Opera Awards - Adjudicators


Photo Above: 2014 adjudication panel comprising (L to R) Rachelle Durkin, Conal Coad, Dr Di Bresciani OAM and Greg Hocking (Chair.

2017 Adjudicators

Anson Austin OAM

2017 Opera Awards Adjudicator - Anson Austin

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 AO

2017 Opera Awards Adjudicator - Cheryl Barker

Cheryl Barker AO


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

2017 Opera Awards Adjudicator - Dr Di Bresciani OAM

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 Governor of University College, Melbourne, Founder and Managing Director YMF and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2013.

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.

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

Simon Kenway (Chair)

2017 Opera Awards Adjudicator - Simon Kenway

Simon Kenway

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.


Past Adjudication Panels


Greg Hocking (Chair), Dr Di Bresciani OAM, Conal Coad, Rachelle Durkin


Brian Castles-Onion (Chair), Dr Di Bresciani OAM, Amelia Farrugia, Michael Lewis


Maestro Andrea Molino (Chair), Dr Di Bresciani, Peter Coleman-Wright, Elizabeth Whitehouse


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


Jonathan Darlington (Chair), Conal Coad, Lisa Gasteen


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


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


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


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


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


not held


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


Myer Fredman (Chair), Anson Austin, Rosemary Gunn


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


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


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


Myer Fredman (Chair), Suzannah Conway, Marilyn Richardson


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


Myer Fredman (Chair), Andrew Greene, Ghillian Sullivan


Stephen Barlow, Robert Gard OBE, Nance Grant MBE


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


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


not awarded


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


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


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


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


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


2017 winner
Adrian Tamburini 



2012 Opera Awards Recipient - Nicole Car, Soprano

2012 Recipient, Nicole Car

One of Australia's most outstanding young sopranos, Nicole was selected by an eminent judging panel comprising Brian Castles-Onion, Amelia Farrugia, Michael Lewis and Dr Di Bresciani. Find out more on our YouTube channel by clicking on the link below.


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