2018 LEXUS SONG QUEST
On our journey to find the voices of tomorrow, Lexus Song Quest has discovered the great singers of today. This coveted title is a life-changing career win – having launched the incredible talents of Dame Malvina Major, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Phillip Rhodes, Jonathan Lemalu and Sol3 Mio’s Amitai Pati.
In 2018 the stakes were high, with a share of $90,000 in prizes up for grabs at the Grand Final Gala on Saturday 28 July at the Auckland Town Hall.
Home Town: Whangarei
Originally from Whangarei and currently studying in Manchester, soprano Eliza Boom grew up on the stage, singing with her family at churches across New Zealand. “My mum and dad are huge role models in my life – I get a lot of my musicality from them.”
Home Town: Porirua
It’s not every day you meet an opera singing scientist. 2018 Semi-Finalists Joe Haddow, who hails from Porirua, is following his opera dream – currently working on The Elixir of Love with New Zealand Opera, and singing with Kāpiti Chamber Choir – all while pursuing a Bachelor of Science double major in Ecology and Biodiversity, and Cell and Molecular Bioscience at the Victoria University of Wellington.
Home Town: Auckland & Tonga
Manase Latu is a proud choir boy from South Auckland, ready to hit the high-lights of the opera world. Growing up in church and being surrounded by his Tongan culture, music has always been a vital part in Manase’s life. However, it was not until 2011, when he joined his high school choir that he was propelled into the world of classical music.
Home Town: Auckland
Originally from Auckland, Filipe is currently studying a Masters of Music within the Opera Studies programme at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. While he’s loving the opportunity, he admits he “really misses Pacific Island food!”
Chelsea Dolman is a beer brewing soprano originally from Taupō, and while her day job is working in the finance department of Hamilton City Council’s H3 she maintains her opera passion by travelling to Auckland to study with Catrin Johnsson.
Home Town: Orini
From growing up on a Waikato dairy farm to London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama – Jonathan Eyers is ready to take on the world. “It is a real privilege to be a part of the Lexus Song Quest. It has always been seen as the premiere competition, showcasing the best of what New Zealand has to offer,” says Jonathan.
Manhattan-based soprano Emily Mwila is excited to return to New Zealand for a second shot at the Lexus Song Quest title, having made it through to the Semi-Finals stage in 2016. Of Pakeha and Zambian descent, she’s currently studying a Master of Music in Voice at Mannes School of Music in New York.
Born in the Waikato, Madison Nonoa has a Bachelor of Music (First class Hons) from the University of Auckland. She’s currently one of a growing contingent of New Zealanders studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she is under the tutelage of the acclaimed soprano, Yvonne Kenny within the Opera Studies Masters Programme.
Born and raised in Auckland, Natasha Wilson (Te Arawa / Ngāpuhi), studied at the University of Auckland, graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Hons, first-class) majoring in Classical Vocal Performance in 2016. From September, she’ll commence post-graduate studies at the elite San Francisco Conservatory of Music in the U.S.
ROAD TO THE FINAL
The start of each Lexus Song Quest marks the beginning of an exhilarating ride for a special group of New Zealand’s best young singers. As with any journey, there are the joys of adventure, some roadblocks to navigate, and delight when we reach our destination. Plus we learn heaps along the way…
In 2018 the Lexus Song Quest finalists received a share of $90,000 in cash and study scholarship prizes.
Will receive an immediate cash prize of $20,000 net and a Study Scholarship of $27,000, plus economy international travel up to the value of $3,000.
Will receive an immediate cash prize of $10,000 net supported by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation and a Study Scholarship of $10,000.
The remaining finalists will each receive an immediate cash prize of $3,500 net. A $15,000 Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation scholarship will also be awarded.
21 & 22 July - St Andrew's on The Terrace, Wellington
The excitement builds as our ten Semi-Finalists compete for a place at the Grand Final, judged in front of a live audience.MORE
GRAND FINAL GALA
Saturday 28 July - Auckland Town Hall
Judged live on the night, this is New Zealand's most exciting and glamorous night of opera.MORE
24 & 29 July - Wellington & Auckland
A free public Masterclass series for future Song Quest hopefuls and their teachers with Head Judge.MORE
PREVIOUS QUEST WINNER
“The Lexus Song Quest is an incredible opportunity to share a song with the nation.”