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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.
• 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.