Nicholas Tarling Aria Competition 2024 Final Round Winners


It was an extraordinary evening of entertainment at the Due Drop Events Centre on Friday 9 February 2024.

The evening commenced with four finalists competing in the 18 & under category. Amelia Blessan was up first, with her heartfelt rendition of Adele’s iconic ballad ‘Hello’. Following her, the adorable six-year-old Mason Lin charmed the audience with his rendition of Bernstein’s ‘My House’ from Peter Pan. Saara Desai then gave a passionate interpretation of Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’, and the category concluded with Venessa Joyce’s superb performance of ‘Vadrai, carino’ from Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni.

The Over 18 category commenced with soprano Emma Jones gracing the stage with her delightful rendition of Arditi’s ‘Il Bacio’. Ridge Ponini then gave a stirring performance of ‘E lucevan le stelle’ from Puccini’s Tosca and this was followed by soprano Jessica Webber’s illuminating rendition of ‘Song to the Moon’ from Dvorak’s Rusalka. Next was soprano Jasmine Jessen’s mesmerising performance of ‘Me voila seule’ from Bizet’s Les pecheurs de perles. The evening’s enchantment continued with tenor Taylor Wallbank’s poignant performance of ‘E la solita storia de pastore; from Bizet’s L’Arlesiana’. Soprano Tayla Alexander then graced the stage with her rendition of ‘Chi il bel sogno di Doretta’ from Puccini’s La Rondine, bringing the first half to a close.

The second half unfolded with soprano Breony Bearman delivering a captivating rendition of ‘Einsam in trüben Tagen’ from Wagner’s Lohengrin. Next baritone Alfred Fonoti-Fuimaono gave an awe-inspiring performance of ‘O Carlo ascolta’ from Verdi’s Don Carlo. The spellbinding atmosphere continued as soprano Rhiannon Cooper graced the stage with ‘Il est doux, il est bon’ from Massenet’s Herodiade. Next, soprano Olga Shanina delivered a stunning performance of ‘Violetta’s Aria’ from Verdi’s La Traviata and this was followed by baritone Thomas Roshol’s fantastic rendition of ‘Rivolgete a lui sguardo’ from Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. The final performance of the evening came from soprano Sarah Mileham and an incredible performance of ‘O mio babbino caro’ from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.

All singers were accompanied by the extraordinarily versatile Rosemary Barnes and the evening was hosted by MC Jack Bourke. Thanks also to our judges Patricia Wright, Uwe Grodd, and Fay McNeil.


The Runner-Up is Alfred Fonoti-Fuimaono.

The Most Promising Award goes to Breony Bearman and Ridge Ponini.

The 18 & Under Winner is Venessa Joyce.

18 and Under Competition

Over 18 Competition