We are thrilled to report that Tait Awardee, Panayiota Kalatzis, won the coveted 2016 Herald Sun Aria in Melbourne’s, Hamer Hall a few days ago. Panayiota was the 2014 recipient of the Australian International Opera Awards which gave her the funds to study at the Wales International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill.
SCINTILLATING soprano Panayiota Kalatzis swept all before her last night to win the 2016 Herald Sun Aria.The 30-year-old Brisbane vocalist, trailing an elegant train, won the coveted prize in its 92nd year ahead of four other outstanding classical singers.“I never thought it would happen,’’ she said after accepting the prestigious award from Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston. “You work hard and enter competitions and then someone, ‘Yes’. Winning this changes everything.’’Kalatzis, of Greek background, captivated a 1500-strong audience at Hamer Hall with thrilling performances of Massenet and Verdi. A huge ovation greeted her win which carries $15,000 cash and a $22,500 scholarship for overseas tuition.“The plan is to go back to the UK, make some connections there, and then go to America,’’ she said. “Winning this makes all that possible.’’Jessica Harper, a 26-year-old soprano from Sydney, was runner up while the encouragement award went to Douglas Kelly, a Victorian-based tenor.Judges Richard Mills, Margaret Haggart and John Bolton-Wood praised the high standard of competition and Penny Fowler, Chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times, paid special tribute to Richard Divall — the Aria’s long serving maestro and chief adjudicator.
In 2014 Tait Awards have increased by 27% from 2013/14. This increase has largely been due to the excellent response to our new Friends scheme and the increased level of donations from our generous supporters. The names of our Friends and our major donors can be found here
With our new ‘Adopt a Performer’ scheme we have two scholarships of £5,000 per annum over three years. The aim of this scheme is to offer continuity of funding to the artists over the term of their academic studies and to link a donor directly with an awardee.
Last year Kevin Penkin, composer, was the inaugural ‘Tait Scholar’ supported by the Baring family. This year he continues his studies at The Royal College of Music. We are delighted that Kevin has agreed to accept our commission for a new piece of music for flute and orchestra entitled, Changing Feet, to be premiered at our Winter Prom 9th December 2014. Tait Awardee, Nicola Crowe is to play the flute solo.
Waynne Kwon, cello is the inaugural recipient of the Higgins family scholarship. Waynne is about to commence his undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music.
This year we are supporting 4 singers, 3 cellists, 2 accompanists, 3 composers, 1 viola, 1 flute and for the first time we are supporting a Trio, The Darian Trio which is based in Vienna.
We have a fund of £8,000 to support The Leanne Benjamin Awards for 2014/15 This fund was the result of The Leanne Benjamin Awards launch at The Royal Ballet School and a generous donation from Lady Roberttson. These awards will be announced later this year.
Adopt a Performer – £5,000 per annum over three years
Kevin Penkin, composition
Royal College of Music
Wayne Kwonn, Cello
Royal Northern College of Music
Higgins Family Award