As Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC), I take pride in the arts projects we support around the world.
For the past 17 years, our sponsorship of the IFAC Australian Singing Competition has provided the opportunity for talented young classical singers to perform with Australia's top orchestras and highly respected conductors and this year I was honoured to accept the invitation to become Patron.
Over the many years of our association, I have been privileged to watch hundreds of young artists make their way through the Competition and to see them go on to realise their potential on the world stage.
Although I am unable to be present this year, I am pleased that in my absence Trustees of IFAC are in Sydney to represent me at the 2014 Finals Concert.
This is a prestigious occasion that will be remembered by the singers, and, I trust, by the audience fortunate to witness their career-launching performances.
Welcome to the 2014 IFAC Australian Singing Competition.
It is my privilege to introduce to you the five stunning sopranos who have worked so hard to earn their places in this year’s Finals.
The IFAC ASC has an enviable critical reputation born of its rigorous adjudication process and we are indebted to the hard work and commitment from the many Adjudicators who oversee the Competition.
It is a great pleasure to continue our successful collaboration with Dr Haruhisa Handa whose long-standing support has enabled us to engage the wonderful Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra to accompany the singers on stage.
New prizes, lights, red carpet and a few surprises will greet our audience as we distribute over $190,000 in awards, scholarships and opportunities.
On behalf of the Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd. and everyone who has been involved in this year’s Competition, I wish the finalists the very best of luck for tonight and for their future endeavours
The IFAC Australian Singing Competition attracts the finest young singers from Australia and New Zealand and this year we received close to 80 entrants.
Through the rigours of the Heats that took place around Australia and, for the very first time, in London, this initial group was whittled down to only eleven Semi-Finalists.
After a private adjudication session, the Semi-Finalists performed in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Semi-Finals Concert, which was held at the Theatre, The Concourse in Chatswood on Wednesday 30th July.
At the conclusion of the Semi-Finals Concert, the five 2014 Finalists were announced.
Unlike the Semi-Finals, where the singers are also assessed in a private adjudication session, the Finals Concert is the only chance that the Finalists have to perform for the Adjudicators. It is also their opportunity in the Competition to perform with a full orchestra.
This year we continue our successful collaboration with the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra courtesy of Dr Haruhisa Handa and the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC).
The Finalists may choose to perform for the Adjudicators any two pieces from the operatic canon including Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern, Opéra Comique and Operetta. At the conclusion of the Finals concert the National Adjudicator announces the winners of the Marianne Mathy Scholarship and the other Prizes & Opportunities.
Celebrating its 33rd year, the IFAC ASC has showcased thousands of singers since 1982 who have competed for more than $3 million in prizes.
In 2014 the IFAC ASC prize pool is valued at over $190,000. After winning the IFAC Australian Singing Competition, singers such as Amelia Farrugia, Stuart Skelton and Paul Whelan have all gone on to achieve national and international acclaim.
The IFAC ASC is the only singing competition in Australia that awards a statuette with its major prize. Known as 'The Mathy’ and hand-cast in solid bronze, the statuette was crafted as a limited edition by Australian sculptor Drago Marin Cherina.
“The Mathy” bronze statuette was first awarded to Western Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin in 2000.
Brisbane-born baritone Jeffrey Black began his career in 1984 when, at the age of twenty-one, he joined The Australian Opera as a principal artist singing roles which included Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Schaunard in La bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus, Dandini in La Cenerentola and Ottone in Goran Jarvefelt’s new production of L’lncoronazione di Poppea.
Jeffrey Black made his European debut in 1986 as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos in Monte Carlo and his British debut the same year at the Glyndebourne Festival as Sid in Albert Herring, where he has subsequently returned for Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1989) and the Count - in both Capriccio (1990) and Le nozze di Figaro (1991). At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he has appeared as Harlekin, Sid, Figaro (II barbiere), Dandini, the Count de Nevers in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and the Count (Figaro). Jeffrey made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, with Figaro (II barbiere) in 1995 and returned in 1997 to sing the Count (Figaro).
In summer 2010, Jeffrey performed the baritone role of Gianciotto in Zandonai’s opera Francesca da Rimini for Opera Holland Park. Recent engagements include his role debut as Pizzaro in Fidelio for New London Opera Players followed by Scarpia in Tosca as well as his role debut as Telramund in Lohengrin in 2014.
For the last ten years Jeffrey has had a thriving teaching practice in his private studio in southwest London. Additionally for the last six years he has been a part time lecturer in voice and performance studies as part of the Music Faculty at Kingston University, London.
The IFAC Australian Singing Competition expresses its gratitude to all the Adjudicators for their dedication and professionalism.
2014 Finals Concert Programme
KATE AMOS 24 soprano VIC
Kate is currently completing a Masters of Opera degree (Performance) in conjunction with Victorian Opera as one of their Developing Young Artists. Her recent performances include the title role in The Red Apple by Offenbach for the Lyric Opera of Melbourne and Yum-Yum in The Mikado for Victorian Opera. Read more
SAMANTHA CLARKE 23 soprano WA
Samantha is in the process of completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Classical Voice (Opera Studies) at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Solo operatic and theatrical roles at WAAPA include Beth (Little Women), Hansel in (Hansel and Gretel), and Miranda in The Tempest. Read more
CORINNE COWLING 24 soprano WA
Corinne is studying for the Graduate Diploma of Music (Classical Performance, Voice) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Corinne’s experience includes as a soprano soloist for Lost and Found Opera Inc., Collegium Symphonic Chorus and the Gilbert & Sullivan Society in Perth, Western Australia. Ensemble work includes participation in numerous musicals and ballets, and performances with Gondwana Voices. Read more
ISABELLA MOORE 23 soprano NZ
Isabella has recently completed a Masters degree in Advanced Vocal Studies with Distinction, at the Wales International Academy of Voice. Isabella's opera work includes the lead role of Gulnara in II Corsaro. She has taken part in Master Classes with artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Richard Bonynge, and has attended the New Zealand Opera School summer programme. Read more
ANNA VOSHEGE 24 soprano VIC
Anna holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, has completed French and German language courses, and has taken part in masterclasses with artists such as Yvonne Kenny AM and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Her performing experience includes as a Feature Artist on Channel 10 News Melbourne and on ABC Classic FM, as a soprano soloist at the British and Irish Lions’ Official Tour Ball and as a Feature Soloist for Opera in the Market. Read more
2014 Finals Concert Program
Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra
Interval - 20 minutes
Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra
Der Rosenkavalier Suite Der Rosenkavalier Strauss
David Coleman MP
Approximately 3 hours with 20 minute interval.Tonight’s performance has been granted a licence by APRA/AMCO
Wednesday 30 July 7pm
Thursday 31 July 1:30pm
Theatre, The Concourse
Gala Finals Concert
Saturday 30th August 7pm
2014 Event Sponsors
Huntington Estate Wines
2014 Special Thanks
Winner of the 2011 Marianne Mathy Scholarship, Emma shares her experience about the ASC and what it's like to win 'The Mathy'