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63 young singers to compete in Lexus Song Quest

Media release – for immediate release
30 October 2006

63 young singers to compete for Lexus Song Quest crown

Singers from the Bay of Islands to Southland have entered New Zealand’s most famous singing competition, the 2007 Lexus Song Quest.

Also keen to audition are Kiwi-expatriates currently residing in the UK, Germany, the USA and Australia. This years’ numbers are even higher than in 2005, the first Song Quest under Lexus sponsorship, proving the ongoing importance of this competition as a springboard for young New Zealand singers. The Song Quest has launched international careers of previous winners Kiri Te Kanawa, Malvina Major, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Jonathan Lemalu.

The 63 hopefuls will now audition in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and by tape during the week of 20 November, 2006, where a panel of three preliminary judges will select 12 semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will make a recording of six items from which the six finalists will be selected. The Final concert is on 27 April 2007 at Auckland’s Town Hall where the singers will be accompanied by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The judge for the Final is one of the world’s leading dramatic sopranos on today’s stage, Elizabeth Connell. Ms Connell has appeared with major opera houses in London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, New York, San Francisco and Milan and at the Bayreuth, Salzburg, Verona and Glyndebourne Festivals. Ms Connell will decide on the night who the 2007 Lexus Song Quest winner will be.

As a new addition to the competition, the top three place-getters will tour the country giving audiences around New Zealand a chance to hear these promising young performers first hand. The Lexus Song Quest Recital Tour will take the winners to Christchurch (30 April), Dunedin (2 May) and Wellington (4 May). Accompanied by Terence Dennis these joint recitals will also give the prize-winners a taste of professional touring. There will also be an opportunity for selected Lexus Song Quest entrants to participate in Lexus Song Quest Masterclasses in the four main centres. The masterclasses, taken by Elizabeth Connell, are a real commitment to making a contribution towards the development of professional singing throughout the whole country by both Lexus New Zealand and the New Zealand International Arts Festival who manages and presents the Lexus Song Quest.

ENDS

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