Testimonials from former Scholarship and Study Grant Recipients
The following are messages from just some of our previous award recipients. A comprehensive list of all our awards can be found under Awards and Prizes.
Roberto Abate tenor
As a finalist in 2013 and 2014, I am so grateful to the Joan Sutherland Richard Bonynge Foundation for the support they have offered me. This has been invaluable in allowing me to establish myself as an artist in London. The Foundation find creative and thoughtful ways of supporting young artists, and the gifts they have given me, including a wealth of wonderful musical resources, have touched me deeply and allowed me to broaden my knowledge of many of the world’s greatest tenors and their repertoire. The Foundation has always been extremely supportive of young singers such as myself, and their contribution to the opera world in Australia and New Zealand is invaluable. Many of us are extremely grateful for the support and advice of Richard Bonynge, and I for one remain extremely appreciative for all that he has done for me.
2011/2012 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Finalist Prize
Stacey Alleaume soprano
I am very honoured to have been a finalist in the Bel Canto Award. I received the Salvatore Ferragamo Prize and every time I wear my beautiful shoes for a performance I am reminded of this wonderful organisation and competition that nurtures and encourages young talent. This year, I made my debut performing Léïla in the Pearlfishers at the Sydney Opera House, and it is such an inspiration to be using Dame Joan Sutherland’s dressing room.
2012 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Award Finalist Prize & Salvatore Ferragamo Prize
Morgan Balfour soprano
As a young singer, the name Joan Sutherland represents a level of skill, refinement, craftsmanship and nonpareil beauty to aspire to. Being awarded a scholarship in her name is a great honour to a musician of any level, and having the sense that you are a part of the amazing legacy she has left behind is both edifying and stupendous.
2014/2015 DECCA Award winner in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Rachel Bate soprano
Joan Sutherland was an Operatic Soprano of great talent and integrity. She was able to master the art form of Opera and take on the world, whilst still able to be a Mother and run her home with great humility and grace. Joan Sutherland is an inspiration to me in more than one way. Her dedication to her technique, the music, her craft, her family and her no nonsense approach are the things I admire. To win the Deborah Riedel Award in the 2014 JSRB Bel Canto Award, was nothing short of overwhelming and truly humbling. To be performing in front of possibly the greatest conductor of the last century, Maestro Bonynge himself, was a memory that I will cherish forever. I feel very grateful to have been awarded a place in this prestigious alumni.
2014 Deborah Riedel Award Winner in the Joan Sutherland Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Christopher Lincoln Bogg tenor
Joan Sutherland was certainly a great inspiration in the performances of hers I heard at a very formative time in my life. I recall the scholarship money was very useful when I had no money at the beginning of tertiary study before I was able to pick up concert work. Richard Bonynge had a great influence on me working together a number of times and I remember those occasions fondly.
1979 Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship Encouragement Award
Catherine Bouchier soprano
As an Australian soprano working in the UK and Europe, one was never long into a conversation before the name Dame Joan Sutherland came up with fellow singers or opera enthusiasts alike. These experiences have helped me appreciate how fortunate we young singers are to not only have met and sung with Dame Joan, but to also receive the ongoing support of the Joan Sutherland Society.
2007/2008 JSS Study Grant
José Carbó baritone
Thanks again to the JS RB Foundation for their tireless work in supporting young singers and the artform. Also, a warm personal thank you to Richard for all his straight forward and practical help at the beginning of my career.
2004 JSS Study Grant
Catherine Carby mezzo soprano
Winning the Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship prize at the Sydney Eisteddfod in 1994 was a huge deal for me as it was the first competition I ever won. Who knew that 20 years later I would still be working and recording with Richard!
1994 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
Joanna Cole soprano
1981 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
Jennifer Condon conductor
Thanks to a grant from the Foundation in 2012, I was able to engage a young Australian baritone, Laurence Meikle, for my debut CD – the world premiere recording of Sappho by Peggy Glanville-Hicks. Laurence joined a cast of internationally renowned singers who gave of their time and talent to kick-start my conducting career. This affirmed Maestro Bonynge’s advice – win over the singers and the rest will follow.
2012 JSS Recording Grant
Brad Cooper tenor
The most valuable lesson I learnt from Joan after meeting her at a JSS Concert was that there are as many techniques as there were singers and that the art of being a great singer was to find a path that would work for you. I’ll never forget her highlighting this with two examples: My high notes felt like they were on the floor behind me, whereas Nicolai Gedda felt his in his forehead – I always breathed very low, but then with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf you could see the boobies going up and down, and she always had a better pair than I did! Happy 90th Birthday, Joan.
2003 JSS Study Grant
Amy Corkery soprano
Like Joan Sutherland and many more, I have always followed my dream and passion to be an opera singer wherever in the world it has taken me – even if that means leaving the sunny Australian shores. Already my career has taken me to Italy, Estonia, U.K., Sweden, Austria and Germany. However, for young singers this would be out of reach without such organisations as the JSRB Foundation, as it enables singers to follow their dreams – wherever in the world it may take them.
2011 2nd Prize in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Marlena Devoe soprano
After winning the Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award in 2014, and as always, feeling inspired by La Stupenda, I moved to London and dedicated my time to working on my singing style in the bel canto tradition. As a result, most of the roles I have been cast in are from the bel canto repertoire. Thank you to everyone at the Foundation for believing in me, for your support and constant words of encouragement and for continuing to help young aspiring singers.
2014 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Winner
Amina Edris soprano
I never had the honour of meeting or hearing Dame Joan live, but I will always be grateful for the powers of iTunes, YouTube and all the technology out there that enables me to have access to a countless number of her wonderful recordings which I listen to almost on a daily basis. Naturally, one does not need to hear her voice live to be captivated by its power and beauty. She is a true inspiration to not just myself, but many young singers who aspire to have a technique half as good as the one she possessed and the ability to use the human voice with such grace and elegance. I am very grateful and honoured to be somewhat associated with Dame Joan through her and Maestro Bonynge’s Foundation, even in the smallest way possible, it makes my heart happy to be connected to the dynamic duo of the opera world.
2013 Deborah Riedel Award (3rd) Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Eloise Evans soprano
In 2006 I was awarded a scholarship from the Dame Joan Sutherland Foundation which gave me the opportunity to travel to Rome where I performed the title role in Puccini’s ‘Suor Angelica’.When I think of Dame Joan Sutherland, I immediately acknowledge one of the world’s most acclaimed sopranos. Dame Joan had an astonishing vocal range with an agility and brilliance that I am forever mesmerised by and continue to aspire to.
2006 JSS Study Grant
Andrew Finden baritone
The grant I received from the JSS in 2007 came as I was preparing to move to London to take up a place on the GSMD opera course. Not only did it help ease the financial cost of such an endeavour, but it was really encouraging to know that there were supporters back home who were helping me on the journey. It’s an honour to be counted amongst the Aussie singers across the globe whom were helped by Dame Joan and her legacy.
2007 JSS Study Grant
David Hansen countertenor
Although I had little to do with Dame Joan directly, I have fond memories of performing at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith NSW. I had just as much if not more to do with the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney (later renamed the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation), winning the Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship in 2002. This allowed me to further my vocal studies with Andrew Dalton, Graham Pushee and David Harper.
2002 Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship Winner
Russell Harcourt countertenor
I was awarded the Marja Baudish Encouragement Award in 2005 and study grants in 2008 & 2009 to contribute to my studies at The Royal Academy of Music in London. 2005 was the first and last time I could enter the competition and receiving the encouragement award was an unexpected surprise, but gratefully received. It was a great encouragement, both financially and professionally – a recognition of the countertenor voice. Without it, even the smallest things may not have been possible. The Foundation continues to foster and support the next generation of aspiring young singers and I’m very pleased to be listed among them.
2005 Marja Baudish Encouragement Award
2008/2009 JSS Study Grants
Christopher Hillier baritone
Joan Sutherland is one of the greats of all time and is ours. The tradition of Opera in Australia has been pioneered by Dame Joan and Richard.
Therefore, winning a foundation scholarship allows us to develop our craft, and follow those shining lights of inspiration.
2003 Marja Baudish Encouragement Award.
Annika Hinrichs soprano
Growing up in Central Queensland, while others idolized their favourite sports players, I had Dame Joan Sutherland. She was the Olympic Champion of singing, and with little exposure to opera in my small country town I was in absolute awe that an Australian had stepped onto the world stage in such an extraordinarily beautiful way. I had no comprehension then of the hard work and dedication that goes into training an opera singer and forging a career on the stage; but armed with my beginner singing lessons I decided she epitomized the best and so of course I wanted to be just like her! To be selected to perform in a competition bearing her name was a very proud moment, made all the better for the invaluable learning experience the competition provided for me as a developing artist. There may never be another Dame Joan Sutherland, but her legacy continues to be an inspiration to me and to all who love this beautiful art form.
2015 Kinnon Award in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award – the competitions youngest finalist at 20.
Phoebe-Celeste Humphreys soprano
As a young, developing singer it was an honour to receive a grant from such prestigious foundation. The grant assisted me in advancing my professional development and education both in Australia and overseas. It allowed to me to make a trip over to the UK and Europe to attend auditions, attend and participate in masterclasses, from which so many other fantastic performance opportunities arose. Thank you to the foundation for your continuing support of young Australian singers.
2009 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
2010 JSS Study Grant
James Ioelu bass baritone
What inspires me about Dame Joan Sutherland was not only did she possess an incredible voice and musical talent, she also had the foresight to work closely with a handful of people that she trusted and listened to. Through hard work and determination she, with her team, built a formidable career that is a continued inspiration to all. Receiving an award from the foundation enabled me to refine my vocal technique and as a direct result I have since gone on to win places in the Merola Opera Program San Francisco as well as the National Opera Studio in London – arguably two of the best young artist programs today.
2014 Richard Bonynge Award (2nd) Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Fiona Janes mezzo soprano
I was fifteen when I first heard Joan Sutherland sing as Lucia in the SOH Concert Hall. What struck me was her beautiful, rich, luscious voice, amazing technique and mighty stage presence. That was the moment I decided I had to be an opera singer. I blame her entirely! To then win two scholarships in her name secured my fate! They gave me the incentive to pursue this extraordinary but difficult career and the means by which to pay for lessons I could ill-afford at that time. In the years that followed I was, and still am, inspired by the phenomenon that will always be “La Stupenda”. Her legacy is monumental, her achievements breathtaking at the very least. I thank you Dame Joan and Richard, the JS & RB Foundation and former JS Society for inspiring us all to fulfil our dreams. This Cinderella certainly went to the ball.
1983 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
1982 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Encouragement Award
Eva Kong soprano
When I received a special prize in the Bel Canto Award Maestro Bonynge called me a stage animal. After that I became a real stage animal. From Madame Mao, Gilda, Donna Anna to Liu. I have never forgotten his advice for every role. “Don’t be afraid to sing soft. You should make people listen to you rather than sing out too much for them.” I sincerely thank the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation and Maestro Bonynge for their support and encouragement.
2011 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Finalist Prize
John Longmuir tenor
Joan Sutherland is simply the reason I sing. From that first moment I heard her, she was and remains my inspiration
2011 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Winner
Alison Manifold soprano
Joan Sutherland was one of the first operatic voices I ever knew – among her many recorded gems her various renditions of “Sempre Libera” have been a constant in my life when I have needed music to feed my soul. The scholarship I received from the Joan Sutherland Richard Bonynge Foundation enabled me to continue my studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and ensured that I was able to work with some of the best coaches and teachers as well as ensure that I was able to purchase essential scores to study from. Without their support I am certain I would not be where I am today.
2007 JSS Study Grant
Dominica Matthews mezzo soprano
When one hears the name Joan Sutherland, I think of someone who all Australians can aspire to be like and an absolute lady. Receiving The Joan Sutherland Society Scholarship in 1997 and the runner-up award in the same scholarship in 1996 gave me the confidence to pursue my love of music, which sees me living out a dream now that I never knew I had. Thank you.
1997 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
2003 JSS Study Grant
Tabatha McFadyen soprano
The opportunities that have been afforded me through the support of the JSRB Foundation, financially and otherwise, have been categorically life-changing. It is an honour to think that through the work of this foundation we as young Australians are able to walk upon the path paved by these two extraordinary, internationally-regarded artists. There could not be a finer example to follow, and as I continue through my journey as a singer, I will be forever grateful to the Foundation for including me in this community.
2015 Richard Bonynge Award (2nd) JS & RB Bel Canto Award
2011 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Finalist Prize
Laurence Miekle baritone
Dame Joan has been a source of inspiration to me – not only for her towering vocal excellence to which all singers can only aspire, but also as an example of what an Australian artist can achieve at an international level. My 2008/2010 study grants afforded me the opportunity to study in Europe, where I’ve since had the pleasure of working closely with Richard Bonynge on my repertoire. Long may they both continue to inspire listeners and fellow artists!
2008/2010 JSS Study Grant
Emma Moore soprano
I am deeply appreciative of the support the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation has provided during my career development. The scholarship funds enabled me to undertake further studies overseas, and as a young singer the Joan Sutherland Society provided an important platform for some of my first performance opportunities outside the university environment. Performing at such events as Richard Bonynge’s 80th Birthday at Angel Place and witnessing the legacy of these two remarkable artists gave me new insights and inspiration in my pursuit of this career. The advice I received from Richard after the JSS in 2008, emphasising the importance of both refined bel canto singing and patience in this art form, has and continues to be valued guidance.
2008 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Vocal Scholarship Winner
2012 2nd Prize in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Isabella Moore soprano
Dame Joan Sutherland is one of the most important names in operatic history. Her legacy lives on through her and Richard Bonynge’s Foundation that is so crucial in helping young opera singers pursue their careers in opera. I won the 2015 JS & RB Bel Canto Award, and the support, funding and opportunities offered through the competition have made the next phase of my operatic journey possible! I am very grateful and honoured to be associated with the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation.
2015 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Winner
Darren Pene Pati tenor
The Joan Sutherland name means prestige for me. The name itself epitomizes bel canto in its finest form. Hearing the name of the Dame garners respect of such a highly regarded singer. I, along with millions, hold Joan Sutherland in such high esteem and she deserves nothing less. As the Italians so perfectly named, La Stupenda. Receiving this award is a great honor. It allows you to move along the singing ranks with highly respected names on your CV. It means so much to me because having won the award, you feel that you get to dream in the ranks of the legends. This award boosted my morale and confidence and allowed me to forward my progress greatly. I am thankful to the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation for the amazing opportunity and recognition I have had from their award.
2012 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Winner
2011 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Be Canto Award Finalist Prize
Morgan Pearse baritone
I had the pleasure of meeting Dame Joan when I placed second in the Joan Sutherland Society (now this fabulous Foundation) all the way back in the 2007 competition in the Sydney Eisteddfod. It was my first year at university, first singing competition and I was astounded to be there if I’m honest, not to mention completely star-struck by Dame Joan and Richard. She told me that I should play the ‘long game’ and always sing beautifully: never too big or heavy – principles which I hold dear to this day. That meeting formed the spark that has created the chain reaction of what is now my fledgling career and I am honoured to be associated in even the smallest way with the foundation that made it possible so many years ago.
2011 Rosina Raisbeck Award in the Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship
2009 Rosina Raisbeck Award in the Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship
2007 Marja Baudish Encouragement Award in the Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship
Margaret Plummer mezzo soprano
I won the Marja Baudish Encouragement Award in 2004. This award came at a pivotal time for me and provided me with much needed encouragement and validation that I was on the right path. I have always admired and appreciated the work that the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge society have done to provide young singers with much needed financial and emotional support, thank you!
2004 Marja Baudish Encouragement Award
Kathryn Radcliffe soprano
The operatic legacy of Joan Sutherland an Richard Bonynge and the dedication of this foundation to young Australian singers is tremendously important. It is both humbling and inspiring to be a part of such a supportive and passionate group of people. It was the voice of Joan Sutherland that first kindled my own passion for this art form, so I am especially excited to be able to share the music I love with others as a part of this award.
2013/2014 Kinnon Award in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Amy Radford soprano
Receiving funding from the Joan Sutherland Society as well as winning the Dame Joan Sutherland Travelling Award in 2008 facilitated my goal of studying at the Royal Academy of Music and performing professionally in the UK. I now work as a performance coach, helping performers to prepare mentally for peak performance. This is a great privilege, that wouldn’t be possible without the essential lessons that I learnt on this journey, so thank you!
2005/2006/2007/2008 JSS Study Grants
Joslyn Rechter mezzo soprano
The Joan Sutherland Society Awards provide not only much needed financial support for the extensive and demanding training needed as the basis for a long-lasting career as an opera singer, but are an important stepping stone in the transition from student to professional. I am extremely grateful to the Society for the opportunities it provided me with, and am very proud to be one of the many recipients of this iconic Foundation’s support.
1991 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
Matthew Reardon tenor
The names Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge mean a great deal to me. Joan Sutherland was one of the greatest voices of all time, and her legacy is a true inspiration! Making the finals a few years ago gave me the opportunity to sing for Maestro Bonynge in a post finals master-class which was an honor. Richard was kind but tough and gave me some great ideas. I was again fortunate to work with him this year in Cardiff at the Wales International Academy of Voice, where we worked on Edgardo’s death scene from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. It was such a surreal experience working with him on this piece as it’s His and Joan’s most iconic work. In that moment I had to pinch myself! Maestro was tough but extremely helpful. I was truly grateful to have him conduct me through this piece of music that he knows most intimately. I thank both him and Joan for their pioneering legacy. I also thank the JSRB Foundation for the opportunity as it gave me the confidence to continue pursing my dream.
2015 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Semi Finalist Prize
2014 Kinnon Award in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award
Sam Roberts-Smith baritone
In 2006 I won the Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship, followed in 2008 by the inaugural Rosina Raisbeck award. Not only did these awards provide crucial financial support but gave me the confidence and encouragement to continue to pursue a career in opera. I will always be thankful to the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation.
2006 Joan Sutherland Society Vocal Scholarship Winner
2008 Rosina Raisbeck Award
James Roser baritone
Without the assistance from societies such as the JSRB Society, it would have been impossible for me to have had the money to travel overseas to study and begin an operatic career overseas. Joan Sutherland was of course an operatic icon, being one of the greatest sopranos with such a wonderful technique, but was also an inspiration for Australian singers trying to begin an operatic career, when the rest of the operatic world seemed so distant from Australia.
2008/2010 JSS Study Grant
Samuel Sakker tenor
Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge’s dedication to the art and craft of the voice are an inspiration to young singers around the world, their recordings of bel canto repertoire made me fall in love with opera. Winning the Eva Maria Szekely Award in 2011 gave me a great deal of self -confidence to continue my path as a performer.
2011 Eva Maria Szekely Award
Cassandra Seidemann mezzo soprano
The name Joan Sutherland is simply put, my inspiration. She inspires me to create beauty and truth with every note sung, every movement made and each emotion portrayed. Winning the grant made me even more determined to succeed in this industry, not for fame or fortune, but to create beautiful moments that could perhaps inspire someone else.
2010 JSS Study Grant
Helen Sherman mezzo soprano
For me, the Joan Sutherland name is synonymous with bel canto; in literal terms, something that all singers strive for. Receiving an award from an organisation bearing Dame Joan’s name was a dream come true, not only in terms of the crucial and timely financial support it provided me, but in terms of the inspiration and encouragement that comes with it – something that is priceless in this tough but wonderful profession of ours.
2010/2012 JSS Study Grant
Abraham Singer bass baritone
The name Joan Sutherland means dedication, success and support to me. The grant I received from the organization at that time facilitated me in pursuing lessons with my teacher and dedicating myself to my passion. Thank you!
2007/2010 JSS Study Grant
Stuart Skelton tenor
Named Male Singer of the Year at the 2014 International Opera Awards, Stuart Skelton is one of the finest heldentenors on the stage today, critically acclaimed for his outstanding musicianship, tonal beauty and intensely dramatic portrayals.
1986 Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship Winner
Clarissa Spata soprano
It was with great honour that I won the Dame Joan Encouragement Award not only once, but twice. It came as not only a financial means to better myself as an artist, but of course the absolute encouragement I needed to keep going. I have gone on to 6 years of touring with Opera Australia, I won the Opera Foundation Australia’s Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship in 2011, I am a core member of The 7 Sopranos, Creative Director of my own Vocal Group FUSION, I entertain with my solo Soprano show around the world on Luxury Liners in my “non opera seasons “and I am proud to say that I am now a full time professional artist. Thank you Dame Joan Sutherland Foundation for believing in me, it was that belief that helped me along this very long journey.
2001 JSS Encouragement Award
Daniel Sumegi bass baritone
Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge represent the pinnacle of the operatic art form. As a two-time award winner I have always striven to reach those artistic goals, and the award was a major encouragement for a budding young student to set out on that path with those two shining beacons as an example of what could be achieved in a singing career.
1984 Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship Winner
1983 JSS Encouragement Award
Katharine Tier mezzo soprano
15 year ago (yikes that seems like a long time) I won the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney Scholarship. I was 19 years old and had a terrible cold the day of the final competition. I didn’t think I stood a chance in hell of winning let alone phonating with any semblance of control or precision. My ears were utterly blocked and though my family and teacher insisted I sounded fit I had severe reservations. I sang in the final and I remember coming off stage fuming, I was furious that my nearest and dearest not only allowed, but encouraged me to make what I was certain was an absolute fool of myself. I was astounded to receive such positive feedback from audience members and utterly shocked when I won. It was such an important day for me for so many reasons; it was my first significant competition success which was in and of itself a confidence boost. More than that it was an important learning experience, I saw firsthand how important it is to have solid technique which you can rely upon to carry you through even when you are under the weather. It also taught me that sometimes we are not the best judges of our own work, moreover it isn’t ours to judge our own work it is only ours to offer it. This involves learning to trust, in ourselves, our ability, and the worth of what we have to contribute artistically. There is no better organisation for a young singer to put their trust in than the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney and now Foundation. 15 years later and across the globe they still hold a very special place in my heart for all their amazing support through the years.
2001 Joan Sutherland Vocal Scholarship Winner
Sarah Toth soprano
I have loved being a part of the JSRB Foundation family the last few years. They have been very supportive to me as an artist through masterclasses, and a grant for vocal development! I was pleased to be a semi-finalist in the Bel Canto competition in 2014, and a reserve finalist in 2015. I appreciate how the Foundation is building a legacy so that singers can pursue their dreams. Beautiful singing has the ability to cut deep into hearts and to transform those who hear it. This is why I sing.
2014/2015 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Semi Finalist Prize
2014 JS & RB Study Grant
Kathryn Williams soprano
Joan Sutherland is quite simply my first and foremost inspiration to become an opera singer. I hope to one day perform the famous mad scenes of the bel canto repertoire even half as beautifully as she did. Receiving an award from the foundation has meant that I could receive coachings and lessons that I otherwise wouldn’t have, and has encouraged me to continue developing as a singer and pursue a career in opera.
2015 Megan Evans OAM Encouragement Award
Jessie Mackenzie Wilson soprano
As a young Australian singer, I recognise that Dame Joan Sutherland has been for past sopranos and importantly future sopranos, the very aspirational benchmark of excellence in female operatic voice. I feel that Joan found the perfect balance between international acclaim and genuine Australian humility. It was an honour to sing for The Dame Joan and Richard Bonynge Foundation in concert and to compete alongside some of Australia’s finest young artists, all of whom I know share a common affection and respect towards La Stupenda.
2015 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award Semi Finalist Prize
Valda Wilson soprano
Dame Joan’s crystalline yet warm timbre has always epitomised truly beautiful singing for me. The Joan Sutherland Society supported my French and Italian studies in the summer of 2005. I was a science graduate in my first year of training as a fledgling opera singer and this was exactly the practical encouragement and affirmation I needed. The JSS grant I received in 2010 helped fund an important phase of my professional development in Germany. Singing the title role of Rodelinda in my hometown under Maestro Bonynge’s baton for the JS & RB Foundation’s production in 2012 will remain a personal career highlight; so too the humbling honour of singing at the Westminster Abbey memorial service for Dame Joan. Heartfelt thanks for the ongoing support and opportunities you offer to so many young Australian singers.
2005/2010 JSS Study Grant Recipient