Australian Singing Competition - Finalists

Marianne Mathy Scholarship


2017 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Semi-Finalist - Damian Arnold



Damian is the proud recipient of the 2017 Eleanor Blakemore Opera Society Scholarship as part of the Melba Opera Trust. A finalist in the Australian Singing Competition, Damian also won the Wollongong Eisteddfod Aria and Cowra Eisteddfod Aria competitions. In 2015, he debuted with Opera Australia Schools Company in their adaptation of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Other roles include Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart in Mozart and Salieri and the Tenor Lover in Il Tabarro. His concert experience includes Handel’s Messiah, Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass, Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Damian most recently performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and attended the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School.

In 2017 Damian is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Meitar Opera Studio in Israel, including performing scenes from Pelléas et Mélisande.

  • Merenda Legacy Prize
  • David Harper Award
  • Opera Australia Prize

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2017 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Semi-Finalist - Daniel Carison



Lyric-baritone, Daniel Carison is one of Australia's most promising young singers. A graduate from The Conservatorium of Music Melbourne, Daniel is the winner of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Compeition and one of the inaugural winners of 3MBS’ The Talent. In 2017 Daniel is a third-time recipient of the Paulette Bisley and Ruskin Opera awards with the Melba Opera Trust. Some of his most celebrated performances include Schubert's Winterreise (2015) Schwanengesang (2016) and his live to air performance of Schumann's Dichterliebe (2014). Operatic credits include, Balthazar (The Play of Herod – Victorian Opera), Pandolfe (Cendrillon – Victorian Opera), The Mayor (The Pied Piper – Victorian Opera) and most recently his role and international debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with the Malaysian Philharmonic.

In 2017 Daniel will complete the final chapter of his Schubert trilogy with a number of performances of Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin throughout Melbourne.

  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama Award
    • Pasqualina Lipari Prize
  • Bel Canto Voice Program Scholarship
    • Haas Award
  • Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Prize
  • Opera Australia Prize

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2017 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Semi-Finalist - Paul Keightley



Paull-Anthony made his principal debut with West Australian Opera (WAO) in Gianni Schicchi while he was the 2016 Wesfarmers Young Artist. He recently appeared as Sciarrone in company’s production of Tosca while continuing as a member of the Young Artist Programme.

Paull-Anthony’s other operatic credits include Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Pasquale in Orlando Paladino and Don Andronico in Don Procopio.

Paull-Anthony Keightley is a graduate of Manhattan School of Music and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Upcoming engagements include Baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem with WASO, Bass Soloist in Bach’s Cantata BWV. 147 with Perth Symphonic Chorus, Colline in La Bohème with Freeze Frame Opera and Zuniga in Carmen with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

  • Royal Over-Seas Leaugue Arts Scholarship
  • Canberra Symphony Orchestra Award
  • Christine Leaves Award
  • Opera Australia Prize

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2017 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Semi-Finalist - Filipe Manu



Filipe Manu holds a BMus and a PGDip with Distinction from the University of Waikato where he studied under the direction of Dame Malvina Major. A former Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with the New Zealand Opera Company, Filipe has achieved notable success in aria competitions nationally, a recent highlight being in the prestigious Lexus Song Quest and NZ Aria, in which he was placed 2nd for both. Alongside balancing a busy performance schedule across the country, Filipe works as a volunteer for the Duffy Foundation “Books in Schools” project and is honoured to be one of the inaugural singers in the Dame Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Singers’ Development programme.

In September of this year, Filipe will commence studies at the Guildhall School of Music in London in the Opera Studies stream where he will learn from Yvonne Kenny.

  • Marianne Mathy Scholarship
    • Audition Prize from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Center
    • Fine Music 102.5 Recording Session
    • Lili Ussher Prize
    • Oral History Award
    • The Mathy
  • IVAI New York Scholarship
    • Nell Pascall Award
  • MOST® Audience Prize
  • Opera Australia Prize

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2017 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Semi-Finalist - Shikara Ringdahl



Mezzo-soprano Shikara Ringdahl is a recent graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and holds a Bachelor of Music. During her time, there she performed in a range of operatic roles, the most notable being Mrs Herring in Britten’s Albert Herring, directed by Bruce Beresford in 2016.

Last year Shikara was selected to participate in the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School on the Cathryn Mittleheuser Full Scholarship. During this time, she was able to work with coaches and conductors from the Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House, as well as perform with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Shikara also co-founded the Revival House Project, an art song meets contemporary film project that fully crowd funded a tour to Vienna, Berlin, and Munich, to work with esteemed coaches from opera houses such as the Wiener Staatsoper. She will be performing Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder later this year as part of this project.

  • Saarbrücken Opera House Prize
    • Phoebe Patrick Award
  • Nelly Apt Scholarship
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra Prize
  • WAAPA international Art Song Academy Prize
  • Opera Australia Prize

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Damian Arnold
Daniel Carison
Paull-Anthony Keightley
Filipe Manu
Shikara Ringdahl

Past Finalists


Morgan Balfour
Eliza Boom
Jarvis Dams
Nicholas Tolputt
Sarah Wang


Damian Arnold
Rebecca Gulinello
Jeremy Kleeman
Maximilian Riebl
Benson Wilson


Kate Amos
Samantha Clarke
Corrine Cowling
Isabella Moore
Anna Voshege

Hannah Dahlenburg
Alexander Knight
Edward Laurenson
Jade Moffat
Danita Weatherstone


Thomas Atkins
Charlotte Betts-Dean
Anna Dowsley
Jeremy Kleeman
Tabatha McFadyen


Naomi Johns
Emma Moore
Morgan Pearse
Gérard Schneider
Bryony Williams


Rachel Bate
Kiandra Howarth
Eleanor Lyons
Ryan Sharp
Kang Wang


Hadleigh Adams
Jade Moffat
Sam Roberts-Smith
Samuel Sakker
Lachlan Scott


Nicole Car
Sky Ingram
Michael Lampart
Sitiveni Talei


The Competition has been discovering young singers since 1982. We'll be updating additional Finalists over the coming months...come back soon! Or check out our history page


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.

Hand cast in solid bronze, 'The Mathy' stands 195mm tall (230mm including its base) and weighs in at just under 1kg.

'The Mathy' limited edition Drago Marin Cherina bronze statuette was first awarded to Western Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin in 2000.


For more information or to find out how you can help support us, contact us today.


IFAC Australian Singing Competition

Level 4
Culwulla Chambers
67 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000

T: (+61 2) 9231 4293
F: (+61 2) 9221 8201

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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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