Sydney Eisteddfod applauds Countertenor Nicholas Tolputt on his triumphant win in the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, which took place at The Concourse Concert Hall, Chatswood. Commanding the audience's attention with his angelic vocals, Nicholas showed a breadth of emotion in his expressive performance of Britten's I Know a Bank from A Midsummer Night's Dream and Händel's Stille amare from Tolomeo.
This historical event attracts only the highest caliber of performers, resulting in all eight finalists singing being of an impeccable standard. However, Nicholas had a competitive edge over the other finalists and ultimately earning him the victory.
Nicholas was awarded a $35,000 scholarship, $5,000 cash, plus airfares to the value of $3,000 allowing him the opportunity to can engage in advanced studies abroad.
Nicholas has always loved classical music and said Opera has become his way of connecting with the art form he is so passionate about. To him, Opera represents “passion, intensity, truthfulness, excitement and commitment”. Nicholas Tolputt is a graduate from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the first Countertenor to be awarded a scholarship with the Melba Opera Trust.
Tenor Boyd Owen took out the well-deserved second place of the evening, however judges Margaret Baker-Genovesi Deborah Humble and Tahu Matheson assured that it was not an easy feat discerning the winners.
Boyd said Opera singers are like Olympic athletes who dedicate their lives to the never-ending pursuit of performance excellence. “When a singer nails that famous passage from that famous aria we are so moved because we know it’s a gold medal moment”. He has studied in Australia, USA, Italy and Shanghai. This year the 33-year-old made his debut in the annual festival Maggio Musicale Fiorentino with Opera Florence, singing Lindoro in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri.
Sydney Eisteddfod congratulates Nicholas once again and is looking forward to seeing the great opera-fuelled adventure that is to come as a result of winning this prestigious award.