The Sydney Eisteddfod has announced the eight finalists for its famed Opera Scholarship, which features prizes totaling of over $61,000.
The company has revealed that all eight of the singers competing for the top prize are women, making it the first time since 1995 where it is an “all-girl final.”
The finalists are Olivia Cranwell, Michelle Ryan, Kirsten Jones, Panayiota Kalatzis, Anna Stephens, Juliette Di Bello, Cleo Lee McGowan, and Bronwyn Douglass.
The final is set for August 4 at The Concourse, Chatswood. Each finalist will perform two arias. The first prize will get $43,000 while second place will be given $10,000 and third prize will take home $5,000. All finalists will get $1,000.
Two finalists will get a chance to compete for the 2019 Fine Music Young Virtuoso Award state final on Oct. 13 at The Founders Studio.
The scholarship was launched back in 1933 and has launched careers of such noted artists as Dame Joan Sutherland, Amelia Farrugia, Heather Begg, and Stacey Alleaume.
“The Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship provides invaluable and precious opportunities to young singers. The operatic world is highly competitive as there are so few opportunities for Aussie artists. Young singers need to study overseas to be able to compete at an international level and to learn foreign languages such as Italian, French, and German,” Farrugia noted in a press release.