Baritone Jarvis Dams has secured the $20,000 Dame Malvina Major Foundation first prize at the prestigious New Zealand Aria in Rotorua.
Alongside nine other finalists each accompanied by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, the former Dame Malvina Major Foundation Emerging Artist performed Puccini’s Questo Amor from Edgar.
Adjudicator Sharolyn Kimmorley says Jarvis’s win came down to a complete performance which included his ability to communicate, suitability of repertoire and performance arc where he successfully created a dramatic situation.
“Aside from the fact his voice sounded fantastic with the orchestra.”
A finalist at two previous competitions, Jarvis says he’s enjoyed the opportunity to come to the New Zealand Aria through the years and hear everyone develop.
“This competition has supported many great singers going overseas and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity.”
Originally from Belgium, Jarvis has lived in New Zealand for 18 years. A 2014–15 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, Jarvis holds a Master of Music from the University of Waikato. In 2016 he was a Lexus Song Quest Semi Finalist, a finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition and was selected for the Kiri Programme.