Australian Singing Competition - 2016 Semi-Finals

2016 Semi-Finals Concert Programme


MOST Chairman - Roland Gridiger

Roland Gridiger, CEO MOST®

“Welcome to the Semi-Finals Concert of the 2016 IFAC Australian Singing Competition. This afternoon you will hear ten talented young singers whose dedication and commitment to their craft has catapulted them to commence their journey to the world stage. This week, each Semi Finalist participated in a workshop presented by soprano and teacher Anke Höppner. The five Finalists selected tonight will emerge themselves tomorrow afternoon in a MasterClass with Italian soprano Barbara Frittoli – don’t miss it!

This is our 35th Semi-Finals and we are honoured to have with us an esteemed panel of adjudicators including our National Adjudicator, Lyndon Terracini AM. We invite you to visit our YouTube Channel where you can view performances going back three decades. Our Channel has proven wonderfully popular and has had to date over 700,000 views.

We thank our friends, sponsors and supporters for making this afternoon possible. We wish each of the Semi-Finalists a successful performance and look forward to welcoming you to the finals Thursday 18 August 2016 at the Concourse Concert Hall, Chatswood.”

About the Semi-Finals

More than a Concert

The 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. 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 Australian Singing Competition.

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 lieder, art song, or chanson). The Adjudicators hear any or all of these pieces in the Private Adjudication session held the day before the Concert.

After the Private Adjudication, the ten singers compete one last time onstage at the Semi-Finals Concert. Each singer performs two pieces, one of which must be an art song. This requirement was intended to encourage young classical singers who wanted careers outside of opera and remains a distinctive element of the Competition.

From the ten Semi-Finalists, only five will be selected as Finalists. These five will appear at the Finals Concert on Thursday 18th August at 7pm in the Concert Hall of the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. Now in its 35th year, the ASC has showcased nearly 3,000 singers who have competed for more than $2.8 million in prizes. 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.

2016 National Adjudicator

2016 IFAC ASC National Adjudicator - Lyndon Terracini

Lyndon Terracini AM

Lyndon Terracini AM is the Artistic Director of Opera Australia, and has also enjoyed a highly successful international opera career as well as a successful career as an actor, director and writer.

Lyndon Terracini was appointed Artistic Director and CEO of the Queensland Music Festival in July 2000 and directed the 2001, 2003 and 2005 Festivals. He was appointed Artistic Director/CEO of Brisbane Festival in 2005 and Artistic Director/CEO of Major Brisbane Festivals in November 2007.

In June 1999, Lyndon Terracini was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music Theatre by Central Queensland University. In February 2000, he was awarded a Fellowship by the Music Fund of the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2001, he was awarded an Honorary D. Univ. from Southern Cross University and in July 2005 he was awarded the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural leadership Award by Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF). In 2005 Lyndon Terracini was also appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and in 2007 he was awarded a D.Univ. from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

He was also a member of the International Jury for the Venice Biennale for Music and Savonlinna Opera Festival, and delivered the 2011 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address.

In 2014, Lyndon’s service to the performing arts as an opera performer, director and administrator was recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.




Lyndon Terracini AM
National Adjudicator

Rowena Cowley 
Director of HDR Performance Research and Senior Lecturer in Voice/Pedagogy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Lisa Gasteen AO
Renowned mezzo-soprano and Chair of Practice Professor of Opera at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University.

Emma Matthews
Highly acclaimed and awarded soprano.

Benjamin Schwartz
Director of Artistic Planning at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.



2016 IFAC ASC Semi-Finals Compere - Greg Lenthen

Greg Lenthen

Journalist and opera buff Greg Lenthen has supported the IFAC 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 IFAC Australian Singing Competition.


2016 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.

2016 Guest Artist

2016 Guest Artists - NSW Youth Orchestra Quartet

NSW Youth Orchestra Quartet 

Established in 2016, the New South Wales Youth Orchestra Quartet comprises the orchestra’s principal string players. Holding nine AMEB Diplomas between them, these four highly accomplished musicians share a wealth of solo, chamber and orchestral experience. 

Anna-Lisa Tie
Principal First Violin

Nathan Tie
Principal Second Violin

Isabella Bignasca
Principal Viola

Harry Godber
Principal Cellist


Semi-Finals Concert
Sunday 3 July 4:30pm
Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street
North Sydney

Monday 4 July 1:00pm
Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street
North Sydney

Finals Concert
Thursday 18 August 7:00pm
Concert Hall
The Concourse Theatre
409 Victoria Avenue

2016 Semi-FInals Concert Programme

Download PDF 2016 Print Programme

2016 Semi-Finalists

(by last name in alphabetical order)

SARAH AMPIL  25 soprano NSW
Sarah has a Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Performance) and Master of Music Studies (Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. Her recent roles include Miss Tylney Long in English Eccentrics at the Conservatorium of Sydney and she performed as a soloist in the MASS: A Theatre Piece at the Sydney Opera House.


Heimliches Lieben / Schubert

Je suis encore tout étourdie
Manon / Massenet

Morgan holds a Bachelor of Music in Advanced Performance in Classical Voice from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. She has most recently performed in Purcell’s King Arthur and as a soloist in the Vivaldi’s Gloria both at the 2016 Brisbane Baroque Festival. She has worked with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes and Queensland Conservatorium Chamber Orchestra.


Oh! Quand je dors / Liszt

Ah, Tardai troppo...O luce di quest'anima
Linda di Chamounix / Donizetti

ANASTASIA BICKEL 25 mezzo soprano QLD
In 2015, Anastasia completed the final year of her Bachelor of Music (Classical Voice) at the Queensland Conservatorium, and graduated with straight High Distinctions in both languages and voice. Upcoming roles include “Florence Pike” in Albert Herring directed by Bruce Beresford and appearances as a soloist at the 2016 Brisbane Baroque Festival.


In the Silence of the Mysterious Night
Opus 4. No. 3 / Rachmaninov

The Swimmer    
Sea Pictures Elgar

ELIZA BOOM 22 soprano NSW
Eliza is currently completing a Post-Graduate Certificate in Opera Studies at the University of Waikato. In 2015 she obtained a Bachelor of Music with 1st Class Honours also from the University of Waikato. Recent performances include “Leatitia” in The Old Maid and the Thief and in 2016 appeared as the “Countess” in Le Nozze di Figaro both at the University of Waikato.


Cherry Valley
Three Pastoral Songs / Quilter

Je dis, que rien ne m'épouvante
Carmen / Bizet

JARVIS DAMS 25 baritone NZ
Jarvis Dams has a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. In 2016 Jarvis has performed extensively with New Zealand Opera, performing in Tosca, Madama Butterfly and La Cennerentola. He has worked with Haken Hagegard and Renée Fleming in Masterclasses held in 2015 and 2016 respectively.


Nacht und Träume 
D. 827 / Schubert

L'Orage s'est calmé 
Les Pêcheurs De Perles / Bizet

Zoe has a Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) with 1st Class Honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. She has appeared most recently with Opera Prometheus as “Son” in Monsoon and as “Monica” in The Medium. She has also worked as a soloist with various companies including the Sydney Philharmonia Choir and Orchestra.


Monica’s Waltz 
The Medium / Menotti

Apparition / Debussy

Frederick is currently completing a Masters in Advanced Vocal Technique at the Wales International Academy of Voice. His most recent engagement was in Day’s Bay Opera’s production of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and he has appeared as a soloist in various productions including Ainadamar with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the 2014 New Zealand Festival and Il corsaro for the New Zealand School of Music.


Lunge da lei…De’ miei bollenti spiriti
La traviata / Verdi

Sure on this shining night / Barber

NICHOLAS TOLPUTT 25 counter tenor NSW
Originally from Tasmania but based in Sydney, Nicholas has a Bachelor of Music (Voice) from the University of Melbourne. His most recent engagements were in the 2016 Brisbane Baroque Festival, where he was invited to perform for the third year in a row. He has also performed in the 2013 and 2014 Hobart Baroque festivals, where he appeared in solo recitals and understudied the role of “Medoro” in the festival’s centrepiece opera, Orlando.


Stille amare 
Tolomeo / Handel

Silent Noon  
The House of Life / Williams

SARAH WANG 24 soprano NSW
Sarah has a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, The University of Sydney. Sarah has appeared as “Fox” in The Cunning Little Vixen and “Papagena” in The Magic Flute both for Pacific Opera and was “Barbarina” in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera New England.


Come scoglio
Così fan tutte / Mozart

Les filles de Cadix / Delibes

NSW Youth Orchestra Quartet

String Quartet Op. 27 Grieg
I. Un poco andante – Allegro molto ed agitato
III. Intermezzo: Allegro molto marcato


Winners of the following – 
Sydney Photography Tours Prize 
Lana Woolf Prize 
Istituto Italiano Di Cultura Award
Radzyminski Family Prize 
Lisa Gasteen National Opera School Prize 
AOAC Judith Ward Lieder Scholarship
Tinkler Encouragement Award

Announcement of –

2016 Finalists

Approximately 3 hours, with a 20-minute interval.

All Semi-Finalists have received the BetterU Prize and the Running Bare Prize. Flowers are provided by Flowers in Season. Gifts are provided by  from Silvia – Gluten Free Cuisine and Huntington Estate Wines.

The Semi-Finals Concert will be broadcast on Fine Music 102.5 on Wednesday 3 August at 1pm.
Audio Recording: Fine Music 102.5
Engineer: Conan Tran & Peter Truong
PresenterCamille Mercep

Photography and videography by MOST®
Videographer: Adrian Ussher
Photography: Alfonso Calero

The Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd would like to acknowledge the support of our Sponsors for the Semi-Finals:

Australian Opera Awards Committee 
BetterU Health Services
Judy Deacon
Fine Music 102.5
Flowers In Season
From Silvia Gluten Free Cuisine
ING Group
Johannes Fritzsch
Gridiger Lawyers  
David Harper
Anke Höppner
Huntington Estate Wines
Istituto Italiano di Cultura
Greg Lenthen
Judith Ward 
Lana Woolf
Lisa Gasteen National Opera School
Lucienne Radzyminski
Running Bare
Sydney Photography Tours 
Tinkler Trust


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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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