2017 Winner: Adrian Tamburini
New South Wales
Entrants were auditioned and interviewed by a distinguished panel of adjudicators comprising musician and artist Dr Di Bresciani OAM; tenor Anson Austin OAM; soprano Cheryl Barker AO; and maestro Simon Kenway.
Following a long day of auditions and discussion, the panel announced NSW bass baritone Adrian Tamburini as the winner of the 2017 Opera Awards. Adrian was awarded the YMFAustralia Award of $30,000 and the Armstrong-Martin Scholarship of $4,500.
NSW mezzo soprano Anna Dowsley was awarded the Britten-Pears Prize: an opportunity to participate in the Strauss Lieder & Arias course with Angelika Kirchschlager and Malcolm Martineau in the UK as well as a scholarship to cover the fees for the course, accommodation, lunches on teaching days and a contribution towards her airfare.
Queensland soprano, Eva Kong, received the 4MBS Classic FM Award: an opportunity to perform in the annual 4MBS Festival of Classics Australia’s largest classical music festival. Orchestras, choirs, ensembles and soloists from south-east Queensland perform concerts centred around a theme.
The Festival features 20-30 concerts in 10-15 venues, predominantly in Brisbane.
Andrew Moran, a baritone from NSW, won the Glyndebourne Festival Prize: an opportunity to audition for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera as well as to attend staged rehearsals.
Glyndebourne Festival Opera is an annual opera festival held at Glyndebourne, an English country house near Lewes, in East Sussex, England.
Adjudicators were impressed by the high standard overall, and the exceptional technical ability and maturity displayed by all the competitors.
In 2016, Adrian Tamburini sang Pietro (Simon Boccanegra), The Cook (The Love for Three Oranges) and The Maestro (The Eighth Wonder) for Opera Australia and joined the Penrith Symphony Orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem. In 2017, he will sing the title role in the touring production of The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Australia and appears with the national company in Tosca, Carmen, La traviata and La bohème.
A chorister with the Victorian Boys Choir from the age of 5, Adrian Tamburini has always had a passion for music and singing.
At the age of 10, he was awarded a scholarship to sing with the St Patrick`s Cathedral Choir, Melbourne – where he stayed until 1992 as the assistant choir captain under the direction of John Mallinson.
Adrian’s many prizes and scholarship wins have included Robert Salzer Vocal Scholarship, the Lygon Street Festa Aria Competition, the inaugural Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition (in 2007), the Lythgo Trust Operatic Aria Award and the Melbourne Welsh Male Voice Choir Singer of the Year Competition. He has been the recipient of the Acclaim Awards Scholarship and was twice a finalist in the German Australian Opera Grant.
He has enjoyed a varied career as an operatic soloist (Opera Australia, Melbourne Opera, West Australian Opera), has appeared on television (Woolworths Carols in the Domain) and has been a musical director and producer. His work, both on and off the stage, has been nominated for awards (Green Room Award nomination) and received critical acclaim.
Recent engagements for Opera Australia have included Alcindoro and Benoit in Gale Edwards’ production of La bohème, Leporello in Don Giovanni– touring throughout Australia, Zuniga in Carmen, Antonio in Le nozze di Figaro, Sciarrone in Tosca and The Speaker in The Magic Flute; he sang Colline for West Australian Opera and also joined an all-star cast in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 for the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra.