Australian Singing Competition - Prizes & Opportunities


"Recognised as Australasia's richest competition for opera & classical singing, in three decades over 3,000 singers have entered the competition and in excess of $2.7 million in prizes, plus many career opportunities have been awarded."

Awarded at the Finals

Marianne Mathy Scholarship ('The Mathy')

AUD $30,000 to assist with a program of study and/or singing activity

The winner of The Mathy will also receive:

1. Audition Prize from Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center: an opportunity to audition for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s professional-artist development program, The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, in Chicago. Date to be mutually agreed upon; singer responsible for travel and lodging.

Ryan Opera Center

2. Fine Music 102.5 Recording Session - One-hour studio recording from Fine Music 102.5.

Fine Music FM

3. Lili Ussher Prize Portrait painting of the winner in concert dress.

4. Oral History Award Taped interview by oral historian Diana Ritch will be recorded and retained within the Oral History Collection of the National Library of Australia.

5. The Mathy Limited edition Drago Marin Cherina sculpture presented by Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST®).

Drago Marin Cherina on Wikipedia


Guildhall School of Music
and Drama Award

Fees for one year’s study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the Postgraduate Diploma Vocal Training Course in the academic year 2018/2019. Sponsored by Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.

Guildhall School of Music

The winner will also receive the AUD $5,000 Pasqualina Lipari Prize. Sponsored by V&A Accountants and Business Advisors, Adelaide.

Royal Northern College of Music Award

Fees for one year’s study at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester (UK) in the academic year 2018/2019. Sponsored by Royal Northern College of Music, UK.

Royal Northern College of Music

Adler-Buchmann International Program Scholarship

Fees for either a one year non-degree course in the academic year 2018/19 or a two-year master’s degree program in the academic years 2018/20 at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music A stipend of up to AUD $11,500 towards living expenses is also provided. Sponsored by Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University.

ROSL ARTS Scholarship
Royal Over-seas League (UK, VIC)

The scholarship includes:

  • A return economy flight from Australia to London in July/August 2018 or 2019.
  • A cash award of AUD $2,000 from the Australian Victorian Branch of ROSL.
  • Accommodation and hospitality for two weeks in London.
  • One week in Edinburgh.
  • Cash grant of 500 pounds sterling to cover personal expenses in the UK.
  • Consultation lessons/coaching with prominent UK teachers.
  • Participation in an evening concert in London for the ROSL.
  • A lunchtime recital at either St James’s Piccadilly or St Martin in the Fields.
  • Participation in ROSL ARTS Edinburgh Festival Fringe Concert Series.
  • Provision of a ROSL prizewinning accompanist for all performances.
  • Tickets for a wide range of opera, theatre and concert performances, including the Royal Opera House, BBC. Promenade Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, and the Edinburgh International Festival

Sponsored by ROSL ARTS; ROSL UK (London) and ROSL Victoria Australia

Merenda Legacy Prize

Cash grant of AUD $8,000 to enable the recipient to study the Italian language in Italy. Sponsored by the Merenda Foundation.

Saarbrücken Opera House Prize

A three-week program at State Opera House of Saarbrücken.

  • Opportunities for language coaching and cultural experiences
  • Access to the company, orchestral, rehearsals, performances and auditions.

Sponsored by Dr. Nicholas Milton.

The winner will also receive the AUD $5,000 Phoebe Patrick Award. Sponsored by Donna Woodhill, Sydney.

Nelly Apt Scholarship

Scholarship of up to AUD $7,000 to fund travel and accommodation to attend the Israeli Opera Young Artist Program at the Meitar Opera Studio in Tel Aviv. The 4-5 week program features many projects, coachings, master classes and performances and runs from mid-October to early June. Sponsored by the Israeli Opera and the Nelly Apt Estate.

International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI) New York Scholarship

A scholarship to attend the IVAI Summer School in New York in July 2018. Sponsored by IVAI, New York.

The winner will also receive the AUD $3,000 Nell Pascall Award. Sponsored by the Nell Pascall Estate.

Bel Canto Voice Program Scholarship

An opportunity to attend the Audition Training Opera Program in Munich in 2018. Sponsored by the Bel Canto Summer Voice Program, Munich.

The winner will also receive the AUD $2,500 Haas Award to assist with travel expenses. Sponsored by the Haas Family Trust.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra Award

An engagement to perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Sponsored by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

The Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Prize

Professional engagement to perform with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs in 2018. Sponsored by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra Prize

An engagement to perform with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. Sponsored by the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

WAAPA International
Art Song Academy Prize

A scholarship to attend and participate in the next Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) International Art Song Academy, including flights, accommodation and master classes with internationally renowned accompanist Graham Johnson and other international guests.  Sponsored by the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Edith Cowan University, Perth.

David Harper Award

Ten lessons with internationally renowned vocal coach and accompanist, David Harper. Sponsored by David Harper.

Christine Leaves Award

Thirty (30) hours of publicist consultation, business and promotional planning over a 5-year period. Also includes the creation of business cards and/or a basic website. Sponsored by Christine Leaves.

MOST® Audience Prize

$500 cash grant from Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd awarded by audience vote. Sponsored by MOST®.

Opera Australia Prize

Opportunity for all Finalists to attend rehearsals in Melbourne or Sydney, observing an opera throughout the stages of its production. Sponsored by Opera Australia.


Awarded at the Semi-Finals

Ingrid Davidson Award

The use of an upright piano for 2 years made by Richard Lipp of Stuttgart, German s/n 42056. Only Sydney residents are eligible for this Award. Sponsored by Steve Davidson and Sheila McKechnie.

Tinkler Encouragement Award

Awarded to a singer not selected as a Finalist. Sponsored by the Tinkler Trust.

Radzyminski Family Prize

French tuition at an Alliance Francaise Centre in the singer's city. Sponsored by Lucienne Radzyminski.

Istituto Italiano di Cultura Award

25 hours of study in Italian at the Italian Cultural Institute in Sydney. Sponsored by istituto Italiano di Cultura, Sydney.

Running Bare Prize

Gift Voucher for each Semi-Finalist to purchase sports clothing and accessories. Sponsored by Running Bare.



The recipients of any Scholarships and Prizes are reminded that the cash component is a form of income. Any enquiries regarding tax should be referred to the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation, an accountant or a registered tax consultant. The IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition and its administrator, Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST®) act as co-ordinator of the above prizes and opportunities and cannot accept responsibility if any provider is unable to fulfill its obligations in any form. If the recipient of any Scholarship connected to funds elects not to proceed with that Scholarship, the associated funds must be forfeited and may be made available to another Finalist.

The IFAC Handa ASC and MOST® take no responsibility for the acceptance of Scholarships that involve overseas travel. This decision is taken solely at the discretion of the recipient who should check the current status of the country in question with the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs at the time of travel.

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.

Hand cast in solid bronze, 'The Mathy' stands 195mm tall (230mm including its base) and weighs in at just under 1kg.

'The Mathy' limited edition Drago Marin Cherina bronze statuette was first awarded to Western Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin in 2000.

If have have any questions, contact us at the address below:

IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition

Level 4
Culwulla Chambers
67 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000

T: (+61 2) 9231 4293
F: (+61 2) 9221 8201


















































































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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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