News and events

Top young opera talent on stage for Aria final

Talented young opera singers from across the Wellington region will be among the 18 contestants competing for the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria title on Sunday 18 September.

Convenor Marguerite Tait-Jamieson is encouraging Wellingtonians to come out and support some of the region’s finest young singers and experience a taste of the amazing opera talent emerging across New Zealand.

“Among the competitors are Lexus Song Quest semi-finalists Emily Mwila and Sophie Sparrow, and a number of students from Victoria University’s Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. It promises to be an outstanding occasion.”

The competition will be adjudicated by renowned international bass Martin Snell who himself won first prize in 1991. Other previous winners have included sopranos Amelia Berry and Isabella Moore and acclaimed tenor Simon O’Neill.

Organised by the Hutt Valley Performing Arts Society, eight finalists will be selected during the preliminary rounds of the Wellington Regional Vocal Competitions to perform in the final on the Sunday night at St Andrews on the Terrace.

The Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria is the third of the 2016 regional Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria competitions that feed into New Zealand Aria in Rotorua in late October.

Dame Malvina Major said that competitions such as these enabled promising young performers to develop the edge required to succeed on the international stage.

“The opportunity to perform and participate in a competition of this calibre is invaluable for young New Zealand artists.  It is a privilege for the Dame Malvina Major Foundation to be able to invest in their future in this way.”

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Wellington Aria
St Andrews on the Terrace
Sunday 18 September, 7.30pm
Tickets (available on the door): $20

2016 contestants:

  • Timothy Burrell
  • Alicia Cadwgan
  • Minto Fung
  • Alexandra Gandionco
  • Joe Haddow
  • Elyse Hemara
  • Jamie Henare
  • Frederick Jones
  • William King
  • Laura Loach
  • Olivia Marshall
  • Emily Mwila
  • Pasquale Orchard
  • Christina Orjis
  • Joshua Pike
  • Olivia Sheat
  • Sophie Sparrow
  • Gabriel Wee



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