Australian Singing Competition - The Competition

The Competition



The IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition evolved from the Marianne Mathy Scholarship, established through a bequest made by Marianne Mathy-Frisdane, a distinguished teacher of opera and classical singing. The Competition is now well into its third decade discovering, rewarding and providing career opportunities to emerging Australasian opera and classical singers under the age of twenty-six.

The Competition consists of a number of components and processes, including Heats, Semi-Finals and Finals. More recently a MasterClass and selected Workshops have been added. For a complete listing of this year's schedule of events see Rules and Conditions.

Dr Haruhisa Handa, Patron


In 2014 we formally welcomed Dr Haruhisa Handa as Patron of the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition (ASC).

The ASC has long enjoyed the sponsorship and support of Dr Handa, both personally and through the International Foundation for Arts & Culture. As Chairman of IFAC, Dr Handa provides our Finalists the opportunity to perform in front of an audience with a full orchestra – 'a dream come true' for young singers.

In 1998, the Competition was privileged to receive sponsorship from Dr Haruhisa Handa, Chairman of IFAC. This was no ordinary sponsorship as, in addition to funds, Dr Handa under his stage name of Toshu Fukami honoured the Competition with his own talent.

The fortunate Finalists in the 2000 Competition were also invited to perform in Japan where they were treated royally and had an unforgettable experience.

In the 2010-2012 Competitions, Dr Handa through IFAC also offered the Handa Prize, which provided the opportunity for its recipient to perform in Japan.

IFAC and Dr Handa have sponsored the Competition for an incredible sixteen years. We are indeed indebted not only for their generosity, but also for their time, interest and personal consideration.

Many lovers of opera will also know Dr Handa through his support and sponsorship of the now famous annual event 'Opera on Sydney Harbour' – an initiative between Opera Australia and Destinations NSW. Acclaimed productions in recent years have included La traviataCarmen, and Madama Butterfly

2017: Better than ever

More opportunities than ever

Over the years, the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition has grown and evolved to become the richest and most prestigious singing Competition for opera and classical singers in Australasia.

Though many prizes and career opportunities now make up the Competition, the Marianne Mathy Scholarship remains the premier award in the Competition. The recipient of 'The Mathy' (after its namesake bronze statuette) receives the Marianne Mathy Scholarship plus a selected suite of valuable cash prizes and opportunities.

Thousands of young singers from Australia and New Zealand have participated in the Competition and have had the benefit of being interviewed and heard by eminent professionals from the Australian and international singing and music fraternity. Many Competition participants have gone on to pursue successful careers in Australia and overseas.

The Mathy Statuette

The Mathy

'The Mathy' has become synonymous with the Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the featured award within the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition.

In late 2012, a new set of 'Mathys' were hand cast at the Sydney foundry, ready to be awarded to the next decade of Marianne Mathy Scholarship winners.

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2016: Nicholas Tolputt

2016: Nicholas Tolputt 

Nicholas Tolputt is our 2016 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Winner. In this video, Counter tenor Nicholas Tolputt performs “Stille amare” from Handel’s "Tolomeo" at the Finals Concert of the 2016 IFAC Australian Singing Competition, held in the Concert Hall of The Concourse, Chatswood, on Thursday 18th August 2016.

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