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Waterloo’s Anna Stephens wins third place in major opera scholarship

On June 26, 2022, Anna Stephens from Waterloo was awarded third place against seven young talented operatic hopefuls singing at The Concourse, Concert Hall, Chatswood, for the 2022 Sydney Eisteddfod’s prestigious Opera Scholarship Final.

This scholarship attracts the best of the best emerging operatic talent each year and this year’s eight young talented finalists were first-class. Despite the challenges each performer has had to endure the past few years they exceeded all expectations.

Each of the eight finalists had competed in several heats over the course of the last month and were selected from 38 talented operatic singers across Australia and New Zealand.

Opera Scholarship finalists (left to right): Nathan Bryon – Winner (Lane Cove West), Jeremy Boulton – 2nd Place (Wollongong), Anna Stephens – 3rd Place (Waterloo), Karina Bailey – Finalist (Sydney), Olivia Payne – Finalist (Leichhardt), Raphael Hudson – Finalist (Arncliffe), Matthew Avery – Finalist (Winmalee), and Kristin Astouroghlian – Finalist (Endeavour Hills, VIC). Photo: Supplied

Since 1933, the Sydney Eisteddfod Annual Opera Scholarship has discovered fine voices and has launched the careers of several international standard opera singers like Dame Joan Sutherland, Heather Begg and Amelia Farrugia.

Anna Stephens performed “Ombré Legere” by Meyerbeer and “O Zittre Nicht” by Mozart. She demonstrated superior technique and told each story through her voice flawlessly.

Anna was awarded a $5,500 scholarship, sponsored by Ausfeng and OAACA. This scholarship is comprised of a $3,500 scholarship plus $2,000 cash to undertake study of the operatic stage in Australia or overseas.

Each finalist performed two arias on the day and the final arias were accompanied by the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of the well-known conductor and Sydney Eisteddfod Ambassador Dr Nicolas Milton. Dr Milton commented that Sydney Eisteddfod blurs the line between competition and concert, he said, “There is a competitive aspect, but far more important to me, is the fact that these singers will be performing with an orchestra and singing for a public in a wonderful venue with an outstanding orchestra. These experiences are life changing.”

Adjudicators Christine Douglas, Stuart Maunder AM and the special guest adjudicator, Richard Mills, said the talent of this year’s competition was exceptional. Mr Mills said, said, “This is not the end of the story for any of these finalists. The talent on this stage is immense”.


For your chance to perform in the final next year, Sydney Eisteddfod encourages operatic performers to enter in the 2023 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship.






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