Australian Singing Competition - 2013 Semi-Finals Concert

2013 Semi-Finals Concert Programme


MOST Chairman - Roland Gridiger

Roland Gridiger, CEO MOST®

"We are delighted to present to you the Semi-Finals Concert of the 2013 IFAC Australian Singing Competition.

All the singers who entered the Competition were heard by our National Adjudicator Emma Matthews and local adjudicators in Heats held across Australia and New Zealand.

Over 230,000 "views" have been logged on our YouTube channel. But whether you are a seasoned opera-goer or new to the art form, the Semi-Finals Concert is an extraordinary opportunity to hear live ten exciting singers at the start of their careers accompanied by David Harper.

We would like to thank our sponsors and supporters for making this event possible and we wish each of the Semi-Finalists the very best."

National Adjudicator

2013 IFAC ASC National Adjudicator - Emma Matthews

Emma Matthews

The IFAC Australian Singing Competition has the privilege of having one of Australia's most highly-regarded sopranos as this year's National Adjudicator. We are also fortunate that Emma will be working with the 2013 Semi-Finalists in the 'Characterisation and Movement' Workshop.

Emma Matthews is a highly acclaimed and awarded coloratura soprano equally at home in operatic and concert repertoire. She has performed with all the Australian State Symphony orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Liaison, and at the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Huntington Festivals, with such conductors as Richard Bonynge, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Charles Mackerras, Marko Letonja and Yakov Kreizberg.


Photo (Bridget Elliott): Emma Matthews.



Peter Czornyj
Director of Artistic Planning with the Sydney Symphony.

Michael Halliwell
Associate Professor of Vocal Studies and Opera and the Associate Dean (Research) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Ian McCahon
Director of Artistic Administration at Opera Australia.

Find Out More


2013 IFAC ASC Semi-Finals Compere - Greg Lenthen

Greg Lenthen

Journalist and opera buff Greg Lenthen has supported the Australian Singing Competition since it began in 1982, helping behind the scenes and in front of them too.

When the fledgling competition needed an honorary publicist, there was Greg. And when it needed a compere for the very first Semi-Finals Concert, again Greg volunteered. Greg has often reprised the role over the ensuing decades, and we are very pleased to have him compering the Semi-Finals again this year.

While Greg’s more than four decades in journalism have been mainly in newspapers, he also spent a decade in radio. These days Greg is rarely behind the microphone – except in a good cause, such as helping foster the opera stars of tomorrow through the Australian Singing Competition.


2012 IFAC ASC Semi-Finals Accompanist - David Harper

David Harper

Born and raised in New Zealand but based in the UK for the last forty years, David has earned a glowing reputation worldwide for his accompanying and vocal coaching skills. His clientele includes various distinguished international singers – many of whom also frequently invite him to collaborate in recital at prestigious international venues, as well as students and young aspiring professionals from all points of the globe.

Over the last decade David has often returned to Australasia, establishing a prominent professional profile here to complement his northern hemisphere activities. Biennial visits enable him to fulfil a variety of commitments including intermittent guest coaching periods with Opera Australia, tutorships at summer singing schools, song recital engagements, and regular private vocal coaching stints in numerous locations.

David is proud to maintain his longstanding association with the IFAC Australian Singing Competition as accompanist and prize donor.

2013 Guest Artists

2013 Guest Artists - The Grace Quartet

The Grace Quartet

The Grace Quartet features violinists Esther and Grace, violist Eunice, and cellist Caleb. The siblings have been performing together since 2004.

Grace Wong (24) plays the piano and violin. She gained the AMusA in piano at the age of 13, and the LMusA at age 15, studying under Nada Brissenden. She has also won numerous awards in competitions, including the Sydney Eisteddfod and Australian National Eisteddfod.

Grace now spends much of her time performing as a piano accompanist and also teaches a large number of students from Cootamundra and surrounding towns.

Eunice Wong (21) plays the flute, viola and piano and is studying under the well-known Sydney based flautist Jocelyn Fazzone, and Anne Louise Comerford, associate principal violist of the Sydney Symphony.

Eunice was awarded the AMusA in piano under Nada Brissenden. She performed in the Suzuki Grand Concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre and won many awards in competitions. She also was awarded the AMusA in flute and gained the AMusA with distinction in viola.

Esther Wong (17) plays the harp, violin, piano and recorder. At age 11, she won the Australian National Eisteddfod’s NCO Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the National Capital Orchestra. At age 13, she was awarded the AMusA in recorder with distinction and was a soloist at the AMEB Graduation Ceremony.

Esther performed as a piano soloist in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall at the ages of 7 and 9. More recently, she was awarded the AMusA in piano with distinction. She is now studying piano under Arnan Wiesel and studying the harp under world-renowned harpist Alice Giles.

Caleb Wong (15) achieved honours in the 8th grade cello exam at the age of 10 and later went on to gain the AMusA with distinction. He studies cello under Professor Uzi Wiesel and regularly gives recitals at the Crisp Galleries. He has recorded for ABC FM Riverina, Fine Music 102.5 Sydney, ArtSound FM Canberra, and has given a recital at the 2011 Adelaide International Cello Festival.

This year, he is a finalist in the Preston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition for the second time. In July, he received first place at the Sydney Eisteddfod in both the 16 yrs/u cello and viola solo and the 18 yrs/u cello and viola solo sections. Caleb is also currently studying piano under Arnan Wiesel. In 2011, Caleb was awarded the AMusA in piano with distinction and performed in a masterclass with Lang Lang at the Sydney Opera House.

2013 Semi-FInals Concert Programme

Download PDF programme


Currently studying a Postgraduate Advanced Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Recent performances include the role of Aeneas in Dido & Aeneas and the role of Uberto in La Serva Padrona..Read more

Die beiden Grenadiere Op. 49 No. 1  

Or dove fuggo io mai?...Ah, per sempre  
I Puritani Bellini

BIANCA ANDREW 23* mezzo soprano NZ
Holds a Postgraduate Diploma of Music from the New Zealand School of Music and is an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera. Recently performed the roles of Lucette/Cinderella in Massenet’s Cinderella (Gertrude Opera, Melbourne)... Read more

Nocturne Four Songs Op. 13

Una voce poco fa
Il Barbiere di Siviglia Rossini

Currently studying a Postgraduate Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Recently performed the role of Yum-Yum in Glibert and Sullivan’s The Mikado..Read more

Have peace Jo
Little Women Adamo


Holds a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Music (Hons) from the University of Melbourne. Recently performed the role of Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and will appear later this year in Opera Australia’s Ring Cycle... Read more

Après un rêve Op. 7, No. 1

Una furtive lagrima
L'elisir d'amore Donizetti 

ANASTASIA BICKEL 22* mezzo soprano TAS 
Completing the final year of a Bachelor of Music at the University of Tasmania, a degree which she began at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. Recently performed as a soloist with the Hobart Orpheus Choir... Read more

Prokhodit vsyo Op. 26 No. 15

Vani sono I lamenti…Svegliatevi nel core
Giulio Cesare Handel

JANET TODD 24* soprano VIC 
Holds a Bachelor of Music from the Victorian College of the Arts, and she has studied at various opera schools both here in Australia and in America. Has just finished touring with Oz Opera’s Don Giovanni, in which she played the role of Donna Elvira... Read more

Quatre chansons de jeunesse Debussy

Quel guardo il cavaliere…So anch'io la virtù magica
Don Pasquale Donizetti

Holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Auckland and is an Emerging Artist with the Dame Malvina Major Foundation. Recently performed in New Zealand Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly... Read more

Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre
Carmen Bizet

Der Erlkönig D. 328 Op. 1

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

Chanson triste

O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn
Die Zauberflöte Mozart

JADE MOFFAT 23* mezzo soprano QLD 
Holds a Bachelor of Music from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and is a Developing Artist with Opera Queensland. Recently performed the role of Tisbe in Cinderella (Opera Queensland)... Read more

Von ewiger Liebe Op. 43 No. 1

Disprezzata regina
L’Incoronazione di Poppea Monteverdi 

CARMEN YOUNG 24* soprano NSW
Recently relocated from Tasmania to Sydney to commence a Masters in Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Recently performed the role of Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro... Read more

Il est doux, il est bon
Hérodiade Massenet

Cäcilie Op. 27 No. 2

Interval – 20 minutes 

Guest Artists 

The Grace Quartet
Allegro moderato and Nocturne 
String Quartet No. 2 Borodin


Emma Matthews and Greg Lenthen
Winners of the following – 

St James Recital Prize

Radzyminski Family Prize

Parszos Prize

Instituto Italiano Di Cultura Award 

Running Bare Prize

Tinkler Encouragement Award

Announcement of –
2013 Finalists

Approximately 3 hours, with a 20-minute interval.

*Age as at entry.


Flowers courtesy of: The Flower Atelier
Audio Recording: Fine Music 102.5
Engineer: Conan Tran


The Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST®) would like to acknowledge the support of the following sponsors –

Fine Music 102.5 | Virtuosi

Gridiger Lawyers

Huntington Estate Wines

Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST®)


St James' Church, King Street

The Flower Atelier

Tinkler Estate


Semi-Finals Concert

Wednesday 11 September 7pm
The Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street
North Sydney


Thursday 12 September 12pm
The Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street
North Sydney

Finals Concert

Saturday 28 September 7pm
Verbrugghen Hall
Sydney Conservatorium of Music
Macquarie Street, Sydney

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Nicole Car shares her experience in the 2008 Australian Singing Competition.

Nicole Car, Soprano

One of Australia's leading young sopranos, Nicole shares her experience in the 2008 Australian Singing Competition.

In September 2012, Nicole was the winner of the 2012 Opera Awards and is a member of Opera Australia's Young Artists Program. 

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