High note for Warrnambool Eisteddfod Aria winner

OPERA and applause filled the King’s College auditorium yesterday as Teresa Duddy was named this year’s Warrnambool Eisteddfod Aria winner.

It was the City of Warrnambool Eisteddfod Society Inc’s 35th annual Aria event, with entrants travelling from as far as Wagga Wagga to compete.

Duddy claimed the coveted title after impressing the audience with powerful performances of Bellini’s Oh Quante Volte and Gounod’s Jeux Veux Vivre.

This year was the Melbourne-based opera singer’s first entry in the Warrnambool Eisteddfod and a welcome challenge, she said.

“It’s really hard just to not get nervous and make sure you’re calm when you sing,” the 26-year-old said.

“Competition is fairly new to me.

“You don’t really know what the adjudicator is looking for so you can’t think about who will win — you just have to do your thing.

“If you’re thinking about what they want it won’t be your true performance.

“Today for the first time I really decided just to have fun and enjoy the songs.

For her efforts Duddy took home a $3500 prize.

Senior vocal co-convener Leanne Bawden said she was very pleased with the standard of all performances this year.

“It was a very high-calibre competition, with a few singers even coming from New South Wales,” she said.

“It’s starting to build up and the universities are very good at helping promote it.”

Six finalists were chosen to perform yesterday after starting with 18 singers in Saturday’s heats, each entrant performed a lieder (German march song), a championship oratorio, an art song and an operatic aria.

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