Inaugural Nicholas Tarling Aria Competition
“… and the WINNER is!”
Over two exciting nights, Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 February 2023, thirteen exceptional finalists competed for a prize pool of $9,000 for the Inaugural Nicholas Tarling Aria Competition on the stage of the BNZ Theatre at the Due Drop Events Centre, Manukau.
The First Prize of $5,000 was shared by Katherine Winitana, soprano and Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaono, tenor. Katherine, Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngaariki Kaiputahi, born in Flaxmere, Hawke’s Bay, wooed the judges and the audience with a moving rendition of Puccini’s ‘Chi’il bel sogno di Doretta’ from La Rondine. Emmanuel gave a captivating performance of Massenet’s ‘Pourquoi me reveiller’. Maeve Herd placed as the secure second spot winning $3,000 with an inspiring “Eccomi in lieta vesta… Oh quante volte!” aria by Bellini.
Alexandra Francis, soprano and tenor Shiddharth Chand were joint winners of the $1,000 ‘Most Promising Singer Award’. Alexandra transported us into Handel’s plot of Julius Ceasar when Cleopatra contemplating her demise sings “I shall lament my fate so cruel and so wicked, as long as I breathe”. Shiddharth displayed fine virtuosity and poked good fun at ‘Ah! Mes Amis’ by Donizetti from La Fille du Regiment.
The Finalists’ Concert was a huge success. Competing singers were selected from over 50 diverse entries. Rosemary Barnes, the competition’s official accompanist, provided exemplary support for every nuance of each singer and style throughout the evening. Nicholas Reid, MC for the night, gave succinct and informative introductions to each aria.
The BNZ Theatre, with its excellent accoustics, first-class Steinway Concert Grand and comfortable seating, proved an inviting venue for this new event which is surely here to stay for years to come.
Download the 2023 NTAC Programme
Inaugural Nicholas Tarling Aria Competition, MSO
The Nicholas Tarling Aria Competition organised by the Manukau Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the Finalists!
Come along to hear the Final Round Recital, 7.30pm Tuesday 21 February, Due Drop Events Centre, Manukau to compete for the Cash prize of $ 5,000.
FREE tickets through Eventfinda
Our finalists are:
Aidan Phillips –Baritone
Alexandra Francis – Soprano
Shiddharth Chand – Tenor
Alfred Fonoti Fuimaono – Baritone
Erica Paterson – Soprano
Fa’amanu Fonoti-Fuimaono – Baritone
Jasmine Jessen – Soprano
Jessica Webber – Soprano
Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaono – Tenor
Maeve Herd – Soprano
Katherine Winitana – Soprano
Rhiannon Cooper – Soprano
Ridge Ponini – Tenor
Tayla Iris Alexander – Soprano
We thank all those who took the time and had the courage to send a recording for our contest. As it was our first year, we wanted to encourage all ages and styles to participate in this competition – to see who is singing in our community and to shape the future of this highly anticipated competition.
There were over 50 talented and differing entrants, from Intermediate age to those in their 50s, with a range of styles – lieder, singer-songwriter, musicals, as well as operatic aria. It certainly made a challenge for our judges, and highlighted for the competition a need to create more categories to give more singers a chance to reach the stage at the Due Drop Events Centre.
We look forward to supporting our finalists, and hope to see you on the 21st of February.
We thank the Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust for their ongoing and generous support.
Nicholas Reid – MC
Rosemary Barnes – Accompanist and Consultant
Rosemary Barnes studied in London with Franz Reizenstein (Royal Academy of Music) and Lamar Crowson. Her interest in languages led to 28 years in London, working mainly with singers. She was on the music staff of the English National Opera from 1980-88, and taught singers and pianists at the Royal College of Music. She also undertook extensive free-lance opera work with Glyndebourne Touring Opera, BBCTV, Musica nel Chiostro in Italy, Opera Factory and Opera Northern Ireland, and performed in concert at the Wigmore Hall, Usher Hall, South Bank and BBC Radio 3. She was assistant conductor on more than a dozen recordings for Opera Rara (bel canto specialists).
In New Zealand, Rosemary led the Postgraduate Opera Diploma at the University of Auckland from 1993-99. She currently coaches Emerging Artists for Opera NZ, and has been official accompanist at the Gisborne International Music Competition since 1994. Performances include concerts with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Lesley Garrett, Sir Donald McIntyre, Emil Chudnovsky (violin), Robert Aitken and Leone Buyse (flute), and with the Trio Australasia (Alisa Willis flute and Ann Blackburn oboe) on cruise ships and in Germany. Recordings include three CDs for the Continuum label. In September 2015 she will perform Chopin’s F minor Concerto with the Ensemble Polymnia in Auckland.
Rosemary was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to music in the 2000 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Uwe Grodd – Adjudicator
Uwe Grodd has been the Music Director of the Manukau Symphony Orchestra since its beginning in 1993. Grodd’s contributions to classical music have brought him considerable international acclaim and he has served as adjudicator for many competitions in New Zealand and in Europe.
In 1997 he joined Naxos Records as an Exclusive Artist and to date, he has made world premiere recordings of more than 100 works. Grodd initially gained worldwide attention when awarded First Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards 2000 for Best 18th Century Orchestral Recording with Hungary’s Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia. Two Editor’s Choice awards, UK followed and the coveted International Record Review Outstanding award for recordings featuring the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, the Gaevle Symphony, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Performance highlights include eight concerts with the Mexico City Philharmonic and sell-out seasons of Handel’s rediscovered opera Imeneo in the Halle Opera house, when he was awarded the Badge of Honour for his services to the Handel Festival and the City of Halle, Handel’s birthplace. Grodd is equally committed to the music of his own time, commissioning more than 50 works from New Zealand composers. He conducted the premiere season of the multi-media opera Galileo and was Artistic Director of Len Lye the opera, with music by Eve de Castro-Robinson. In 2021 he conducted the premiere season of the opera Ihitai ‘Avei‘a Star Navigator by Tim Finn with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Choral and the Graduate Choir for New Zealand Opera for a sell-out season. The production was staged again at the end of last year with Grodd conducting Orchestra Wellington, Orpheus and Signature choirs and members of the NZ Opera chorus.
Uwe Grodd is Artistic Director of Auckland Choral. He is Professor Emeritus of the University of Auckland and is Post Graduate Supervisor in Music at the Canterbury University.
Patricia Wright – Adjudicator
Patricia Wright has performed regularly in opera, orchestral concerts, festivals, recitals and CD recordings. She is one of New Zealand’s best known and versatile sopranos.
She studied under New Zealand’s iconic Dame Sister Mary Leo and Australia’s famous Dame Joan Hammond and now is a revered tutor in her own right.
Patricia gained recognition singing at the major venues in London and throughout the UK. She recorded for the BBC in both live performances and recording studios. She was placed second in the prestigious Benson and Hedges Gold Award for singers and represented NZ in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. Returning to NZ in 1993, she continued to sing major opera roles, guest artist concert appearances with leading orchestras, oratorio and recital concerts both at home and internationally.
After teaching singing at the University of Auckland for eight years, Patricia continues to impart her passion, performing skills and experience to students and now spends a large part of her career as a vocal coach/tutor and continues to be a national singing competition adjudicator whilst still performing.
Her most recent performance was the role of Mrs Grose in NZ Opera’s production of The Turn of the Screw.