Opera & Arts Support Group Vocal Scholarship Background

The Opera & Arts Support Group formed its initial links with Sydney Eisteddfod in 1992, when it stepped in to sponsor the Mozart Soprano Aria for singers in the 20 to 25 age group. Established in 1961 by former Sun Aria winner, singer and teacher Florence Taylor in memory of her hugely successful student Marjorie Conley who died tragically young in 1959, this event had such a poignant history, the Opera and Arts Support Group decided to increase the prize to $500 and present it as a small scholarship. Its members delighted in the talent it attracted and when adjudicator Neil Easton awarded the prize to Amelia Farrugia, they knew she was a potential star and began discussing the possibility of offering a bigger scholarship in the Sydney Eisteddfod framework.

Carrying a prize of $1,000, the scholarship bowed into the Sydney Eisteddfod program on August 27 1993 at the St Laurence Arts Centre in Pitt Street, Sydney, and 23 years on it continues to promote the highest standards in singing and benefit the careers of developing singers. Now with a total prize purse of $17,000, it showcases the talents of outstanding singers aged 30 years and under. The outright winner receives $10,000, the Paul Worthington OAM Encouragement Award of $5,000 rewards the singer who finishes in second place, the Graham Matheson Award of $1,000 is presented to the winner of the Audience Vote and the four remaining finalists receive $250 each.

1993 Tie between Timothy Collins & Voice coach and teacher
Craig Everingham Singer and teacher
1994 Timothy Collins As above
1995 Timothy Collins As above
1996 Goran Jordanov Well known Sydney singer
1997 Stephen Tall Opera Australia and Musical Theatre
1998 Richard Anderson Principal artist, Opera Australia
1999 Matthew Henrick Known as the Cammeray Singing Waiter
2000 Matthew Henrick As above
2001 Tanith Bryce Professional singer and teacher
2002 Dominica Matthews Principal artist with Opera Australia
2003 Celeste Lazarenko Well known opera Singer
2004 Caroline Wenborne Principal artist ensemble Vienna State Opera
and singing in Germany
2005 Anita Watson Enjoying a successful career abroad based
in London
2006 Suzanne Shakespeare Making her name as a professional singer
in Britain
2007 Phoenicia Johnson Singing in Germany
2008 Jin Hee Uhm (now known as Eva Kong) Singing with Opera Australia and
Opera Australia Young Artist
2009 John Longmuir Principal artist with Opera Australia
2010 Emma Moore Making a name for herself in Germany
2011 Bryony Dwyer Singing successfully in Europe
2012 Anna Dowsley Principal artist with Opera Australia
2013 Rachel Bate Singer and Head of Voice at the Wollongong
Conservatorium of Music
2014 Lucinda-Mirikata Deacon Studying and performing
2015 Tabatha McFadyen Excelling in her singing studies

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