The Opera Foundation for young Australians (formerly Opera Foundation Australia) has announced the finalists for the 2015 Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship. The winner of this prestigious scholarship will be announced at the public recital with the six finalists on Sunday 1st November 2015. The winner will receive $43,000 providing a talented and strongly motivated young Australian opera singer the opportunity to study with internationally acclaimed vocal, language and movement coaches in New York.
The Opera Foundation for young Australians was founded in 1963 by Lady Fairfax and provides international awards and scholarships to young Australian artists to train in renowned opera houses and institutions around the world. These awards and scholarships have provided the springboard for the successful international careers of many Australian opera singers for more than 50 years. Since 1963 the Foundation has provided over $5 million in funding and support and offered over 300 awards and scholarships.
The Adjudicators of the 2015 Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship are Bradley Daley, Roxane Hislop & Guy Noble. The evening will feature performances from finalists Morgan Balfour, Olivia Cranwell, Phoebe-Celeste Humphreys, Elizabeth Lewis, Tabatha McFadyen and Christopher Nazarian. Guest Artist Lorina Gore, a previous winner of the National Opera Studio London Scholarship will perform and all artists will be accompanied by Sharolyn Kimmorley AM. The evening will be presented by Tobias Cole the 2002 Winner of the New York Scholarship.
Ticketing information: The Opera Foundation for young Australians Alison Cole – 0414 38 38 48.
Morgan Balfour is a Brisbane born Soprano. She graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, with a Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance. Roles performed on the operatic stage include Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Sandrina from selections of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. Scholarships granted to Morgan include: Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust Scholarship, American-Australian Association Dame Joan Sutherland Grant, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Prize, DECCA Award, Linda Edith Allen Memorial Prize, Alton Budd Memorial Scholarship and Blanche and Hugh Campbell Singing Award.
Olivia Cranwell is a graduate of the Master of Music (Opera Performance) program, run by Victorian Opera in partnership with The University of Melbourne. Olivia made her operatic debut with Victorian Opera playing the role of Gossip in Angelique, and has since performed major roles and as a soloist for Victorian Opera. For Opera Australia she has performed the roles of Hansel and Mother/Witch/Sand Fairy for and covered the roles of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly and Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. Notable achievements include finalist in the Herald Sun Aria and runner-up in the 2014 Italian Opera Foundation Awards.
Phoebe-Celeste returned to Australia in 2014 after completing a M. Performance with distinction under scholarship at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Whilst in the UK she performed in Grange Park Opera productions of LaTraviata & Don Quixotte. She was selected as Young Artist for both Mid Wales Opera and Des Nederlandse Opera. Her operatic roles include Mrs Wordsworth – Albert Herring (Mid Wales Opera); Pamina- The Magic Flute (Rydale Opera); Lauretta – Gianni Schicchi (Summertime Opera) and Mrs Gobineau (The Medium,Operaview). In 2015 Phoebe joined Opera Australia chorus for Madama Butterfly, Don Carlos, Turandot & La Traviata. In 2015 she will be performing the role of Susanna in Rockdale Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
In 2013 Elizabeth became a member of the Opera Q Studio and in 2014 joined Victorian Opera as one of their Developing Artists. Roles for Victorian Opera include Mother and Witch-Hansel und Gretel, Adalgisa (Cover)-Norma and Mrs Lovett and Beggar Woman (Covers)-Sweeney Todd. Other roles in include Dido (Brisbane Baroque Festival) and Sorceress (Bangalow Festival) – Dido and Aeneas and Emilia (Cover) – Otello (Opera Q). Elizabeth has won many scholarships and competitions including the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School Scholarship 2011 and 2012, the More Than Opera Development Grant 2015 and the 2015 Sydney Opera House Opera Award.
Tabatha was trained at the Queensland Conservatorium and the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg. She has been successful in a number of competitions, in 2014 winning the Antonin Dvorak International Singing Competition in the Czech Republic & the Mietta Song Competition, and in 2015 winning the Opera & Arts Support Group Scholarship. Her operatic roles have included Musetta (La Boheme), Susanna, La Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Suor Genovieffa (Suor Angelica) and Prilepa in Pique Dame with SSO, with Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy. Tabatha is an accomplished recitalist, collaborating with ensembles such as Kupka’s Piano, the Arcadia Quintet, Press Play, and most frequently with pianist Alex Raineri.
Australian-Armenian bass and pianist Christopher Nazarian is currently studying a Masters in Opera Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His credentials also include a Bachelor and a Masters in Piano Performance. As a concert pianist, Nazarian has a wide variety of performance experience in Sydney and Europe. He credits his five performances of piano concertos with orchestra as one of the highlights of his pianistic career to date. Nazarian has also performed a number of operatic roles within the Sydney Conservatorium Opera School. He has been a finalists and prize winner of several Australian national competitions, performed as choral soloist interstate and at the Sydney Opera House.