2021 Updated Competition - due to Covid-19 travel border restrictions into Australia, the 2021 competition will be held online. There will be no live auditions in 2021.

The 2021 competition is to assist singers in the opera profession who have lost work due to Covid-19.
The prizes in 2021 will be in the form of cash grants.

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

Welcome to the 2021 Online Elizabeth Connell Prize International Singing Competition - updated 9 April.

Please download this year's competition full details by clicking on the Rules and Criteria button above.

1. The competition is open to sopranos and mezzo sopranos aged 25-34 as of 1 April 2021 who currently perform or show the potential to perform the more dramatic repertoire.

2. Qualifying entrants MUST be singers who have lost contracted work due to Covid-19. Lost contracts do not have to be those of dramatic roles.

3. Entrants will be required to send 3 contrasting arias by video link either in performance or in a studio with piano or orchestra, a CV/biography, photograph (jpeg) and a statement on how Covid-19 has affected your performance schedule and what plans/performances you have for 2021 and beyond.

4. Video links must be no older than from November 2019 posted on either youtube, or in cloud format as mp4s.

5. One of the arias must be by either R Strauss, G Verdi or R Wagner. Two different languages must be performed.

6. The more lyric repertoire is welcome and recommended to suit entrants current age and ability.

8. Female professional singers from all backgrounds may enter the competition with the exception of previous first prize winners of the Elizabeth Connell Competition.

*  A total of up to AUD$60,000 in cash prizes or approximately USD$47,000, Euro$40,000, GBP£33,000
*  Eight cash prizes will be offered ranging from AUD$3,000 - $10,000.
*  Up to four $10,000 prizes may be awarded by the judges.

Entry Fee: AUD$50 to be paid via paypal through the online process which will be active shortly.

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 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 years as of 1 April in any given year. The competition is to financially assist female singers who are not necessarily dramatic sopranos now but who show the potential to move into the more dramatic repertoire.

Since 2014, the ECP has awarded AUD$262,000 in scholarships and 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 to the Elizabeth Connell Prize of $2 or more are fully tax deductible and can be made via direct deposit or by sending a cheque.

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

Direct Debit
Bank: ANZ Bank
Acct Name: The Elizabeth Connell Scholarship Fund
Acct No: 4079 37962
BSB: 012 547

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 also 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:

Trustees for the Elizabeth Connell Scholarship Fund
Elizabeth Corbett, Fiona Janes, Andrew Sinclair

News Items
Limelight Magazine - 2017
Limelight Magazine - 2016
Limelight Magazine
Opera Magazine - 2015

Other Links
Elizabeth Connell Biography