Soprano Zoe Drummondhas won the prestigious Marianne Mathy Scholarship at this year’s IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition, which comes with a cash prize of $30,000 to assist with a program of study or singing activity. The 25-year-old Victorian joins a prestigious list of winners that includes international stars the likes of Stuart Skelton and Jessica Pratt.

Zoe Drummond. Photo © Kann Huang

At the finals concert on Saturday evening, Drummond impressed judges with a technically refined reading of the aria Nel grave tormentofrom Mozart’s early opera, Mitridate, re di Ponto. She followed it up with Nanetta’s aria from Verdi’s final work, Falstaff, sung with commendable control and shimmering tone. All finalists were accompanied by the opera Australian Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Milton.

The Mathy Scholarship, as it is commonly called, is an enviable leg up in the difficult career path of an opera singer. The Scholarship comes with an opportunity to audition for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s professional-artist development program, a portrait painting of the winner, a taped interview conducted by historian Diana Ritch, and a statuette created by Drago Marin Cherina. Drummond was also awarded the Canberra Symphony Orchestra Prize,...