The New Zealand Aria is one of Australasia’s most prestigious singing competitions. The event has been in existence for over 70 years. The competition offers life-changing opportunities to entrants and has launched the careers of some fine young singers. Lockwood Homes is a platinum sponsor and is very proud to be associated with the development of young operatic talent.
After competing in the heats during the week, the top 10 finalists performed their arias to a packed Destiny Auditorium in Rotorua on Saturday evening, the 2nd of November. The competition standard was exceptionally high and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra was superb in their accompaniment.
Elizabeth Mandeno, from Auckland, took out first place in a field of 40 entrants, from New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She won the 1st prize, The Dame Malvina Major Foundation prize, which is awarded to the contestant with the highest aggregate achieved for Compulsory Classes. Her $20,000 prize package consisted of:
The second prize, The Geyser Community Foundation La Grouw Award* which is a $10,000 prize, was awarded to Ayako Ohtake.
The Coombes Johnston BMW Prize of $5,000 was awarded to Kirsten Jones, who placed 3rd on the night.
The list of finalists were:
Elizabeth Mandeno, Kirsten Jones, Joshua Oxley, Ayako Ohtake, Sheridan Hughes, Will King, Harry Grigg, Michaela Cadwgan, Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaon, and Felicity Tomkins.
For a full list of results for all age groups, more info on the judges and classes, see the NZAria website.
Well done to everyone who participated! It was a sensational evening in celebration of song.
Above: from left to right, Sherrell Almazovich, Sir Toby Curtis, Jo-Anne La Grouw MNZM
Andrew La Grouw – MD Lockwood Group, Winner of the Lockwood NZ Aria, Elizabeth Mandeno
Baritone James Harrison, special guest on the night and previous Lockwood Aria winner, to right, Soprano Kirsten Jones, 3rd place contestant