1. The Lexus Song Quest is open to all New Zealand singers, resident in New Zealand or living overseas, aged between 18 and 32 on Saturday 28 July 2018, except:
    1. Singers whose main income during the past two years was derived from full-time professional singing either as performers or teachers;
    2. Winners of the first place in a previous Lexus or Mobil Song Quest;
    3. Employees of the New Zealand Festival (NZF), Toyota New Zealand Limited, Toyota Financial Services Limited, their advertising agencies, subsidiaries and Lexus dealership staff.
  2. A New Zealand singer is a person who:
    1. is a New Zealand citizen for the purposes of the Citizenship Act 1977 or the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982;
    2. is eligible for New Zealand citizenship pursuant to the Citizenship Act 1977 or the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act 1982 and who has applied in the prescribed manner to the Minister of Internal Affairs pursuant to either of those Acts as appropriate. Evidence of the application must be attached to the entry form. If the application is declined or withdrawn for any reason whatsoever while the entrant remains a contestant, the organisers reserve the right to terminate the entrant’s participation in the Lexus Song Quest without liability for any losses or damages to the entrant.
  3. Entries will be accepted only by completing the online application on or before 6pm, Monday 26 March 2018. Those who are unable to apply online may complete the official entry form available for download from this website or by request via lexussongquest@festival.co.nz or +64 4 473 0149. All applications must be received on or before 6pm, Monday 26 March 2018. Entrants are to notify the Administrator of any changes of address. Late or incomplete entries will not be accepted.
  4. All contestants must consent to participate in all media activity required by the NZF and Lexus including but not limited to interviews, filming, photo shoots and social media participation. Any social media participation will be based on a content plan with guidelines to be advised by NZF.
  5. All recordings and any associated stills photography become the property of the NZF and Lexus and may be used without reference or payment of fees.
  6. All entrants will be required to attend audition venues for the preliminary judging in Auckland, Wellington or Dunedin at their own expense.  Auditions will take place during the week commencing 7 May 2018, dates and venues to be advised. The NZF and Lexus reserve the right to cancel an audition centre from the schedule if there are insufficient numbers applying in that area to warrant such a visit. In this case entrants will be required to attend an alternative audition location at their own expense.
  7. At the preliminary audition entrants may select the first piece to perform and the judges will indicate which further two of the six prepared music items they wish to hear. Entrants must perform the selected items. There will be no debate as to the judges’ selection. (See Music Preparation.)
  8. Entrants must provide their own accompanist and music for the preliminary audition.
  9. Singers unable to attend the auditions must submit a vocal and video recording of their full programme by 27 April 2018. (See Music Preparation.)
  10. The vocal recording must be of a professional quality and the video recording must show the contestant performing the six items for judging purposes. The tracks must be unedited, recorded without excessive reverb or processing and have a good balance between the voice and piano.
  11. Entrants will be notified of the selected 10 semi-finalists by email. Semi-finalists are required to participate in a range of media opportunities including but not limited to interviews, filming, photo shoots and social media participation.
  12. Semi-finalists must submit a detailed study proposal including a budget to the Administrator by Monday 18 June 2018. The study proposal will be the basis for discussion in an interview between the semi-finalist and the head judge. The study proposals of the two prize winners will be developed as the basis of their respective Lexus Song Quest Study Scholarship.
  13. The 10 semi-finalists will travel to Wellington on Sunday 15 July 2016 for a Coaching Academy with Head Judge Lisa Gasteen, starting on Monday 16 July 2018.  All Semi-Finalists will participate in individual coaching sessions with Sir Lisa Gasteen in preparation for the Semi-Finals concert to be held in Wellington on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July 2018. NZF will provide an accompanist and meet the costs of domestic travel and accommodation for any semi-finalists not resident in Wellington. The NZF or Lexus will not cover the cost of international airfares for any semi-finalists living outside of New Zealand who must be available to participate in this part of the competition in Wellington.
  14. Semi-finalists will each perform two contrasting songs for piano and one aria (with piano accompaniment) for an invited audience of VIP guests at the semi-final concert, 21 and 22 July 2018 in Wellington. See Music Preparation.
  15. Lisa Gasteen will announce the five finalists who will compete in the Grand Final at the end of the semi-final concert on Sunday 22 July 2018. Radio New Zealand may broadcast the semi-final concert live (to be confirmed).
  16. Semi-finalists agree to participate in future Lexus events during the year following the Lexus Song Quest final subject to their availability. Any participation for future Lexus events will be on a professional basis and will include payment of a fee as well as domestic travel and hospitality as required.
  17. Finalists will be required to arrive in Auckland for rehearsals prior to the final concert. Authorised domestic travel expenses and single hotel accommodation for any non-Auckland based finalists will be provided by the NZF and Lexus.
  18. At the Grand Final on Saturday 28 July 2018, the five finalists will sing one art song accompanied by pianist Terence Dennis and two arias accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Finalists must be prepared to sing to the accompaniment provided and be recorded for radio and television. See Music Preparation.
  19. The winner of the Lexus Song Quest 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. The runner-up will receive an immediate cash prize of $10,000 net and a Study Scholarship of $10,000 proudly supported by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation. The other three finalists will each receive an immediate cash prize of $3,500 net. The Study Scholarships must be taken up within a period of two years from the date of the final concert. There will be a further $15,000 scholarship prize for the most promising singer, selected by Lisa Gasteen from the semi-finalists (the winner of the Lexus Song Quest is not eligible for this prize) and presented at the Grand Final by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation.
  20. The winner and the runner-up of the Lexus Song Quest must be available until Tuesday 31 July 2018 to participate in a private recital in Wellington (tbc). A performance fee, along with the cost of flights, accommodation, ground transport and per diems will be provided for.
  21. All recordings become the property of the NZF and Lexus and may be used without reference or payment of fees. Contestants under contract to a recording company must obtain formal approval in writing to enable the NZF and Lexus to use any recordings made. Evidence of any recording contract release must be included with the entry form.
  22. It is an express and paramount condition of entry that all entrants shall accept these conditions and the rulings of the various judges as final and binding, whether in relation to matters covered by these conditions or otherwise. Under no circumstances will correspondence be entered into with entrants, teachers or sponsors, or interviews granted regarding such decisions or rules.
  23. The NZF and Lexus do not accept any responsibility for any accident, loss or injury that may occur to an entrant or his/her property, whether arising out of negligence or otherwise, at any time, in relation to the Lexus Song Quest. Nor shall anything contained or implied in these conditions be deemed to create the relationship of master or servant as between the entrant and the NZF and Lexus. It is a condition of entry that all entrants shall release NZF and Lexus from liability accordingly.