31 Jul 2018
Bass-baritone, Joel Amosa (28) from Auckland has been named the 2018 Lexus Song Quest winner at tonight’s Grand Final Gala at the Auckland Town Hall. Second place went to soprano, Eliza Boom (24) from Whangarei and tenor, Filipe Manu (25) from Auckland was awarded the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation scholarship for the most promising singer.
Judged live on the night, the five finalists performed three songs – one accompanied by pianist Terence Dennis and two with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Mould.
Acclaimed dramatic soprano and international Lexus Song Quest Head Judge Lisa Gasteen said she had been impressed by all five finalists. “in my weeks working with these talented young people I have been impressed with their high skill level, intelligence and determination.” She added “I am proud to choose Joel as the winner – I am confident he will do his very best to forge a path on the opera stages of the world.”
As the winner, Joel Amosa receives an immediate cash prize of $20,000 and a study and travel scholarship worth $30,000.
“I am so humbled by this. It’s a dream come true and this whole journey has been unreal. I just hope I’ve made my family and friends proud,” said Joel
The other three finalists Joe Haddow, Manase Latu, and Filipe Manu receive $3,500 cash each.
“I’m glad I wasn’t the judge,” said Paul Carroll, Senior General Manager of Lexus New Zealand. “Lexus is honoured to continue its support of the Song Quest. To hear such high-quality voices, we know the legacy for New Zealand opera left by Dame Malvina Major and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is in good hands going into the future. Congratulations to Joel and all the finalists on a great night’s entertainment.”
Lexus Song Quest is produced by the New Zealand Festival and supported by Lexus New Zealand, Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, Dame Malvina Major Foundation, Creative New Zealand and Four Winds Foundation.