Soprano Shania Eliassen and baritone Matthew Dixon have been announced as the recipients of two valuable West Australian Opera awards. Eliassen was awarded the Richard Bonynge AC CBE Encouragement Award, worth $1500, while Dixon received the Wesfarmers Arts Encouragement Award, worth $1000.

Shania Eliassen and Richard Bonynge. Photo supplied

Presented with their awards by Richard Bonynge, both singers had participated in a masterclass with the conductor, co-presented by Emma Matthews, Head of Classical Voice at the Western Australian Academy for the Performing Arts and Patron of WA Opera’s Wesfarmers Arts Young Artist Program. Eliassen performed The Doll Song from Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman, while Dixon sang Di tua beltade imaginefrom Donizetti’s Poliuto.

Eliassen, who intends to use her prize money to gain a Masters of Opera Performance degree in the United Kingdom, said “I could not have hoped for a better outcome from the masterclass! I never expected to be given the award, because for me it was such an honour just to be asked to participate, especially along with singers I know always present at an extremely high standard. So although I still can’t really believe it, for me the award...