10th Mietta Song Recital Award Approaches

A gift of song originally established by late Melbourne restaurateur and patron of the arts Mietta O’Donnell, and which now bears her name, will reach a significant milestone this year.  The 2008 Mietta Song Recital Award, the leading Australian and New Zealand Art Song competition, will be presented for the 10th time on July 12–13 at South Melbourne Town Hall.
Established in 1985 by Mietta O’Donnell to promote the performance and wider appreciation of Art Song, and continued biennially by the Mietta Foundation after her tragic death in 2001, the 2008 Mietta Song Recital Award offers $20,000 in cash prizes and career development opportunities.
Entries for this year’s award, which close this Wednesday, April 30, promise a superb tenth competition, to be overseen by judges Richard Bonynge, Richard Mills, Stephen McIntyre and Margaret Baker-Genovesi.   
Art Song is defined as a brilliant fusion of poetry and music, singer and pianist that first became popular in the 1750s.  With story-telling and emotion at its heart and virtuosity required for its delivery, the appeal and inherent challenge of Art Song performance continues today.
Previous Award winners have been Louise Page (1995), John Heuzenroeder (1996), Adele Johnston (1997), Blake Fisher (1998), Melanie Duncan (1999), Melinda Parsons (2000), Leah Thomas (2003), Hui Juan [Sharon] Zhai (2004) and Alexandra Sherman (2006).
“Mietta loved this form of singing and we have been determined that her name lives on in a manner that is actively encouraging, like Mietta herself,” said Mietta Foundation Awards Committee Chair Professor Emeritus John Poynter. 
“We are really pleased to have reached this milestone and to be presenting our tenth Award this year.  Our past winners have enjoyed the boost to their careers that the opportunity to travel and study brings, and their performances over the two days enable us all to share Mietta’s pleasure in seeing, hearing and helping artists to spread their wings,” said Professor Poynter.
The 2008 Mietta Song Recital Award competition finals will be held on Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13 at the South Melbourne Town Hall.  A series of public Master Classes will be held in the same venue during the week before the finals providing competitors with additional expert tuition and preparation. 
Full details and entry forms are available from www.miettas.com.au/msra

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