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Whangarei soprano wins Christchurch Aria

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria 2017 from left Ingrid Fomison-Nurse 2nd place, Eliza Boom winner, Sophie Sparrow 3rd place

Media release

6 June 2017

Whangarei soprano wins Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria

Soprano Eliza Boom has won first prize in the the prestigious Dame Malvina Major Foundation Christchurch Aria.

The 23-year-old competed alongside 14 aspiring young opera singers in Christchurch at the weekend, culminating in the Aria final on Queen’s birthday. Second place was awarded to soprano Ingrid Fomison-Nurse and third to soprano Sophie Sparrow.

Currently a Dame Malvina Major Scholar with New Zealand Opera, Eliza grew up on the stage, singing with her large Whangarei-based family.

She studied under Dame Malvina Major at the University of Waikato and was last year a finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition where she was awarded a scholarship to study at world leading conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

Eliza says it was a thrill to be named the winner of the Christchurch Aria, a competition which is very special to her.

“This was my fourth year participating and every time has been wonderful. The committee, volunteers and singers are so wonderful to work with and it was a fantastic night of singing from everyone, which makes the award an even greater honour.

“The prize money will go towards my studies at the Royal Northern College Manchester later this year – an adventure I am very excited for!”

She says the Dame Malvina Major Foundation has supported her singing even when she was just starting out.

“The Foundation saw my potential and have been so instrumental in getting me to where I am today. The work they do for music in New Zealand is incredible, so thank you to the Dame Malvina Major Foundation!”

Adjudicator Barry Mora said he impressed by the camaraderie of the competitors and their support for one another. He encouraged all the singers and noted the huge role teachers, parents and accompanists play for singers at this stage in their development.


The Dame Malvina Major Foundation was established in 1991 to help talented young performing artists achieve their potential by providing financial assistance, performance opportunities and professional guidance, supporting them to prepare for professional careers. It does this through a range of grants, prizes and scholarships, including internship programmes with New Zealand Opera.

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