Australian soprano and rising international star Lauren Fagan has received the prestigious Dame Heather Begg Memorial Award. A $25,000 grant to support the artistic development of an emerging Australian or New Zealand opera singer, it was named for and established in 2013 by the late New Zealand mezzo’s estate, and is administered by the Melba Opera Trust. Previous recipients include inaugural winner and baritone Samuel Dundas, soprano Janet Todd, soprano Amina Edris, bass-baritone Jeremy Kleeman and mezzo Emily Edmonds.

Lauren Fagan. Photo © Victoria Cadisch

Fagan has described the Award as extremely generous, emphasising its crucial role in supporting early career singers. “The thing about this award is you don’t put yourself forward so it came as a complete and very welcome surprise,” she said.

The Award is the latest honour for the soprano, who was recently nominated ‘Young Singer’ of the yearin 2018’s International Opera Awards. Her role debut as Violetta for the UK’s Opera Holland Park in May saw her win critical acclaim, with  The Guardianwriting “Fagan, one of today’s finest young sopranos, is exceptional throughout and a superb actor.” As Donna Anna for OHP in 2017,  Limelight praised her for being “in...