Australian Singing Competition - 2015 Finals Concert

2015 Finals Concert Programme


2015 IFAC Chairman - Dr Haruhisa Handa

Dr Haruhisa Handa 

For the past 18 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.

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 realize their potential on the world stage.

Although I am unable to be present this year, I am pleased that in my absence Midori Miyazaki, the Director of International Relations and Conal Coad, a Trustee of IFAC, are in Sydney to represent me at the 2015 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.


MOST Chairman - Roland Gridiger

Roland Gridiger

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the Finals of the 2015 IFAC Australian Singing Competition.

What a night we have in store for you! In recent years the ASC has pioneered the use of technology across many aspects of our operations and tonight’s concert is no exception: you are about to experience images and lighting that have been curated to create not only an atmosphere of excitement and wonder but also to complement the beautiful music and voice on stage.

It will be a true feast for the senses. Our continuing collaboration with Dr. Haruhisa Handa and the International Foundation for Arts & Culture enables us to engage the Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra.

ABC Classic FM’s live broadcast will reach out to new audiences.

Ultimately though, tonight’s concert is about the five gifted young artists who have sung their way into this year’s Finals. They are a diverse and talented group who will no doubt have a bright future on the world stage. We wish them the very best of luck and thank you for being here to support them.

In pursuit of 'The Mathy'

The Mathy

The Finals Concert

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 in London, this initial group was whittled down to only ten 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 Independent Theatre in North Sydney on Sunday 30th August. 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 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 first 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.

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 34rd year, the ASC has showcased thousands of singers since 1982 who have competed for more than $3 million in prizes.

In 2015, the ASC prize pool is valued at over $200,000. After winning the Australian Singing Competition, singers such as Amelia Farrugia, Stuart Skelton and Paul Whelan have all gone on to achieve national and international acclaim.

The 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.

2015 National Adjudicator

2015 IFAC ASC National Adjudicator -Linnhe Robertson

Linnhe Robertson

Linnhe Robertson has worked extensively in the major music centres throughout the world as a vocal coach, repetiteur, accompanist and harpsichordist. Her career began on the music staff of the Australian Opera. After a period of study in Germany in Lied Accompaniment, Linnhe remained there working as a vocal accompanist and as assistant to vocal Professor Kaiser-Breme at the Bayreuth International Wagner Festival.

With her move to Great Britain, Linnhe changed music direction and pursued a high profile career as a harpsichordist throughout the UK and Europe. She performed and recorded as the resident harpsichordist with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and with other notable early music ensembles, such as the English Baroque Soloists under John Eliot Gardiner. During this period, she also worked as repetiteur with the English National Opera under the Music Directorship of Mark Elder.

In 1989 Linnhe was invited to take up the position as Head of Music and Director of the Young Artists' Programme at the Victoria State Opera based in Melbourne Australia, a position which continued with the merger of that company and the Sydney-based national company (renamed Opera Australia). Through the success of her work with the training and development of young opera singers, Linnhe was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1993, which she used for further research into varying world-wide training systems for young singers.

On returning to the UK in 1999, Linnhe completed a Masters degree in Arts Management at City University, London. After a period of working in London as an artists' manager with a London based artists' agency, and as General Manager of a contemporary classical music ensemble, she was offered the position in 2002 as Deputy Head of Vocal Studies and subsequently Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama until 2013. She now has the role of ‘Artistic and Research Consultant for Opera & Voice’ at the Guildhall School. Linnhe also coaches the Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

Linnhe continues to give masterclasses and performs regularly as recital accompanist with singers throughout Great Britain and Europe.



The IFAC Australian Singing Competition expresses its gratitude to all the Adjudicators for their dedication and professionalism.

National Adjudicator – Linnhe Robertson

Conal Coad

Lisa Gasteen AO

Michael Halliwell

Simon Lord

Emma Matthews


Johannes Fritzsch

Lisa Gasteen AO

Michael Halliwell


Brisbane (QLD) Donna Balson, Bradley Daley;

Perth (WA) Patricia Price, Antony Walker;

Melbourne (VIC) Stephen Grant, Merlyn Quaife AM;

Sydney (NSW) Andrew Dalton, Daniel Sumegi;

London (UK) David Harper, Yvonne Kenny;

Wellington (NZ) Margaret Medlyn ONZM, Michael Vinten.

 Find Out More


2015 IFAC ASC Finals Conductor - Johannes Fritszch

Johannes Fritzsch

Johannes Fritzsch has enjoyed a prestigious international career spanning 30 years, having accepted his first position as a conductor at the age of 22. He is currently Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 until this year he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester (Austria). Prior to his appointment in Graz, Johannes held the position of Chief Conductor of the Staatsoper Nürnberg. From 1993 until 1999, he was Chief Conductor of the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Freiburg, enjoying widespread acclaim.

In addition to his work as Chief Conductor of the above-mentioned ensembles, Johannes has enjoyed accepting invitations to perform with many great orchestras throughout the world. These include: Hamburger Sinfoniker, Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Philharmonie Essen, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Staatsorchester Halle, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique Strassbourg, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Within Australia, Johannes has conducted the SSO, MSO, TSO, QSO, WASO and OV.

Opera Companies with which he has performed include: Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, Opernhaus Köln, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Staatstheater Hannover, Opera Bastille Paris, Teatro Reggio di Parma, the Royal Opera Stockholm, Malmö Operan and Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne (including Hansel and Gretel, Wozzeck, Magic Flute, Tales of Hofmann, Lohengrin, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Tosca, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier, Salome).

Over the past ten years Johannes Fritzsch has given many Master classes for the German conductor training and development organisation, Dirigentenforum des Deutschen Musikrates. Similarly, he has been active and enthusiastic in his involvement in Australia’s Symphony International conductor development program.
Johannes was born in Dresden, Germany, where he completed his musical education at the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber”.

2015 AOBO

Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra

Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra (AOBO)

The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra (AOBO) is the busiest of all Australian orchestras, giving around 250 performances each year.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Opera Australia, the AOBO performs for Opera Australia and The Australian Ballet during their respective Sydney seasons.

Formerly the Sydney Elizabethan Orchestra, the AOBO has earned a reputation for warmth of sound and impressive flexibility in the most challenging of environments.

The repertory performance schedule of Opera Australia means that up to five different productions are being performed and prepared at any one time, resulting in up to 8 performances per week.

Notable recent productions for Opera Australia in the last year have included: Opera on Sydney Harbour – Aida, which saw the orchestra once again playing on a specially constructed harbour stage in the extremely successful fourth presentation of this event; the acclaimed new production of Faust, directed by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Guillaume Tourniaire, and The Australian Ballet‘s much-loved production of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, choreographed by Sir Peter Wright and conducted by The Royal Ballet’s Music Director, Barry Wordsworth.

In recent weeks the AOBO has been out of the Joan Sutherland Theatre orchestra pit, playing for the Sydney performance of From Broadway to La Scala on the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall Stage, and will soon return there (and to the Hamer Hall stage in Melbourne for the first time) to perform with internationally renowned soprano Angela Gheorghiu.

The orchestra has also recently completed a recording with 2008 ASC finalist Nicole Car, which is shortly to be released by ABC Classics.

Craig Hassall

CEO Opera Australia

Lyndon Terracini

Artistic Director, Opera Australia

Anthony Legge

Associate Music Director, Opera Australia

Jun-Yi Ma

Concertmaster and Artistic Advisor, AOBO

Gérard Patacca

General Manager, Orchestra

2015 Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra

List of players (PDF)

The Finals Concert will be broadcast live on ABC Classic FM

Audio recording: Andre Shrimski, Christian Huff-Johnston, Andrew Edgson

Production Design: Sketch Evolution Pty Limited

Project Designer: Charles Coy

Content Designer: Tim Hope

Photography and Videography by MOST

Videographer: Adrian Ussher

Photographer: Alfonso Calero

2015 Compere

2015 IFAC ASC Finals Compere - Damien Beaumont

Damien Beaumont

Damien Beaumont studied music (voice) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music before further studies in England, where he was mentored, advised and taught by such leading musicians as Leslie Howard, Andrew Field and Geoffrey Parsons.

Joining the ABC in 1999 he now presents the weekday 'Afternoon' program as well as many of the network’s direct broadcasts from the Sydney Opera House and other concert venues around Australia. His popular programs have seen two CDs released by ABC Classics as well as 'Ever Yours': selected letters written by Percy Grainger are read by Damien Beaumont, with music by Grainger performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Damien is in demand as a Master of Ceremonies, guest speaker, performing narrator and has presented many concerts and events on ABC TV including Jørn Utzon's State Memorial Service; Finals and preliminary finals over a number of years of the Symphony Australia Young Performers’ Awards.

He has worked closely with Opera Australia; presenting Carmen on the Big Screen; travelled to Taiwan and Edinburgh for Carmen and Bliss. In 2011 and 2012 he hosted Sydney’s Opera in the Domain and Opera Australia’s Opera for Flood Relief.

In 2010 he led a tour to Europe for the International Chopin Piano Competition. The tour “followed in the footsteps of Chopin” from Poland to Paris in the bicentenary year of Chopin’s birth. Other music tours have seen Damien take Australians and New Zealanders to New York, Austria, Germany and France.

Damien has had a long association with the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, broadcasting and performing in many of the concerts including; Strauss’ Enoch Arden with Piers Lane (piano); Jessica Duchen’s Song of Triumphant Love and Sins of the Father; Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid with oboist Diana Doherty; the Australian premier of Patrick Cardy's The Snow Queen with The Goldner String Quartet and has performed with many of Australia's finest, and other leading international musicians such as Michael Collins (clarinet), Phillipe Graffin, (violin) and Jack Liebeck, (violin) in such diverse works from Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale, to Australian composer Martin Wesley-Smith's Pip! to name a few.

2015 Finals Concert Programme

Download 2015 PDF Programme


Damian has a Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This year Damian makes his Opera Australia debut as ‘Rolan’ in their schools-touring production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola. Other recent roles include Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart in Mozart and Salieri by Rimsky-Korsakov, Hugo in Offenbach's Love By Lanternlight, The Tenor Lover in Puccini's Il Tabarro and Edward in Trial by Jury.Read more

Quanto é bella, quanto é cara L’elisir d’amore Donizetti

Instant charmant…..En fermant les yeux Manon Massenet

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Voice from the Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne Conservatorium. In 2015, Rebecca will covering the role of ‘foreign princess’ from Dvorak’s Czech opera Rusalka with Melbourne opera company XLArts and performing Santuzza in a Cavalleria Rusticana/Contrabandista double bill with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. And later in the year she will appear in the chorus of Opera Australia for the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of L’elisir D’amore.Read more

Mi tradi quell’alma ingrate Don Giovanni Mozart

Le spectre de la rose Les nuits d'été (Op.7) Berlioz

JEREMY KLEEMAN 24* bass baritone VIC
Jeremy has a Master of Music (Opera Performance) from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. He has appeared as a principle with various opera companies, most recently for Victorian Opera in I puritani and Sweeney Todd, and in the Best Opera Helpmann Award winning Faramondo for the Brisbane Baroque Festival.Read more

Tutto è disposto... Aprite un po' quegli occhi Le nozze di Figaro Mozart

Papageno's Suicide Aria (Papagena!) Die Zauberflöte Mozart

MAXIMILIAN RIEBL 23* counter tenor VIC
Maximilian engages in concert work and international competitions throughout Europe, Australia and the United Kingdom. He began his professional stage career as a boy soprano at the age of ten and has since performed in concerts, operas and oratorios in the Royal Albert Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus and Musikverein, the Sydney Opera House, Hamer Hall and the Kammeroper. His concert and operatic repertoire includes Bach's Johannes Passion, Magnificat and Mass in B minor, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Vivaldi's Gloria, Nisi Dominus and Magnificat, Mozart's Requiem, Pergolesi's Stabat Mater, John Blow's Venus and Adonis and Purcell's Fairy Queen.Read more

Che farò senza Euridice Orfeo ed Euridice Gluck

Fammi combattere Orlando Handel

BENSON WILSON 24* baritone NZ
Benson holds a Bachelor of Music Honours (Vocal Performance) from the University of Auckland. He was a Finalist and won second place in the 2014 Lexus Song Quest. Benson has performed as a concert soloist and in the chorus of several companies, most recently in Auckland Opera Studio’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor.Read more

It is Enough Elijah Mendelssohn

Mein Sehnen, Mein Wähnen Die Tote Stadt Korngold

Find out more

2015 Finals Concert Program

Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra

Overture The Bartered Bride by Smetana

Maximilian Riebl

Che farò senza Euridice Orfeo ed Euridice Gluck

Jeremy Kleeman

Tutto è disposto... Aprite un po' quegli occhi Le nozze di Figaro Mozart

Rebecca Gulinello

Mi tradi quell’alma ingrate Don Giovanni Mozart

Damian Arnold

Quanto é bella, quanto é cara L’elisir d’amore Donizetti

Benson Wilson

It is Enough Elijah Mendelssohn

Maximilian Riebl

Fammi combattere Orlando Handel

Jeremy Kleeman

Papageno's Suicide Aria (Papagena!) Die Zauberflöte Mozart

Rebecca Gulinello

Le spectre de la rose Les nuits d’été (Op.7) Berlioz

Damian Arnold

Instant charmant…En fermant les yeux Manon Massenet

Benson Wilson

Mein Sehnen, Mein Wähnen Die Tote Stadt Korngold

Interval - 20 minutes

Australian Opera & Ballet Orchestra

Capriccio Italien Tchaikovsky


John Alexander OAM, MP

Conal Coad

Midori Miyazaki

Approximately 2.5 hours with 20-minute interval.

Tonight’s performance has been granted a licence by APRA/AMCOS


Any audience member who signs up to our newsletter goes into the draw to win a signed painting, “Gesso Grosso,” by renowned contemporary artist Lisa Sharp.



17 X 17 X 2 CM (UNFRAMED)



Sunday 30th August 4:30pm

The Independent Theatre
269 Miller St, North Sydney NSW


Monday 31st July 1:00pm

The Opera Centre

480 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills NSW


Saturday 3th October 7pm

The Concourse Theatre
Cnr Victoria Ave and Anderson St, Chatswood NSW

2015 IFAC Australian Singing Competition Semi-Finals Concert Programme


Flowering Eucalyptus

2015 Sponsors

2015 IFAC ASC Sponsor - IFAC 2015 IFAC ASC Sponsor - MOST 2015 IFAC ASC Sponsor - ABC Classic FM 2015 IFAC ASC Sponsor - Gridiger Lawyers

2015 Special Thanks





Justin DAVIS


Jennifer FUNG

Michael GASSON









Patricia PRICE




Claude ULLIN





Calendar / Events

No Events




Our Facebook page
Our Twitter page
Our YouTube channel
Our Tumblr page
Our Wikipedia page


Emma Moore shares her experience winning the Marianne Mathy Scholarship.

Emma Moore, Soprano

Winner of the 2011 Marianne Mathy Scholarship, Emma shares her experience about the ASC and what it's like to win 'The Mathy'

Visit our YouTube channel