Six finalists will compete for the 2016 Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award in September.

The six finalists have been announced for the 2016 Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award. Bronwyn Douglass, Alexandra Flood, Alasdair Kent, Tabatha McFadyen, Emma Moore and James Olds will compete for the prestigious vocal prize in September.

This year – the competition’s sixth – also marks the 90th birthday of Australia’s ‘La Stupenda’, Dame Joan Sutherland, who passed away in 2010. To commemorate this auspicious anniversary, the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award has increased all cash prizes and added several new ones. The total prize pool is valued at over $115,000 and the first prize, donated by Walker Corporation Pty Limited, is now $50,000.

The Bel Canto Award, open to singers from Australia and New Zealand between the ages of 20 and 30, will join forces yet again with Australia’s only international classical singing competition, the third annual Elizabeth Connell Prize for aspiring dramatic sopranos.

The Elizabeth Connell Prize is open to the sopranos from all over the world aged 25-35 years and comes from a legacy left by the late South African soprano, Elizabeth Connell. Anna-Louise Cole (Australia), Leah Gordon (Canada), Yasmine Levi-Ellentuck (Israel), Kseniia Muslanova (Russia) and Mari Wyn Williams (Wales) will compete for the $20,000 prize, which also includes an audition at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London.

The finalists in both competitions will perform in front of a panel of judges consisting of Richard Bonynge AC CBE, Marilyn Richardson, Rosemary Gunn, Fiona Janes at a Preliminary Round at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney on September 1 before the Finals Concert at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Verbrugghen Hall on September 3.


The Preliminary Final will be held at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney September 1 at 3pm. The Finals Concert will be held at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, September 3 at 4pm. Bookings are essential, for tickets call 02 9817 4919