2019 Cleo Lee McGowan

Cleo Lee-McGowan, winner of the 2019 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship. Photo: WinkiPoP Media

Congratulations Cleo Lee-McGowan, Winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship 2019


Published: 05/08/2019 11:00am

Sydney Eisteddfod is pleased to present Victorian singer Cleo Lee-McGown as the winner of Sydney Eisteddfod's 2019 Opera Scholarship. The Final event was held at The Concourse, Chatswood on Sunday 4 August. The Scholarship attracts the best of the best emerging operatic talent annually and this year's Final - with an all-female lineup of finalists for the first time in 24 years - exceeded all expectations.

Cleo performed Ach, ich fühl’s from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Comme autrefois from Bizet’s Les pêcheurs des perles. She demonstrated superior technique and incredible emotion in her performances at the Final.

Cleo was awarded the Sydney Eisteddfod John Lamble Foundation Winner Scholarship. The Scholarship is comprised of a $37,000 Scholarship and $3,000 cash, plus a return economy airfare (up to the value of $3,000) to undertake overseas study for the operatic stage, including vocal tuition/coaching, languages and stagecraft. This prize was generously sponsored by The John Lamble Foundation. Cleo will use the Scholarship to fund her studies when she moves to London in September to study am Artist Masters of Performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

19-year-old singer Juliette Di Bello was awarded second place. She received $2,000 cash plus an $8,000 scholarship, sponsored by The Sydney Savage Club, Margaret Moore, Arete Zantiotis and John Germain Memorial Funds. Juliette plans to use her Scholarship to fund her studies as she moves to New York in September to study at Juilliard.

Third prize, $5,000 sponsored anonymously, was awarded to Michelle Ryan.

2019 Opera Scholarship WinnersJuliette Di Bello, Cleo Lee-McGowan and Michelle Ryan with adjudicators Cheryl Barker AO and John Pringle AM at the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship Final (pictured left to right). Photo: WinkiPoP Media

The remaining finalists: Bronwyn Douglass, Kirsten Jones, Anna Stephens, Panayiota Kalatzis and Olivia Cranwell each received $1,000, sponsored by Douglas Sutherland AM; Michael Taylor & from the Leslie Andrews Memorial Awards.

Two lucky Finalists, Michelle Ryan and Anna Stephens have been invited to compete in the 2019 Fine Music Young Virtuoso Award state final on Sunday 13 October at The Founders Studio, Fine Music 102.5 from 3pm-5pm.

Sydney Eisteddfod applauds Cleo for this outstanding achievement and looks forward to following along with her journey as she strives to achieve her dreams.