As world Chairman of the International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC), I take pride in the arts projects we support around the world.
For 16 years, our sponsorship has provided the opportunity for talented young classical singers to perform with Australia's top orchestras and highly respected conductors.
Seeing aspiring artists go on to realise their potential is, for me, a real thrill and especially satisfying knowing that we have been instrumental in helping them achieve their aims.
I am particularly delighted that this year’s National Adjudicator is Emma Matthews, who starred in the inaugural Handa 'Opera on the Harbour' as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata.
This Finals Concert is a prestigious event which will be remembered by the singers, and, I trust, by the audience privileged to witness their career-launching performances.
Although I am unable to be present, I am pleased that in my absence Trustees of IFAC are in Sydney to represent me at the 2013 Finals Concert.
Welcome to the 2013 IFAC Australian Singing Competition.
I am delighted to introduce to you five outstanding singers who have entered the Competition this year and who have now reached the Finals. I want to thank the International Foundation for Arts and Culture and especially Dr Haruhisa Handa, who has enabled us to engage the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra to accompany the singers on stage.
I also want to thank our Adjudicators, sponsors and supporters whose generosity has enabled us to distribute over $170,000 in prizes and opportunities in this year’s competition.
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 tonight, and in their future careers.
This year over 80 singers entered the Competition and the standard was notably high.
Through the rigours of the Heats that took place around Australia and New Zealand, this initial group was whittled down to only ten Semi-Finalists. After a Private Adjudication session, these ten Semi-Finalists performed in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Semi-Finals Concert, which was held at the Independent Theatre on Wednesday 11th September. At the conclusion of the Concert, the five Finalists were announced.
Naturally, the Finals Concert represents the last stage of the Competition.
Unlike the Semi-Finals, where the singers are assessed in a Private Adjudication session as well as in the Semi-Finals Concert, the Finals Concert is the only chance that the Finalists have to perform for the Adjudicators. It is also their first opportunity in the Competition to perform with a full orchestra.
This year we continue our successful collaboration with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra courtesy of Dr Haruhisa Handa and the International Foundation for Arts and Culture. 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.
The ASC is the only singing competition in Australia which 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.
Emma Matthews is a highly acclaimed and awarded coloratura soprano having received more Helpmann Awards than any other individual artist, nine Green Room Awards, the Mo Award and the Rémy Martin Australian Opera Award.
She is equally at home with opera and concert repertoire, and has performed with all the Australian State Symphony orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Liaison, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and at the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Huntington Festivals, with such conductors as Simone Young, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Charles Mackerras, Marko Letonja and Yakov Kreizberg. She has also appeared as a special guest with José Carreras in his Sydney concerts.
This year saw Emma Matthews reprise her highly successful portrayal of Partenope in Handel for Opera Australia in Melbourne and Violetta in La Traviata in Sydney, also for Opera Australia. Her concert appearances will include Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson in Copland with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and recitals with Ensemble Liaison at the Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney Omega Ensemble at the Art Gallery of NSW. She will also record an album of Mozart arias with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Marko Letonja conducting) as well as featuring at Voices in the Forest, Canberra.
The IFAC Australian Singing Competition expresses its gratitude to all the Adjudicators for their dedication and professionalism.
2013 Finals Concert Programme
HANNAH DAHLENBURG 25 soprano VIC
Hannah holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Melbourne. She has just returned from Austria, where she performed Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Salzburg Festival. Read more
ALEXANDER KNIGHT 23 baritone NSW
Alexander is currently studying a Postgraduate Advanced Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His recent performances include the role of Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas and the role of Uberto in La Serva Padrona. Read more
EDWARD LAURENSON 24 baritone NZ
Edward holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Auckland and he is an Emerging Artist with the Dame Malvina Major Foundation. He recently performed in New Zealand Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly. Read more
JADE MOFFAT 23 mezzo soprano QLD
Jade holds a Bachelor of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and she is a Developing Artist with Opera Queensland. She recently performed the role of Tisbe in Cinderella (Opera Queensland). Read more
DANITE WEATHERSTONE 23 soprano NSW
Danita is currently studying a Postgraduate Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She recently performed the role of Yum-Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Read more
2013 Finals Concert Program
Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra
Interval - 20 minutes
Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra
Lunge da lei...De' miei bollenti spiriti La Traviata Verdi
Sempre libera La Traviata Verdi
Approximately 2 hours with 20 minute interval.
Tonight’s performance has been granted a licence by APRA/AMCOS
Wednesday 11th September 7pm
Thursday 12th September 12pm
Saturday 28th September 7pm
2013 Guest Artists
Soprano Lorina Gore was born in Australia and completed postgraduate voice studies at the Australian National University in Canberra.
She won several prestigious opera awards, including the Robert & Betty Saltzer Prize (Opera Foundation Australia 2004), 2nd prize in the Herald Sun Aria (2002 and 2004), the Lady Galleghan Scholarship for Voice, the Frank and Viola Tait Scholarship, the Phoebe Patrick Award, and first place in the Australian National Aria Competition.
As winner of the Opera Foundation's Covent Garden Scholarship, Lorina attended the National Opera Studio in 2003/04. Her international performances have included Giulia in La Scala di Seta for Independent Opera Fiakermilli in Arabella for Garsington Opera, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for Iford Arts, and an extensive national tour of New Zealand singing Norina in Don Pasquale for New Zealand Opera. In 2007, she performed Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Sandrina in L'infedeltà delusa and Agilea in Teseo for English Touring Opera.
In 2008, Lorina Gore joined Opera Australia as a principal artist singing Oscar in Un ballo, Maschera and Fiakermilli in Arabella. Subsequent roles for the national company have included Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Marzelline in Fidelio, 1st Niece in Peter Grimes, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Honey B in Bliss (in Sydney, Melbourne and at the Edinburgh Festival), Amina in La sonnambula and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Lorina has also appeared as soprano soloist with Sydney Philharmonia, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, Collegium Musicum Choir (UNSW), Melbourne Bach Choir and the Darwin, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras; she gave a series of concerts throughout China in 2009 and recorded highlights from Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier for ABC Classics.
In 2011/2012, Lorina Gore performed Leila in The Pearl Fishers, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Despina in Così fan tutte, Tytania and Queen of the Night for Opera Australia. For her role as Pip in Moby Dick for State Opera of South Australia, Lorina received a Helpmann Award nomination. Concert appearances included those with the Sydney, Canberra, Tasmanian and Guangdong Symphony orchestras, Orchestra Victoria and a special concert performance of Rodelinda under Maestro Richard Bonynge.
In 2013, Lorina Gore performed Musetta in La bohème, Nanetta in Falstaff and Oscar in Un ballo in Maschera with Opera Australia. She also appears as Woglinde in their production of Der Ring des Nibelungen.
Born in Korea, tenor Jaewoo Kim moved to Australia in 1990 to study at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
He completed his Bachelor of Music and postgraduate diploma at the Canberra School of Music, and was the winner of Opera Foundation’s Metropolitan Opera Awards and the McDonalds Aria in 2000. Jaewoo was a member of Opera Australia's Young Artists' Development Program in 1998 and a principal artist with the company from 2000-2006.
From 2007-2012 Jaewoo was based in the United Kingdom where his engagements during this time included the role of Tamino in The Magic Flute for Lyric Opera Productions in Dublin; Alfredo in La Traviata for Longborough Opera; Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for English National Opera; Alfredo in La Traviata in Udine, Italy and Croatia for Societa Filarmonia; Harlequin in Tarik O'Regan's The Heart of Darkness at Linbury Theatre Covent Garden; the Duke in Rigoletto for Opera Holland Park in London; Ferrando in Così fan tutte, and Orphée in Orphée aux enfers for Diva Opera in the UK and on tour in Europe.
His concerts included The Dream of Gerontius with the London Mozart Players and Oriana Choir at the Barbican. During this time he also made return visits to Australia for Ottavio in Don Giovanni for Opera Australia in Melbourne; Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, which has been subsequently released on CD by ABC Classics; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Messiah with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 Jaewoo sang the Italian Singer in Der Rosenkavalier for English National Opera, Lensky in Eugene Onegin for English Touring Opera and Tamino in The Magic Flute for Diva Opera. In December 2012 Jaewoo returned to live in Sydney, Australia.
This year Jaewoo’s engagements will include a Gala Concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and Verdi’s Requiem with the Nottingham Harmonic Choir.
Other notable engagements include Tamino in The Magic Flute; Ferrando in Così fan tutte and Gerald in Lakmé for Opera Australia and Canterbury Opera, NZ; Arbace in a touring production of Idomeneo in Italy; Ottavio in Don Giovanni and the title role in Faust for NBR New Zealand Opera; and Rodolfo in La bohème for Wellington National Opera. As a principal artist at Opera Australia, Jaewoo’s roles included Rodolfo in La bohème, Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Jacquino in Fidelio, Arbace in Idomeneo, Nathanaël in Les contes d'Hoffmann, Gastone in La Traviata and Beppe in Pagliacci. He has also sung many concerts for Opera Australia.
Jaewoo’s concert engagements have also included Cassio in Otello and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Messiah with Sydney Philharmonia and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Haydn’s The Creation for Opera Queensland; Haydn’s Nelson Mass for Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Shepherd/Sailor in Tristan and Isolde for Queensland Music Festival; Opera in the Vineyard in Queensland and a lunchtime recital for broadcast on ABC Radio.
His ever expanding choral repertoire includes the masses of Schubert and Haydn and Mendelssohn's Elijah for Canberra Choral Society; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 for the Canberra National Multicultural Festival; Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in Korea; Handel’s Messiah at Sydney Town Hall and Llewellyn Hall and Bach's St. John Passion, Britten’s Spring Symphony and Janacek's Glagolitic Mass for the Llewellyn Choir.
He has also performed with the Korean Philharmonic Choir at Sydney Town Hall and with Ensemble XXI in Sakhalin and Moscow in Russia under the baton of Lygia O'Riordan.
Winner of the 2011 Marianne Mathy Scholarship, Emma shares her experience about the ASC and what it's like to win 'The Mathy'