The Mathy: 37th IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition
What the Oscar is to the lm industry, the Mathy is to classical and opera singing in the Antipodes. Winning a singing competition is an important stepping stone in a young singer’s career. There are many such competitions but the Australian Singing Competition (ASC) is one of the longest-running and richest in terms of prizes, career and networking opportunities.
Roland Gridiger, lawyer and Chairman of the Board of the Music and Opera Singers Trust Ltd. (MOST) that administers the ASC, was there from the beginning. As executor of the Will of celebrated Sydney soprano and teacher, Marianne Mathy, he wanted to create a scholarship for singers and became “hypnotised” by the world of music so different from the discipline of law but struggled initially to gain acceptance by the industry. Eventually, with the assistance of the Australia Council, the Marianne Mathy Scholarship was established, followed by ASC in 1982.
ASC receives no government funding, its primary supporters being sponsors and estates. When one of its original sponsors, Commonwealth Bank, redirected its funding to sports, Gridiger was fortunate to interest a Japanese arts entrepreneur, Dr. Haruhisa Handa, to underwrite the orchestra at the Finals concerts, a longstanding contribution recognised in ASC’S current name.
In contrast to other competitions in this country, ASC is intended for classical and opera singers from Australia and New Zealand only, under the age of 26. Entrants receive feedback from the National Adjudicator, attend workshops and a masterclass, and are mentored by a star singer for a year. This year’s Adjudicator, Linnhe Robertson, will be considering the singers’ “readiness to benefit the most from the prizes,… show reliable vocal ability,…excellent language and musicianship.” ACS’S prizes, combining cash with further education in Europe, reach nearly $200,000, and the competition’s Youtube hits have already exceeded way over one million.
Heats in London, Australia and New Zealand produced 64 entrants from which eleven semi-finalists were culled. Five finalists, selected in August, will appear in concert at Sydney’s Verbrugghen Hall on September 8 with the Opera Australia Orchestra under the baton of Dr. Nicholas Milton. To be guided by as nurturing a conductor as Maestro
I was overwhelmed by the wealth of natural raw talent and potential I heard throughout Australia & New Zealand. -- Linnhe Robertson National Adjudicator Australian Singing Competition
Milton, who is Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of several orchestras in Australia as well as in Germany where he resides, is a privilege. His experience as opera conductor who has conducted at numerous competitions has given him a special insight into what young performers need. The rigorous demands of the ASC may not “allow much time for the most sonic experience of their lives”, but he wants “to make this an experience they enjoy, where they feel free.”
Whether ASC should include international entrants is being hotly debated but requires, above all, much greater funding. Until that day, ASC proudly continues to discover and further local singing talent.
For events open to the public click on aussing.org
這項賽事受到澳洲多任總督的重視，除了贊助之外更視其為培養藝術與文化優秀人才的項目。 ASC 比賽的目的就是為了讓有志於歌劇和古典劇的年輕歌手在步入專業領域時有展現才華的平臺，它是目前同類比賽中歷史最悠久也是最具有代表性的賽事。
澳洲著名德裔女高音Marianne Mathy曾希望為年輕的古典歌唱藝術家設立獎學金，1982年，由Music & Opera Singers 信託管理的澳 洲歌唱比賽（ASC）在澳洲正式成立了，並命名比賽的首獎為「The Mathy」，有「承傳」之意。
目前，ASC僅向澳大利亞和新西蘭的古典歌手和歌劇演唱者開放。與其說是一個比賽，不如說是一項技藝承傳、為古典和聲樂界培育人才的機會。每一位參賽者年齡必須在 26歲以下，除了參加藝術研討、得到名師指點外，還能得到有名的古典和聲樂家親自指導一年。2018 年首席裁判 Linnhe Robertson 更提出，考慮到對年輕藝術家的培育和潛力開發，今年的獲獎者除了獎金外還將前往歐洲進修。
2018年的比賽總共有64位選手參與，目前僅剩5名藝術家進入決賽。決賽將在9 月 8日於悉尼Verbrugghen 大廳內舉行，屆時指揮Nicholas Milton 帶領的澳洲交響樂團與決賽選手合作。Milton 博士稱，希望每一位藝術家能體驗音樂帶來的自由，並無拘無束的發揮各自的才華。
ASC是否應該向國際參賽者打開大門已經成為一個熱門的話題！無論如何，ASC肩負著為紐澳挖掘藝術人才的使命。欲知更多ASC 活動，登錄 aussing.org
The ASC is like a crash course in singing with an orchestra. -- Dr. Nicholas Milton AM General Music Director and Chief Conductor State Opera House of Saarland (Germany)
Conductor Nicholas Milton thanking singer Shikara Ringhdahl
Katherine Mcindoe soprano, NZ
Sophie Sparrow soprano, NZ
Georgia Melville soprano, NSW
Pasquale Orchard soprano, NZ
Nicole Mealey mezzo soprano, WA
Tristan Entwistle baritone, NSW
Zoe Drummond soprano, UK
Shakira Tsindos mezzo soprano, VIC
Xenia Puskarz Thomas mezzo soprano, QLD
Cleo Lee-mcgowan soprano, VIC
Josi Ann Ellem soprano, NSW