Foundation Australia celebrates 50 years of providing young Australians with exclusive access to prestigious international learning opportunities to further their opera careers with the announcement in October of the 50th winner of the coveted Opera Foundation Australia 2014 Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship.
Following national auditions, six talented young opera singers were selected to compete in the Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship Finals Concert in front of adjudicators Anke Höppner, Emma Matthews and Malcolm Batty.
The finalists vying for the prize worth $43,000 are soprano Sylvie Humphries, baritone Sam Roberts-Smith and tenor Thomas Strong all from New South Wales, Eugene Raggio bass-baritone from Victoria and mezzo-sopranos Cassandra Seidemann from Queensland and Ashlyn Timms from Western Australia. The singers will accompanied at the piano by Sharolyn Kimmorley.
There will also be formal announcements that of the winners of the Vienna State Opera Award, for a stage experienced opera singer, won by mezzo-soprano Margaret Plummer and the Berlin New Music Opera Award for a repetiteur, conductor, designer or director with a focus on New Music and Opera, won by conductor Burhan Guner.
Over its 50 years, Opera Foundation Australia has provided over $5 million in funding and support; over 290 awards and scholarships, to international opera centres including New York, London, Vienna, Berlin and Cologne, of which over 190 have resulted in contracts with Opera Australia. Previous winners include baritone Barry Ryan OAM and bass David Parkin who both travelled to Vienna, and soprano Amelia Farrugia who travelled to New York.
Tickets will be made available in September 2014.