Lexus Song quest - A vabrant and exciting event
Posted on 19 December 2013
The Lexus Song Quest is New Zealand’s most prestigious song contest. During its 56 year history it has provided a platform for many talented New Zealand singers including Dame Malvina Major, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to launch international opera careers.
The Foundation was a significant and enthusiastic supporter of the 2012 edition which attracted 56 entries from New Zealand and overseas. The young and extraordinarily talented lineup firmly established the Lexus Song Quest as the premier performance competition in New Zealand.
The Foundation also sponsored the video coverage of the finals (presenting each of the six finalists with their own edited copy) and the 4 Lexus Song Quest Masterclasses that chief judge, Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill led in the 4 main centres. At the conclusion of the tour young baritone Kawiti Waetford was awarded the inaugural Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship as the singer judged to have outstanding potential for an international singing career. The scholarship sponsored by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation carried a cash prize of $15,000 for international study.
Announcing the result Dennis O’Neil commented “ .....Making the decision about this award at the conclusion of the master-classes was no easy task but having considered firstly voice, then musicianship, stage charisma and the ability to connect strongly with an audience I was pleased to award the scholarship to Kawiti Waetford. I have very high hopes for this young man’s development and emergence as one of New Zealand’s great opera singers.”