Brisbane-based soprano Tabatha McFadyen was awarded first prize (the Mietta prize) at the finals of the Mietta Song Competition on 20 July 2014 at the Iwaki Auditorium in Southbank.
This year’s distinguished judging panel consisted of Professor Mel Waters, Yvonne Kenny AM, Michael Smallwood and Anna Goldsworthy.
In addition to the $5000 awarded for first prize, Tabatha won the O’Donnell family prize, the Audience Choice prize and the Murray River Festival Prize, which was chosen this year by previous winner Siobhan Stagg.
Receiving second prize was Melbourne tenor Brenton Spiteri, who also won the Arnold and Mary Bram prize for the best performance of an Australian song
The Hugh D. T. Williamson prize (for the first prize pianist) of $5000 was awarded to Victorian pianist Leigh Harrold, who accompanied two of the four finalists on Sunday the 20th.
The second placed pianist was Queenslander Alex Raineri, who was Tabatha’s accompanist.
The exceptional standard of performances and enthusiastic audience response was a credit to the legacy of Mietta O’Donnell.
Professor Mel Waters has been appointed Chair of the Mietta Song Competition’s Artistic Committee.
The appointment is one of a series of new developments for the MSC which will hold its 11th Biennial Competition on July 18-22, 2012.
MSC conducted, for the first time, live national auditions for the preliminary rounds of the competition – a move which has received strong support from singers, teachers and conservatoriums.
Melbourne Opera singer Margaret Haggart and Sydney pianist and former Head of Music at Opera Australia Sharolyn Kimmorley AM conducted the auditions in March 2012.
Professor Waters joins the committee following his recent positions as Managing Director, Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust, 2008 – 2010 and Managing Director and Dean, Melba Conservatorium, 1999 – 2008.
“Professor Waters brings a wealth of experience in education, classical performance and management to the MSC. We are delighted he has accepted the invitation,” MSC Chairman, Noel Turnbull, said.
“The level of interest from singers at this early stage is very strong and we are optimistic that this will be one of our most successful competitions yet.
“We are delighted that the generous MSC prizes give impetus to finalists’ careers,” he said.
MSC 2010 winner, Sydney Baritone James Roser, has been enjoying significant success since the last competition. Roser has, since the competition, participated in the Franz Schubert Institut Liederkurs (Austria) studying lieder with Roger Vignoles, Elly Ameling and Barbara Bonney. As winner of the 2012 Vienna State Opera Award, he begins working at the Vienna State Opera, January 2012.
Yesterday, at Melba Hall, thirty one year old Sydney Baritone James Roser won the 2010 Mietta Song Recital Award ($5,000). Roser also won The O’Donnell Family Prize and the Tait Foundation Prize. These awards will enable Roser to pursue his vocal studies overseas.
Adelaide born, now Melbourne based soprano, Greta Bradman won the Second Prize as well as the Murray River International Festival Music Prize. The other finalist, Sydney soprano Angela Brun won the Arnold and Mary Bram Australian Song Prize together with her accompanist Sydney pianist Jem Harding. Brun also won the Audience Choice Prize.
For the second competition in a row Harding won the Hugh D. T. Williamson Prize for Most Outstanding pianist ($5,000) while Melbourne pianist Raymond Yong (a semi-finalist) was awarded second prize ($2,000).
The 2010 judging panel chaired by Emeritus Professor John Poynter AO included sopranos Lisa Gasteen AO, Marilyn Richardson, pianist and Sharolyn Kimmorley AM.
At the award ceremony Mietta Song Recital Award Chair, Noel Turnbull, announced that the award will from henceforth be called The Mietta Song Competition from the 2012 Competition and would continue to be dedicated to promotion of art song performance and appreciation.
He said the Committee was working on programs to increase the number of entrants, appointing interstate ambassadors and working towards a live auditioning process.