The finalists for the 2018 IFAC Handa Australia Singing Competition have been announced. The five hopefuls were chosen from 11 young singers hoping to progress to the next round and win the premier award on offer, the Marianne Mathy Scholarship valued at $30,000.

Tristan Entwistle, Zoe Drummond, Cleo Lee-McGowan, adjudicator Linnhe Robertson, Katherine McIndoe and Pasquale Orchard. Photo supplied

The finalists are soprano Zoe Drummond (25, Victoria), soprano Cleo Lee-McGowan (23, Victoria), soprano Katherine McIndoe (24, New Zealand), soprano Pasquale Orchard (21, New Zealand) and baritone Tristan Entwistle (24, New South Wales). The five singers were chosen by a judging panel comprising National Adjudicator Linnhe Robertson, Michael Halliwell, Anthony Hunt and Noëmi Nadelmann.

In its third decade and the richest of its kind, the ASC offers a range of scholarships, prizes, and professional development opportunities that come close to totalling $200,000. Open to singers under the age of 26 from Australia or New Zealand, previous competition winners include opera stars Stuart Skelton, Amelia Farrugia, Jessica Pratt and Anna Dowsley. Last year’s Mathy winner was New Zealand tenor Filipe Manu, who also received the opportunity to audition for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s professional artist...