The Dame Malvina Major Aria Competition in Napier drew 24 singers to Napier over the Easter long weekend.

Aucklander Manase Latu took out the top prize, the tenor singing Tradito Schernito from Cose fan tutte by Mozart, and Una furtive lagrima from L'Elisir d'Amore by Donizetti in the final.

Baritone William King , from Wellington, came second, singing L'Orfeo by Monteverdi and Cosi fan tutte by Mozart.

Third place went to mezzo-soprano Deborah Rogers , singing Cosi fan tutte by Mozart and The Barber of Seville by Rossini.


Aria Convenor Diane Hopson said the weekend had been truly fantastic.

"It was a very difficult choice for Amanda Atlas (the adjudicator) on both the preliminary round and the final."

The six finalists were treated to a master class with Atlas on Sunday morning, and Hopson said what the performers learnt in the two hour session showed brilliantly on the final night.

The Compere for the final night was Lynda Pipe , who gave the audience brief descriptions of the arias they were about to hear.

The singers were accompanied pianists Catherine Norton from Wellington and Amy Chang from Auckland.

The Aria competition was held as part of the Easter Performing Arts Competitions Festival, a five day event, which kicked off on Thursday, April 18, and ended on Monday, April 22.

The festival show cases ballet, tap, jazz dancing, senior vocal, aria, junior vocal, instrumental and speech.

It gives performers from across New Zealand an opportunity to perform in front of an audience and also offers scholarships.