Australian Singing Competition - Artist Development

Artist Development Programme

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.

- William Arthur Ward

In 2016 the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition launches an exciting new Artist Development Programme (ADP) under the direction of acclaimed soprano Emma Matthews. All Finalists in the Competition are invited to enrol in the programme and will be matched with an appropriate Mentor.

The Mentor will work with the singer over twelve months and may suggest further training and activities tailored to their individual needs. The ASC aims to ensure that entrants are engaged through these opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and expertise. It is our hope that the ADP will be the foundation for bright, sustainable careers.

It is envisaged the Artist Development Programme:

  • will encourage professionals within the industry to take on a mentoring role for singers who are just embarking on their own learning and career journey;
  • will offer strong lines of communication within a supportive environment; and
  • will be focused and provide clear, quantifiable outcomes.

We believe that as well as being happier, healthier and more fulfilled, participants in our programme will also deliver improved artistic performances.

2016 October Update

The inaugural Artist Development Programme (ADP) has successfully launched with all participants expressing great enthusiasm and excitement for the year ahead.

In the weeks following the Finals, Emma Matthews, coordinator of the programme, reviewed all six applications and carefully selected Mentors for each of the singers.  Those pairings were confirmed in late September.

This year we have six singers in the cohort. At the discretion of the ADP panel, Anastasia Bickel was invited to join this year's Mentor Programme.

The Mentors were briefed on their role in the Programme, given detailed information about their Mentees, and then Emma facilitated the introductions.

Each Mentor will now work with their singer over the next twelve months giving career advice and guidance and they may also suggest further training and activities tailored to the singer’s individual needs. This highly personalised approach is unique among mentoring programmes of this kind in Australia.

The ADP is part of the Music & Opera Singers Trust Professional Development programme that aims to provide young artists with the tools required to craft successful, long-lasting careers.


Morgan Balfour & Rachelle Durkin

Morgan, a soprano from NSW currently studying at the San Francisco Conservatorium, has been paired with New York-based lyric coloratura soprano Rachelle Durki.

Anastasia Bickel & Linnhe Robertson

Queensland mezzo Anastasia has been paired with respected vocal coach and Artistic and Research Consultant for Opera & Voice at Guildhall, Linnhe Robertson.

Eliza Boom & Cheryl Barker AO

Eliza Boom, a soprano from New Zealand, has been paired with celebrated international soprano, Cheryl Barker AO.

Jarvis Dams & Peter Coleman-Wright

Baritone Jarvis Dams from New Zealand has been paired with acclaimed baritone Peter Coleman-Wright.

Nicholas Tolputt & Graham Pushee

2016 Mathy Winner, NSW-based countertenor Nicholas has been paired with renowned Australian countertenor Graham Pushee.

Sarah Wang & Stuart Skelton

Sarah Wang, a NSW soprano currently completing a Masters at the University of Southern California has been paired with one of the finest heldentenors on the stage today, critically acclaimed Stuart Skelton.

2016 Mentors

View programme

The ASC Artist Development Programme is made possible through the generous support of
Roy & Gay Woodward and Antonio & Concetta Pirello.

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.

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.

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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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