Julien Van Mellaerts Wins Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Laureate

By David Salazar

Baritone Julien Van Mellaerts has been given The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Laureate from the superstar soprano herself.

The baritone is a former winner of the first prize at the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Kathleen Ferrier Awards. He has performed with such organizations as the Verbier Festival, Salzburg Mozartwoche, Opéra National de Lorraine, Opera Holland Park, and New Zealand Opera.

“You are a very worthy recipient, and we are so very proud of what you have achieved to date on and off the concert stage,” Te Kanawa wrote in an official press statement. “Aside from your many competition successes, we were so impressed with your tireless work creating the Whanau concert which benefited so many of your colleagues and your initiative and professional approach to the planning of the song recital series at Opera Holland Park which provided valuable performance opportunities for so many young singers.”

The accolade was established in 2022 to honor a New Zealand Singer who has achieved major success in their career. It comes with a $60,000 cash prize.