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Welcome to the 8th Elizabeth Connell Prize International Singing Competition.

Patrons: Richard Bonynge AC CBE, Dame Anne Evans DBE, Bernadette Cullen
Est. 2014

Elizabeth Connell was a South African dramatic soprano, who attained international acclaim for her performances throughout her career. She began her professional life, singing as a mezzo soprano before transitioning to soprano. Her repertoire ranged from Rossini, Mozart and Bellini, to Strauss, Verdi and Wagner.  It was her love of the dramatic repertoire, which lead her to establish the Elizabeth Connell Prize. The competition’s aim, based on Elizabeth Connell’s own wishes, is to foster aspiring young dramatic female voices who show the potential to sing the more dramatic repertoire. Entrants do not have to currently be a dramatic soprano or dramatic mezzo soprano to enter, simply show potential. All repertoire is accepted, especially the lyric repertoire, which is highly encouraged for this age group. This competition is Elizabeth Connell’s legacy to the opera world.


Marta Danusevich - Belarus $10,000
Beth Taylor - Scotland $10,000
Deniz Uzun - Germany/Turkey $10,000
Margrethe Fredheim - Norway $9,000
Yunuet Laguna - Mexico $9,000
Carolina Lopez Moreno - Germany $7,000
Sophie Burns - Australia $5,000

View Elizabeth Connell Video Gallery


In past years, the competition has been held over 3 rounds. Video application, then live auditions throughout the world with five finalists flown to Sydney, Australia to compete for the $25,000 first prize. Due to Covid-19, the organisers are presently unable to hold the competition this way. Until travel restrictions are lifted and borders remain open, the competition will be held online until further notice.

Created from a legacy left by the South African soprano Elizabeth Connell, the competition is open to SOPRANOS & MEZZO SOPRANOS of all nationalities aged 25-34. The competition is to financially assist female opera singers who show the potential to move into the more dramatic repertoire. Since 2014, the ECP has awarded AUD$324,000 in prize money.

Previous Judges
Throughout the competition, judges have included Richard Bonynge, Simone Young, Dame Anne Evans, Christa Ludwig, Ruth Falcon, Dame Ann Murray, James Morris, Deborah Polaski, Jane Eaglen, Christine Goerke, Sharon Sweet, Bernadette Cullen, Glenn Winslade, Marilyn Richardson, Nance Grant, Brenda Hurley, Patricia Price, Jennifer McGregor and Fiona Janes.

Donations & Bequests
Donations of $2 or more are fully tax deductible and can be made via direct deposit or by cheque.

Cheques to: “The Elizabeth Connell Scholarship Fund” – P.O. Box 2692 Bowral NSW 2576 Australia.

Direct Deposit
Bank: ANZ Bank
Acct Name: The Elizabeth Connell Scholarship Fund
Acct No: 4079 37962
BSB: 012 547
Swift Bic: ANZBAU3M

Please ensure you state your name as a reference and email us at econnellprize@jsrbfoundation as to how you would like to receive you receipt.
Bequests can also be made to The Elizabeth Connell Scholarship Fund. We would love to acknowledge your bequest so do tell us.
We also value your privacy, therefore, fully understand if you would rather keep your bequest private.

We are seeking an airline sponsor and accommodation sponsor for this prize. If you think you can help us with airfares or hotel or studio apartments in Sydney please contact the administration on +61 (0) 40 202 4118 or by email at:

Major Donors
The Estate of Jesselene Simpson
Michael Barnes
Elizabeth Corbett & Mark Finlay
Universal Music Australia

Trustees for the Elizabeth Connell Scholarship Fund
Michael Barnes, Elizabeth Corbett, Bernadette Cullen, Barbara de Rome, Fiona Janes