Introducing the 2017 Adjudicators

Anson Austin OAM

Anson Austin sang as a principal tenor with Opera Australia for thirty four years before retiring in 2004. During this time he performed over fifty major roles with the national company, encompassing most of the standard operatic lyric tenor repertoire, with a particular emphasis on French and Italian opera.

He also performed regularly on the concert stage, singing most of the major concert repertoire throughout Australia and also internationally.

He has been featured on The Australian Opera videos of Adriana Lecouvreur, Les Huguenots, Die Fledermaus, La Fille du Regiment and The Merry Widow, all with Dame Joan Sutherland, and The Gipsy Princess. His recordings include Highlights of French Opera under Richard Bonynge, and the soundtrack of Melba.

For several years Anson has adjudicated many major vocal competitions including the McDonald Aria (Sydney), The Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the Rotorua Aria (N.Z.), The Australian Opera Foundation and The Herald Sun Aria.

Anson was awarded the OAM in 1993 and is currently on the Board of Opera Australia.






Cheryl Barker

Cheryl Barker AO is one of the finest Sopranos to emerge from Australia in recent times.

Cheryl has established a distinguished international opera career appearing for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, English National Opera, Welsh Opera, Paris Opera, Netherlands Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, National Opera du Rhin, De Vaalmse Opera, La Monnaie, Opera Holland Park, Reis Opera, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Minnesota Opera, Vancouver Opera, Taipei Opera, Opera Queensland, Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia, Victorian State Opera, Western Australian Opera,  New Zealand Opera and most recently a return to Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opera Queensland.

Concert appearances include Wigmore Hall, The Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Konzerhous Wein, Koningin Elizabethzaal Belgium, at the Brisbane and Melbourne Spoleto Festivals and with the SSO, QSO, MSO and WASO.






Dr Di Bresciani OAM

Dr Di Bresciani, Founder of YMF Australia (sponsor of the YMF Scholarship) completed a Music Degree at the University of Melbourne and subsequently obtained a Doctor of philosophy in music and psychology undertaken with a Post Graduate Research Scholarship. In the 1980’s her research achieved international recognition, with an invitation to visit the USSR by Dimitri Kabalevsky, publications in research journals and participation in Research Commissions for the International Society for Music Education. In 1988 Di founded the Youth Music Foundation of Australia Inc (YMF) which is affiliated with leading music /arts institutions in Australia, Italy, the US and the UK.

In 2003 Di was selected Woman Achiever of the Year by the Australian Brain Foundation. Di is a life member of the Melba Trust Foundation, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Music Teachers, a senior adjudicator for the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Life Governor of University College, Melbourne, Founder and Managing Director YMF and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Di was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) of Australia in the Queen's Honours List 2013 for her contributions to the visual arts, music and philanthropy. On April 6th, 2014 Trio Bresciani was launched at Melba Hall University of Melbourne, with three of Australia’s finest young musicians. On July 6th 2014 the Trio was launched in Brisbane Queensland. Trio Bresciani is the intersection between the hidden impulses of painting and music. Di’s paintings gave wings to this trio and are shown in the Trio’s website www.triobresciani.com

Di was previously - 

• Board Member Australian Festival of Chamber Music
• Vice President Soiree Musical Inc• Director Australian Cultural Fund
• Art Committee Member Peter MacCallum Institute
• Board Member Australian Society for Music Education
• Board Member Rose Music Pty Ltd

• Managing Director Yamaha Music Foundation of Australian Inc
• Board Member Australian Festival of Chamber Music
• Council Member University College Melbourne
• Council Member University College Past Students’ Association






Maestro Simon Kenway (Chair of Adjudication Panel)

Simon Kenway is a highly respected orchestral/operatic conductor, music educator and accompanist. He has held posts as Principal Chorus Master of Opera Australia and Chief Vocal Coach for Sydney Conservatorium Opera School and now works as a freelance conductor, and in 2015 was appointed Artistic Director of Pacific Opera.

Simon has conducted the Sydney, Tasmanian, West Australian, Canberra and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, Opera Australia, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Philharmonic, many festivals, Aldeburgh Productions in UK, Australian Youth Orchestra and Beijing Symphony Orchestra.

In 2017 Simon conducts Aida for Griffith Opera on the Beach at Coolangatta and The Marriage of Figaro on Regional Tour (both for Opera Australia), and concerts with Willoughby Symphony. Recent engagements include The Battle of the Somme for New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, adjudicating the 2016 New Zealand Young Performers Award, as a member of True North at Dark Mofo Festival (Hobart), The Magic Flute for Opera Australia’s Regional Tour and Opera on the Beach, Verdi Requiem for Australian Intervarsity Choral Festival, Orfeo ed Euridice for Spectrum Now Festival (for which he also prepared the Chorus and acted as Music Advisor), and Conductor and Music Director for Opera Australia’s Community Choirs project from 2012 – 2015.






Archives
2014
Dr Di Bresciani OAM

Dr Di Bresciani, Founder of YMF Australia (sponsor of the YMF Australia Award) completed a Music Degree at the University of Melbourne and subsequently obtained a Doctor of philosophy in music and psychology undertaken with a Post Graduate Research Scholarship. In the 1980’s her research achieved international recognition, with an invitation to visit the USSR by Dimitri Kabalevsky, publications in research journals and participation in Research Commissions for the International Society for Music Education.
In 1988 Di founded the Youth Music Foundation of Australia Inc (YMF) which is affiliated with leading music /arts institutions in Australia, Italy, the US and the UK. In 2003 Di was selected Woman Achiever of the Year by the Australian Brain Foundation. Di is a life member of the Melba Trust Foundation, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Music Teachers, a senior adjudicator for the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Life Member Melbourne University Graduates’ Association, a Life Governor of University College, Melbourne, a Governor of the Florey and Mental Health Research Institute, Founder Governor and Managing Director YMF, a Board Member for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2013.
On April 6th, 2014 Trio Bresciani was launched at Melba Hall University of Melbourne, with three of Australia’s finest young musicians. On July 6th 2014 the Trio was launched in Brisbane Queensland. Trio Bresciani is the intersection between the hidden impulses of painting and music.

Conal Coad

New Zealander Conal Coad trained in the NSW Conservatorium of music Opera School before joining Opera Australia. He made his European debut with the Opera de Wallonie and has sung with all the major companies of Belgium; in Brussels (La Monnaie), Liege, Antwerp, Charleroi, Ghent and Bruges, in the principal bass roles. In France he has sung in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Strasbourg, St Etienne, Le Mans. Elsewhere in Europe he has performed regularly in Naples, Venice, Bologna, Hamburg, Geneva, Lisbon, and Madrid. He has performed in the UK at Covent Garden, Holland Park Festival Opera, Garsington Festival and Opera North and in Scotland.
 
In the USA he has performed in Washington and New York. Conal has also performed in Israel. Conal performs regularly in New Zealand with the national company in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as well as National tours.

Rachelle Durkin

Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin is one of opera's most striking young artists performing at major houses worldwide to critical acclaim.

Rachelle began her career by winning the top three vocal competitions in Australia in 2000: The Herald Sun Aria Competition, The Marianne Mathy Scholarship and The Metropolitan Opera Award. Another win followed at the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and she was invited to join the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program where she remained from 2001-2004.

She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the First Handmaiden in Sly.

Maestro Greg Hocking (Chair of Adjudication Panel)

Greg graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne. He studied under Carlo Felice Cillario and Geoffrey Arnold. He worked at Queensland Opera and Australian Opera, and has run his own successful entrepreneurial business since 1979. As a conductor Greg has an extensive operatic repertoire and he produced and conducted Melbourne Opera’s inaugural season of La Traviata, The Pearl Fishers, and The Magic Flute, and has produced and conducted most of Melbourne Opera’s productions since.
In 2004 he conducted La Traviata in Fiesole and returned to Rome for concerts later that year.
Greg is a founding director of Melbourne Opera. He also founded the Universal Theatre, the Comedy Club, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He is a theatrical producer in his spare time, with extensive credits ranging from Wogs out of Work to Beckett directs Beckett and is responsible for Australian concert tours of many famous artists including Yehudi Menuhin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Roger Woodward, Ivo Pogorelich, Sir George Martin and Elvis Costello.

2012
Dr Di Bresciani

Dr Di Bresciani, Founder of YMF Australia (sponsor of the YMF Australia Award) completed a Music Degree at the University of Melbourne and subsequently obtained a Doctor of philosophy in music and psychology undertaken with a Post Graduate Research Scholarship. In the 1980’s her research achieved international recognition, with an invitation to visit the USSR by Dimitri Kabalevsky, publications in research journals and participation in Research Commissions for the International Society for Music Education.
In 1988 Di founded the Youth Music Foundation of Australia Inc (YMF) which is affiliated with leading music /arts institutions in Australia, Italy, the US and the UK. In 2003 Di was selected Woman Achiever of the Year by the Australian Brain Foundation. Di is a life member of the Melba Trust Foundation, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Music Teachers, a senior adjudicator for the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Life Member Melbourne University Graduates’ Association, a Life Governor of University College, Melbourne, a Governor of the Florey and Mental Health Research Institute, Founder Governor and Managing Director YMF, a Board Member for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
On April 6th, 2014 Trio Bresciani was launched at Melba Hall University of Melbourne, with three of Australia’s finest young musicians. On July 6th 2014 the Trio was launched in Brisbane Queensland. Trio Bresciani is the intersection between the hidden impulses of painting and music.

Maestro Brian Castles-Onion (Chair of Adjudication Panel)

Brian Castles-Onion is one of Australia’s most exciting and best-known conductors and pianists. He is described as ‘Exceptionally Brilliant’, ‘Dynamic’ and ‘Fabulous’. After study abroad, he returned to Opera Australia in 1994 and was awarded the prestigious Churchill Fellowship to study conducting in Europe. He has worked at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Rossini Festival in Italy, has been Artistic Director of Canterbury Opera in New Zealand and continues a long association with Opera Australia.
Brian’s reputation as an international recording artist, orchestral arranger and broadcaster is legendary and he has appeared in cabaret in New York, Berlin, London and throughout Australia - where he also regularly appears on national television. Brian is also a regular pianist/presenter on ABC television’s Play School – a position he adores! His first book Losing the Plot in Opera (published by Exisle Publishing) was released internationally in 2008. He made his New York Recital Debut in May 2009 and taught at Julliard School of Music in New York.

Amelia Farrugia

Amelia Farrugia is one Australia’s best-loved sopranos. Since her opera debut in 1994, she has sung many leading roles for Opera Australia, performed with all the ABC Orchestras and appeared internationally with distinguished conductors Richard Bonynge, Edo de Waart, Richard Hickox, Carlo Felice Cillario, Markus Stenz, Simone Young, Emmanuel Plasson, Paul Dyer, Andrea Licata, Alexander Briger, Brad Cohen, Robin Ticciati, Giovanni Reggioli and composers Gian Carlo Menotti, Richard Mills and George Palmer.

A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Amelia has won many major singing competitions including Sydney Eisteddfod’s McDonald’s Operatic Aria (1994), The Herald Sun Aria (1994) and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Australia and New York (1994-1995). She was awarded NSW Young Achiever of the Year (1996). Amelia is a generous supporter of many charities and donates her time as Ambassador for the Sydney Eisteddfod, as a member of the Council of Patrons for Pacific Opera and Ambassador for St Lucy’s School, Wahroonga.

Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis, one of Australia’s most respected singers, is highly regarded for his command of both operatic and concert repertoire. After winning the Metropolitan Opera Competition in 1973 and an Arts Council Scholarship, Michael left Adelaide for Europe, marking the beginning of a successful international career. His major debut at the Wexford Festival in 1976, was followed by performances at opera houses in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Leipzig, Amsterdam, Venice, San Diego, Pittsburgh, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera, and in Mexico.
Since that time he has performed 35 major roles with Opera Australia, as well as regular appearances with the state companies in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane and New Zealand Opera.

2011
Dr Di Bresciani

Dr Di Bresciani, Founder of YMF Australia (sponsor of the YMF Australia Award) completed a Music Degree at the University of Melbourne and subsequently obtained a Doctor of philosophy in music and psychology undertaken with a Post Graduate Research Scholarship. In the 1980’s her research achieved international recognition, with an invitation to visit the USSR by Dimitri Kabalevsky, publications in research journals and participation in Research Commissions for the International Society for Music Education.
In 1988 Di founded the Youth Music Foundation of Australia Inc (YMF) which is affiliated with leading music /arts institutions in Australia, Italy, the US and the UK. In 2003 Di was selected Woman Achiever of the Year by the Australian Brain Foundation. Di is a life member of the Melba Trust Foundation, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Music Teachers, a senior adjudicator for the Australian Music Examinations Board, a Life Member Melbourne University Graduates’ Association, a Life Governor of University College, Melbourne, a Governor of the Florey and Mental Health Research Institute, Founder Governor and Managing Director YMF, a Board Member for the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
On April 6th, 2014 Trio Bresciani was launched at Melba Hall University of Melbourne, with three of Australia’s finest young musicians. On July 6th 2014 the Trio was launched in Brisbane Queensland. Trio Bresciani is the intersection between the hidden impulses of painting and music.

Peter Coleman-Wright

Baritone Peter Coleman-Wright is widely considered one of the most versatile singers in the world today, equally home in opera, concert and recital.
He has sung more that 60 roles throughout the worlds famous opera houses, The Met, Covent Garden, La Scala, Paris, Vienna and Munich and others including Figaro, Forester, Michele, Scarpia, Marcello, Sharpless, Don Giovanni, Count, Onegin, Dandini, Billy Budd, Gunther, Golaud, Germont, Chorebe, Wolfram, Pizzaro, and Sweeny Todd. His numerous awards include Helpmann Awards for Todd and The Traveller (Death in Venice), Green room awards for Billy Budd, Orestes, and Harry Joy (Brett Dean).
www.petercolemanwright.com

Maestro Andrea Molino (Chair of the Adjudication Panel)

Andrea Molino is known as both a composer and conductor. He was born in Turin and studied in Turin, Milan, Venice, Paris and Freiburg. He lives in Zurich. From 1996 to 2007 he was Musical Director of the Pocket Opera Company in Nuremberg. His own projects the smiling carcass (1999), on advertising and Those Who Speak in a Faint Voice (2001), about the death penalty (both in collaboration with Oliviero Toscani), are examples of his commitment to innovative, multimedia-oriented music theatre. He conducted the death penalty project in Basel and Nuremberg with the Phoenix Ensemble Basel and in New York and Milan with the Klangforum Wien.

Elizabeth Whitehouse

Elizabeth Whitehouse, one of Australia’s most renowned sopranos, lives in Germany with her career focused primarily in Europe.
She recently appeared in the José Carreras Charity Gala at the Megaron in Athens and in April sang the last of sixteen performances of the title role in Turandot in Münster. Forthcoming engagements in the 2009 -2010 season include Kundry in Parsifal in Münster and Turandot in Lübeck. In 2011 she returns to Opera Australia to make her debut in the role of Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s Macbeth.
Other notable operatic engagements include Marie (Wozzeck) for the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Agathe (Der Freischütz) for the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) in Genoa, Gutrune (Götterdämmerung), Leonore (Fidelio) with Riccardo Muti and Ellen Orford with Jeffrey Tate at La Scala, a concert performance of Act Two of Fedora with Plácido Domingo in San Francisco, Tosca in San Francisco and Colorado, Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera) and Senta (Der Fliegende Holländer) at the Deutsche Oper, Elsa (Lohengrin) and Capriccio in Turin as well as Feldmarschallin (Der Rosenkavalier) in Palermo and at La Scala.

2010
Richard Bonynge AC AO CBE (Chair), Dr Di Bresciani, Anke Hoeppner, John Pringle AM

2009
Jonathan Darlington (Chair), Conal Coad, Lisa Gasteen

2008
Richard Bonynge AC AO CBE (Chair), Cheryl Barker, Robert Gard OBE

2007
Vladimir Kamirski (Chair), Donald Shanks AO OBE, Deborah Riedel

2006
Prof. Imre Palló (Chair), Bernadette Cullen, John Pringle AM

2005
Patrick Thomas (Chair), Elizabeth Connell, Donald Shanks AO OBE

2004
Richard Bonynge AC AO CBE (Chair), Elizabeth Connell, Bruce Martin

2003
Not held

2002
Vladimir Kamirsky (Chair), Robert Allman AM OBE, Lisa Gasteen

2001
Myer Fredman (Chair), Anson Austin, Rosemary Gunn

2000
Andrew Greene (Chair), Christine Douglas, John Pringle AM

1999
Roderick Brydon (Chair), Anson Austin, Richard Divall, Linnhe Robertson, John Shaw OBE, Ghillian Sullivan

1998
Myer Fredman (Chair), Richard Divall OBE, Ronald Maconaghie AM, Linnhe Robertson, Ghillian Sullivan

1997
Myer Fredman (Chair), Suzannah Conway, Marilyn Richardson

1996
Myer Fredman (Chair), Ronald Maconaghie AM, Linnhe Robertson

1995
Myer Fredman (Chair), Andrew Greene, Ghillian Sullivan

1994
Stephen Barlow, Robert Gard OBE, Nance Grant MBE

1993
Joseph Ward OBE (Chair), Grace Bumbry, Maestro Carlo Felice Cilario

1992
Joseph Ward OBE (Chair), Roderick Brydon, Susan Dunn, Donald Shanks AO OBE

1991
Not awarded

1990
Joseph Ward (Chair), Eric Clapham, Myer Fredman, Sharolyn Kimmorley, Val Vallis

1989
Margreta Elkins AM (Chair), Eric Clapham, Myer Fredman, Marvin Keenze, Sharolyn Kimmorley, Ronald Maconaghie AM

1988
Ronald Maconaghie AM/Margreta Elkins AM (Co-Chairs), Sir Frank Callaway AO CMG OBE, Eric Clapham, Jennifer Eddy

1987
Elizabeth Fretwell OBE (Chair), Margreta Elkins AM, Paul Griffiths, Cynthia Johnston AO, Anthony Legge

Held as the 'Armstrong-Martin Scholarship' under the auspices of the Australian Singing Competition

1986
Jenifer Eddy (Chair), Eric Clapham, Myer Fredman, Cynthia Johnston AO, Ralph Lane, Ernest St John Metz

Held as the 'Armstrong-Martin Scholarship' under the auspices of the Australian Singing Competition