The fourth annual Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award will this year be presented in conjunction with the inaugural Elizabeth Connell Prize for Dramatic Sopranos.
The Bel Canto Award has become one of Australia’s premier classical singing competitions attracting some of the best young singers aged between 20 and 30 years in Australia and New Zealand. Previous winners include Pene Pati from the group Sol3 Mio, John Longmuir, principal tenor with Opera Australia and soprano Naomi Johns.
The coveted first prize is a $30,000 cash scholarship along with a place in the Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto Summer School in Tuscany and a performance at the world-famous Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Six Bel Canto Award finalists and five Elizabeth Connell Prize finalists will compete in the public final to be adjudicated by conductor Richard Bonynge AC CBE, soprano Marilyn Richardson, mezzo-soprano Bernadette Cullen and former Opera Australia Artistic Director Moffatt Oxenbould AM. The singers will be accompanied by David Harper and Silvio Rivier will compere the event which will be recorded for delayed broadcast by ABC radio.
The Elizabeth Connell Prize is named after the great South African dramatic soprano, who bequeathed a legacy to encourage and support emerging dramatic sopranos of the world, to be administered under the umbrella of the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation and to be held in conjunction with the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award. The competition is open to aspiring dramatic sopranos aged 25 – 34years. First prize is $20,000 and an audition at London’s Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
The finalists in the 2014 Bel Canto Award are: Morgan Balfour – Qld/ Rachel Bate – NSW/ Marlena Devoe – New Zealand/James Ioelu – New Zealand/ Kathryn Radcliffe – Vic/ Matthew Reardon – WA.
The finalists for the 2014 Elizabeth Connell Prize are: Tracy Cox – USA/ Lucinda-Mirikata Deacon – Australia/ Diane Kalinowski—USA/ Anna Patrys—Poland/ Justine Viani – Britain/Australia.
Tickets: $45, $40, $20, Under 15: Free. Call 61+ 2 9817 4919