Australian Singing Competition - Semi-Finals


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'".

Private Adjudication

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.

Public 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.

View programme

Download PDF programme

Photo, top 'The Theatre', The Concourse, Cnr Victoria Avenue and Anderson Street, Chatswood.

2017 Programme

View programme

Download PDF programme

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.

Calendar / Events

No Events




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


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.

Thanks to your support, we're now over 800,000 views on our YouTube Channel.

If you haven't visited, check it out – you'll find almost 600 videos featuring recent and historical performances, interviews and more from participants spanning 3 decades. If you LOVEOPERA, visit and subscribe today!

Help us reach 1 million views in 2017!  


Visit our YouTube channel