THE 42nd staging of the Warrnambool aria will have to wait another year.
The event, which is traditionally a key part of the Warrnambool Eisteddfod, was due to be held at the Lighthouse Theatre on Sunday afternoon but has been cancelled.
The event is held by the City of Warrnambool Eisteddfod.
Aria convenor Christine Hayes said the loss of the competition for 2017 was a big blow.
“It’s very disappointing, it is a showcase event for the music part of the eisteddfod,” Ms Hayes said.
“Last year we had 15 contestants and this year we only had five.
“We needed at least 12 to make it worthwhile to run it.
“The majority of the contestants come from Melbourne and from what we are hearing, a lot of aria competitions are not happening.
“They are not teaching classical vocals in schools as much as they once did.”
Ms Hayes said this was the third time in the history of the eisteddfod the aria competition has not been held.
First prize for the aria competition is usually $3500 and there is also an encouragement prize worth $500.
Ms Hayes said a decision on the long-term future of the competition was yet to be made.
“We will have a look at what interest we think there is going forward,” she said.
“We may consider developing a musical theatre feature event with local children that could build into a showcase event.
“We would like to keep the aria going but it is all dependent on numbers.”