Five finalists from more than 100 hopefuls will compete for prestigious scholarship.

Eleven hopefuls became five last night, as the best young opera and classical singers from Australasia vied for a finalist position in this year’s IFAC Australian Singing Competition.

Adjudicators Jeffrey Black, Michael Halliwell and Benjamin Schwartz narrowed the field down, selecting five sopranos; Victorian Kate Amos and Anna Voshege, both 24, as well as Samantha Clarke, 23, and Corinne Cowling, 24, of Western Australia, and Kiwi Isabella Moore.

The IFAC competition is Australasia’s premier competition, and since its inception in 1982 has been a launching pad for young opera and classical singers. The Maryanne “Mathy” scholarship is the most prestigious of the many accolades and prizes. Nearly 3,000 singers have been given their chance in the IFAC spotlight over the last two decades, with successful singers including Rachelle Durkin, Amelia Farrugia, Stuart Skelton and Paul Whelan going on to achieve national and international acclaim after winning “The Mathy”.

The five finalists are set to compete at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on August 30, accompanied by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Johannes Fritzch. ABC Classic FM’s charismatic Damien Beaumont will host the evening, and to honour of the 150th birthday of composer Richard Strauss, Maestro Fritzch will say a few words. Special performances from Béatrice et Bénédict (Berlioz) and Der Rosenkavalier Suite (Strauss) will round out the evening’s entertainment.

The semi-finals adjudicators will be joined for the Finals by popular bass Conal Coad and renowned soprano Emma Matthews.