The Tait Memorial Trust in London
The Tait Memorial Trust was formed in 1992 by Isla Baring OAM in memory of Sir Frank and Viola, Lady Tait and the Tait brothers whoplayed such an important part in the establishment of
theatre and the performing arts in Australia. The Trust offers awards/grants for postgraduate study, performance opportunities to young Australian musicians and performing artists and general help in the furtherance of their careers while resident in the UK.
To ensure its continuance the Trust arranges regular fund raising events and concerts, invariably featuring the talented young winners of the various awards, and relies a great deal on financial support from the business sector, private donors and other loyal supporters.
The JS & RB Foundation is extremely grateful to the TMT for all their support and for providing an opportunity in this year’s Bel Canto Award for one of our finalists to take part in one of the Tait’s London concerts.
A Brief History of the TMT.
The Tait Memorial Trust was formed in 1992 by Isla Baring and her trustees to honour the enormous contribution that Isla’s father, Sir Frank Tait and his four older brothers had made to the arts in Australia. It was Sir Frank’s ambition to present Dame Joan Sutherland to the Australian public after her international acclaim in London in 1959. Hence the Sutherland-Williamson Opera Company was formed in 1963. As Artistic Director, Richard Bonynge engaged a team of world-renowned principals and internationally successful Australian artists. One of those principals was a young tenor from Modena named Luciano Pavarotti, and the chorus all Australian. There was no government subsidy and the fate of Williamson’s future rested on the success of the venture. The triumphant Melbourne opening heralded the return of Dame Joan to her homeland: it was a season never to be forgotten. Frank Tait died at the age of 81 after the Melbourne season finished and while the company was in Adelaide. It was the end of an era in the history of Australian theatre. In Richard Bonynge’s words: “Sir Frank Tait has done the greatest service to Australian Theatre and to the arts of anyone we know.”
2016 – Emma Moore
2015 – Tabatha McFadyen
2014 – James Ioelu
2013 – Marlena Devoe