More than a concert
The Semi-Finals process
The IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition is committed to finding and fostering the next generation of classical singers and the Semi-Finals are instrumental in achieving this aim.
Though the highlight of the Semi-Finals is the public concert, the Semi-Finals are actually a week-long process for the singers, encompassing a Workshop, a Private Adjudication Session and, of course, the Semi-Finals Concert. This stage of the Competition is not simply about pitting one singer against another, but also about helping the singers develop as artists. Indeed, education is a cornerstone of the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition.
During Semi-Finals week, the participants are treated to a private Workshop with the National Adjudicator and carefully selected industry professionals. In previous years, these Workshops have covered topics as diverse as ‘On the Rehearsal Floor’, ‘Business Management’ and ‘Networking for Singers’. In 2015, National Adjudicator Linnhe Robertson presented a workshop titled "Performance, Communication, Anxiety'".
As Semi-Finalists, the singers are required to prepare no less than four items of music that must include a work by a Classical or Baroque composer (such as Monteverdi, Handel, Bach or Mozart) and a song for voice and piano (such as a lied, art song, or chanson). The Adjudicators hear any or all of these pieces in the Private Adjudication session held the day before the Concert.
After the Workshop and the Private Adjudication, the ten singers compete one last time at the Semi-Finals Concert.
Each singer presents two pieces, one of which must be an art song. This requirement was intended to encourage young classical singers who wanted careers outside the opera domain, and remains a distinctive element of the Competition.
Selection of Finalists
From the ten Semi-Finalists, only five will be selected as Finalists. In 2016, these five will appear at the Finals Concert on 18 August at 7pm in the Concert Hall of The Concourse, Chatswood. They will be accompanied by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (AOBO) conducted by Benjamin Northey.
The IFAC Handa ASC has showcased nearly 3,000 singers who have competed for over $2.7 million in prizes and career opportunities. Former winners of the Marianne Mathy Scholarship (the major prize in the Australian Singing Competition) such as Rachelle Durkin, Amelia Farrugia, Stuart Skelton and Paul Whelan, have all gone on to achieve national and international acclaim.
Photo, top 'The Theatre', The Concourse, Cnr Victoria Avenue and Anderson Street, Chatswood.
'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.
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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