Mietta Song Competition 1995-2016
The Mietta Song Competition (formerly known as the Mietta Recital Award) had its origins in the small venues of Port Fairy, where Len Vorster and the late Michael Easton created the Spring Music Festival, and in Mietta’s, the Melbourne restaurant in which the late Mietta O’Donnell and her partner Tony Knox established a salon of all the arts, and especially music. In 1995, the four, supported by the distinguished singer, Lauris Elms, initiated an award to foster art song, that intimate partnership of voice and piano.
The annual competitions were conducted by Mietta from 1995 until her untimely death early in 2001 and, from 1996, were known as the City of Melbourne Song Recital Award. The Mietta Foundation, formed to honour Mietta’s memory and continue her activities, enabled a renamed Mietta Song Recital Award Committee to revive the competition in April 2003. It has since been held in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Art song is a demanding discipline, requiring perfect cooperation between singer and pianist in matching word and music, and communicating both to the audience.
From the beginning, the Award aimed to assist singers to develop these skills, in Master Classes conducted by distinguished performers at the time of the competition, and, by providing opportunities for study and performance in Australia and overseas, to further their careers. It has now been suspended.
Mietta Song Competition archive
Mietta Song Competition Patrons
Founding Patron: Dame Joan Sutherland AC DBE OM and Maria O’Donnell
Patrons: Richard Bonynge AC CBE, Yvonne Kenny AM, Maria O’Donnell
Song Recital Award Past Winners
1995 Louise Page
1996 John Heuzenroeder
1997 Adele Johnston
1998 Blake Fischer
1999 Melanie Duncan
2000 Melinda Parsons
2003 Leah Thomas
2004 Sharon (Hui Juan) Zhai
2006 Alexandra Sherman
2008 Maria Okunev
2010 James Roser
2012 Siobhan Stagg
2014 Tabatha McFadyen
2016 Laura King