MEDIA RELEASE: ‘The Night is Nigh’ – Gala Final to reveal 2015 Opera Star

30 June, 2015 

Tension is mounting for the eight finalists from New Zealand and Australia competing to win ‘gold’ at the $58,000 Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Operatic Aria. With its lengthy, star-studded history, the scholarship is so highly respected in world opera circles that a place in the final is regarded as an award in itself.

On the night arias from composers Mozart, Wagner, Strauss, Rossini and Verdi - to name a few - will delight the audience as the finalists display their great range of talents before adjudicators John Bolton- Wood AM and Rosamund Illing accompanied by the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Steven Hillinger.

Formerly known as the Sun Aria, this annual competition attracts Australasia’s most outstanding young singers, and over the past eight decades, it has served as a launching pad for some of the world’s greatest artists with Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Heather Begg and Stuart Skelton among them. Most winners have gone on to enjoy professional careers, including Darren Pene Pati who emerged triumphant in 2011. Described by Maestro Richard as ‘a young tenor with a voice from the gods,’ Pati is now being likened internationally to the young Pavarotti.

This year’s finalists are: Isabella Moore (NZ) Lucy Bailes (NSW)

Amanda Windred (NSW) Chelsea Dolman (NZ)

Matthew Thomas (VIC) Jade Moffat (QLD)
Shanul Sharma (VIC) Eleanor Greenwood (NSW)

Over the years, an enormous number of finalists have progressed into hugely successful careers, and at present Lauren Fagan and Samuel Johnson, who sang in the 2012 final are making names for themselves as members of the Jette Parker Young Program with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Laced with excitement and suspense, the final is always a glittering event for opera enthusiasts and for the second year running internationally renowned bass baritone and 1989 winner, Daniel Sumegi will put his spin on proceedings acting as compere as the night unfolds in the magnificent Concourse Concert Hall, Chatswood.

Venue: The Concourse Concert Hall, Chatswood
Date: 5pm on 19 July, 2015
Tickets: $38 (adult) $31 (concession) $80 Final & After Party Bookings: Web:,au or

Visit: The Concourse Box Office 9am-6pm Monday-Friday, Cnr Victoria Avenue & Anderson Streets, Chatswood.

Call: Ticketek on 1300 795 012.
After Party: Phone Sydney Eisteddfod 02 9261 8366




For further information contact:


Jennifer Reilly
Communications, Media & Public Relations Manager
P: 02 9261 8366