Recipients are selected by Dame Malvina and trustees for their track record, talent, determination and potential. The funding is to support career development, including further study or training, and travel and expenses for local and international engagements.
Amitai is an Auckland tenor of Samoan descent who received his master’s degree in advanced vocal studies at the Wales International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of tenor Dennis O’Neill. He won the Lexus Song Quest in 2012 and the Waiariki Institute of Technology NZ Aria in 2015.
In 2013, Amitai, along with his brother Pene Pati and their cousin Moses Mackay, formed the highly successful New Zealand vocal trio Sol3 Mio, which mixes both classical and contemporary music.
In 2016 Amitai was selected for the prestigious Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera and went on to become an Adler Fellow.
Most recently, Amitai made his role and company debut as Jupiter/Apollo with New Zealand Opera’s 2020 production of Handel’s Semele. Earlier this year he made his European debut as Nadir in a concert performance of Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles presented by Les Grandes Voix at the Philharmonie in Paris. He also made his Canadian debut this past season appearing as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.