Singer ‘just a bit speechless’ after win

Winner of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Dunedin Aria Final 2018 Olivia Pike holds the...
Winner of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Dunedin Aria Final 2018 Olivia Pike holds the Celebration of a Century Cup at Burns Hall last night. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Singers were in full voice at the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Dunedin Aria Final last night.

Seven vocalists vied for thousands of dollars of cash prizes and the esteem of the city’s musical establishment in front of a packed Burns Hall.

Adjudicator Tecwyn Evans judged Dunedin-based Olivia Pike best of the bunch for her performances of arias Adieu, notre petite table (Manon) by Massenet and Marenka’s Aria (The Bartered Bride) by Smetana.

She took home $5000 from the Dame Malvina Major Foundation and the Celebration of a Century Cup.

The 23-year-old was almost lost for words moments after what she said was the highlight of her musical career.

"Overwhelmed, surprised, and yeah, just a bit speechless at the moment," Ms Pike said.

"I totally did not expect this. It’s the first time I’ve won anything in a big aria competition.

"I’ve been in finals before, but it’s just incredible to be awarded the first place."

Originally from Ashburton but now Dunedin-based, Ms Pike studies privately with tutor Judith Henley, having previously completed a bachelor of music degree in classical voice performance at the University of Otago.

She also works as an accompanist for a bevy of schools and regional choirs and is a private piano teacher.

The vocalists were accompanied by Terence Dennis and Catherine Norton.

Other awards:

Runner-up (Val Braumann Award of $2000 and the Chambers family tray), Ridge Ponini.

• Third (Cleveland and Hadley & Robinson Award of $1000), Beth Goulstone.

• Judge’s Choice Award (The Queen Rose Retirement Home Award of $250 and the Gaelic Society Trophy), Ingrid Fomison-Nurse.

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