Music & Opera Singers Trust was forced to make the devastating decision to cancel the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition this year due to Covid-19. On the whole, 2020 brought unprecedented challenges for singers. So, in response to this crisis, and to continue to give young singers the opportunity to perform and compete, the Music & Opera Singers Trust established the inaugural ASC @ Home International Online Singing Competition for singers over the age of 18 from around the world affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
The competition was structured in four categories and all entries were judged by internationally-renowned industry professionals who chose the winner in their category. The Opera and Classical category was judged by Nicole Car, the Musical Theatre Category was judged by Matthew Lee Robinson, the Jazz category was judged by Katie Noonan and the Contemporary category was judged by Suzi Quatro.
Cash prizes of $1,000USD were awarded to first place winners in each of the four categories: Classical and Opera; Musical Theatre; Contemporary (Rock & Pop); and, Jazz.
An additional $500USD was awarded to the winner of the audience-choice vote.
ASC@Home was run entirely online and supported government regulated stay-at-home measures in force around the world by requiring all entries to be recorded in a home environment by a solo singer.
To help as many people to get involved as possible, and to provide no barrier for any talented singer to enter, there was no entry fee, nor any charge to vote in the Competition. Entrants had to be age 18+ to enter ASC@Home.
Singers simply recorded a video entry and shared it on YouTube. It did not have to be professionally recorded or made in a professional setting like a studio, the idea was for singers to do their best and have fun.
The competition was a great success with a number of entrants contacting our team to express their gratitude. The competition brought much needed online attention to these talented performers and to MOST. The competition was also picked up by a number of publications including Limelight Magazine and The Guardian Australia.
Multidisciplinary Singer Eliza Boom impressed both the Opera & Classical and Musical Theatre judges, winning both categories and receiving a combined total of $2000USD for her operatic performance of “Stridono lassu” by Leoncavallo and her Musical Theatre performance of “Pretty Funny” by Pasek & Paul.
The runners up for the Opera & Classical category were Michael Petruccelli and Matthew Dixon while Courtney Monsma and Chelsea Dawson were the runners up of the Musical Theatre category.
Sydney jazz performer Stephanie Russell was selected by Katie Noonan as the ASC@Home jazz winner for her performance of “On Green Dolphin Street” by Bronisław Kaper. The runners up in the jazz category were Alex Steedman and Demi Louise.
Contemporary judge Suzi Quatro, selected Renae Mockler’s performance of “God Speaking” by Mandisa as the winning contemporary performance. Raffaele Pierno and Stephen Chikazaza were the contemporary runners up.
The competition also distributed an Audience Choice Prize of $500USD. This prize was won by Malaysian Opera and Classical Singer Mabel Soong who received 376 votes out of a competition total of 3753. The runner’s up for the Audience Choice Prize were Lucie Kaňková and Naarah Barnes.
“I am so thrilled to have been selected out of so many wonderful contestants for these prizes,” winner of the Opera & Classical and Musical Theatre categories Eliza Boom said.
“An infinite thankyou to the Australian Singing Competition for supporting artists at this difficult time and over the many years – what they do is invaluable”
ASC@Home received 137 entries; 58 entries in the Opera category, 49 entries in the Musical Theatre category, 17 entries in the Contemporary category, 13 in the Jazz category. There were entries from 15 different countries within an age range of 18-66. MOST received 3,753 online audience choice votes.