Mezzo Christie Cook (25) holds the Celebration of a Century
Cup after winning the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria
award in Dunedin last night. Photo by Shawn McAvinue.
The best young opera singers competed for the The Dame
Malvina Major Foundation Aria contest in Dunedin last night.
About 120 people watched seven young singers perform with
accompanists, including Terence Dennis and Iola Shelley, at
the Glenroy Auditorium.
Mezzo Christie Cook won first prize - the $5000 Dame Malvina
Major Foundation award.
Ms Cook, of Auckland, said it was ''fabulous'' being back in
Dunedin and winning the award.
She finished studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin in
''They were the best years of my life.''
She was continuing her study in Wellington, she said.
The prizemoney would help pay for course fees and be used for
a travel fund to sing internationally.
Soprano Amina Edris, of Christchurch, won second prize, the
$2000 Royal Dunedin Male Choir award.
And soprano Sophie Morris won third prize, the $1000 Val
Adjudicator Martin Snell said judging the awards was
''daunting'' but ''delightful'' and he gave the judge's
choice award - the $250 Queen Rose Retirement Home Award - to
baritone Clinton Fung.
The contest was the highlight of the Dunedin Performing Arts
Competitions Society senior vocal festival, which started at
Burns Hall, First Church on Thursday.
The aria contest has been held annually in Dunedin since 1987
and is regarded as a stepping-stone to a professional opera
Past winners have included Martin Snell, Simon O'Neil, Jud
Arthur, Jonathan Lemalu, Anna Leese, and Stephen Chambers,
who are all singing internationally.