It was a case third time lucky for Auckland schoolteacher Brent Read who won the annual Sealord Aria competition in Nelson last night.

Read, a tenor, took out the prestigious title and $3000 at his third attempt from seven other competitors.

He sang Je Croix Entendre Encore from The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet, and Now the Great Bear and Pleiades from Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten.

"Brent made brave choices with both his arias," adjudicator Roger Wilson said.

"He carried off the shift into the high register flawlessly in the aria from the Pearl Fishers and was impressive in the technically difficult aria from Peter Grimes, where he had every note in place."

Read teaches at an Auckland primary school and studies music and education part-time at Auckland University.

Second place went to Wellington student Elitsa Kappatos, and third went to Christchurch soprano Judith Sivasubramaniam.