Press Releases 2014-2015

Welsh Graduate Wins Australasia’s Richest Operatic Contest


Isabella MooreA recent graduate from the Wales International Academy of Voice (WIAV), a part of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), has won Australasia's richest competition for Opera and Classical singing.

Twenty-three year old Soprano Isabella Moore, from Auckland in New Zealand,recently won the prestigious International Foundation for Arts and Culture (IFAC) Australian Singing Competition in Sydney, a contest which rewards and provides career opportunities to emerging Australian and New Zealand opera and classical singers under the age of twenty-six.

The competition evolved from the Marianne Mathy Scholarship, established through a bequest made by Marianne Mathy-Frisdane, a distinguished teacher of opera and classical singing. 'The Mathy' is regarded as one of Australasia's most prestigious awards.

Isabella recently completed a Masters degree in Advanced Vocal Studies, with Distinction, at WIAV. WIAV is based in Cardiff and, as a part of UWTSD, works with a select number of operatic singers from around the world, under the directorship of Dennis O’Neill and the patronage of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Isabella said: “I am so pleased and honoured to have won the prestigious IFAC Australian Singing Competition. I'm overwhelmed and can't quite believe it. I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to sing with the world-class Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and conductor Johannes Fritzsch. I honestly couldn't have won without the support and love from my parents, family, friends and of course my amazing teachers Dennis O'Neill and Nuccia Focile at the Wales International Academy of Voice. Their teaching and guidance has been the key to my success and I am so grateful to them and also to all the coaches who have put their time and effort into me and my voice.”

Dennis O’Neill said: “Having been the adjudicator of this event in 2012, I know how significant and important this competition is, how very high the standard is, and what a major achievement this is for Isabella. We are very proud of her and delighted at her recognition of WIAV in her development.”

A month before being awarded ‘The Mathy’, Isabella also won the 2014 Lexus Song Quest in New Zealand. Over the past fifty years this major competition, managed by the New Zealand Festival, has developed an impressive list of winners who have forged successful international careers. This includes WIAV patron Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. During the summer Isabella also secured first prize in the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria and in Hamilton’s Premier Vocal Award competition. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2014 ROSL Music Competition in London.

Isabella's opera work to-date includes the lead role of Gulnara in II Corsaro (Verdi). She has taken part in MasterClasses with artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Richard Bonynge, and has attended the New Zealand Opera School summer programme. Isabella recently performed in Swansea as part of UWTSD’s Dylan Thomas Gala Concert.

Note to Editor

  1. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was formed in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 Swansea Metropolitan University merged into the University.
  2. The University’s 1828 Royal Charter is the oldest in Wales and is third to Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH The Prince of Wales is the University’s Royal Patron.
  3. On 1 August 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged into the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group but will retain its own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged into the group on 1 January 2014.

Further Information

Steven Stokes
Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer
07872 423788