Last night, I had the great privilege of receiving the Marianne Mathy Scholarship and the Nicole Car Prize from His Excellency, General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) at the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition. This is truly a dream come true. The prizes will enable me to pursue my proposed plan of launching a career abroad in 2023. I would like to deeply thank; Maestro Vladimir Fanshil, Guest Artist Eleanor Lyons and the Opera Australia Orchestra (wow!!), the team at MOST (Music & Opera Singers Trust), the generosity of Dr. Haruhisa Handa and all other sponsors, the adjudicators, including National Adjudicator, Graham Pushee, Bradley Gilchrist (semi-finals accompanist) and of course, my fellow finalists. They are all tremendous people of great merit.
I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has ever helped me and supported me to chase my dreams. I have a tremendous network of family, friends, colleagues, teachers and coaches that I’ve constantly been able to draw upon. In particular, I must thank Maree Ryan AM who spent countless hours over the last six years teaching me to use my instrument, and for creating a singing actor from the ground up. I simply could not have done this without Maree’s careful guidance. I must also acknowledge the staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music that took a chance on me early on in admitting me to the undergraduate course. The Con has generously supported me with various scholarships over the last six years. Of course, I also acknowledge the role my beloved high school (Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts), its teachers and my hometown’s community for my early learning and performance opportunities. Interestingly, I'm the fourth singer from Wollongong to win this prize. Before me came Ayşe Göknur Shanal, Emma Moore and Rachel Bate, my incredible former teacher. When I had the pleasure of meeting him, His Excellency was quick to remind me that he is also a ‘Wollongong boy’. I’m incredibly proud of where I come from.
Finally, I would like to thank my incredible parents Anne & Billy Boulton who have made this possible for me from an early age through their incredible work ethic and sacrifice across decades. They continue to inspire me greatly. Of course, I must also thank and acknowledge my darling girlfriend, Cassandra Doyle whose support is unwavering.
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Images by Chanae Horsley from Winkipop Media