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Mezzo soprano wins DMMF Christchurch Aria

Christchurch Aria 2016, L to R: Eliza Boom (second place), Elisabeth Harris (winner), Angus Simmons (third place)

Mezzo soprano Elisabeth Harris has won the prestigious Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria.

The Christchurch-raised singer took out the $5,000 first prize with second place awarded to soprano Eliza Boom and third to baritone Angus Simmons.

A Master’s graduate from the New Zealand School of Music and experienced chorus member with New Zealand Opera, Elisabeth has recently been offered a scholarship and place at the Manhattan School of Music in New York.

The Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria is organised by the Christchurch Competitions Society and is the first of the 2016 regional Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria Competitions which lead into the New Zealand Aria competition in October.

Sydney-based adjudicator Luise Napier, who will judge New Zealand Aria, was impressed with the standard of the competitors. In her summing up of the eight finalists’ performances she said she had found it almost impossible to separate the placings, as they had all performed to such a high standard and were all technically able. Consequently, she had indulged her own personal choice.

Chair of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Committee Anna Midgley said she was personally delighted to see Elisabeth win, as were the audience.

“Elisabeth grew up in Christchurch and was a member of Canterbury Opera Youth. This was her night.”

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