Eight finalists are in the running for this year’s Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, geared towards professional development and boasting a combined prize pool of $70,000. Three Sydney Eisteddfod Alumni – John Bolton-Wood, Amelia Farrugia and Dr Nicholas Milton – will determine the winner of the scholarship, valued at $43,000. Singers will perform with the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Milton in the Final on July 15.

The Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship finalists with adjudicating panel. Photo © WinkiPoP Media.

The finalists are soprano Shikara Ringdahl (Brisbane, QLD), soprano Olivia Cranwell (Waterloo, NSW), tenor Joshua Oxley (Lane Cove, NSW), baritone Jarvis Dams (Hamilton, NZ), soprano Chelsea Dolman, bass baritone Christopher Curcuruto (Croydon Park, NSW), soprano Morgan England (Lawnton, QLD), and mezzo-soprano Celeste Haworth (Narrabeen, NSW).

“Sydney Eisteddfod offers students an opportunity to be assessed by people other than their teachers and provides them with an audition formula for agents and opera company auditions later in their careers,” said Bolton-Wood. “As a competitor myself many years ago I made friendships which have endured a lifetime and the memory of experiences which helped shape my future course as a singer with the advice and encouragement I had from friends and colleagues alike.”

Awarded The Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship in 1994 and now an Ambassador, Farrugia says, “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.”

“Finalists will have a rare opportunity to perform with an Orchestral accompaniment on the stage of The Concourse Concert Hall in Chatswood,” said Farrugia. “I hope this year’s Finalists will relish the opportunity to work with international conductor Dr Nicholas Milton.”

The finalist who places second will receive a scholarship valued at $12,000, with third place receiving $5000. The recipient of the people’s choice award, nominated by the live audience at the Final, will win $500. Non-placing finalists will receive $1000.

The Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship Final will be held at The Concourse Concert Hall, Chatswood on July 15