Dame Joan Sutherland Award

Joan Sutherland Friends Society

Pictured L to R: Doug Cremer, President Joan Sutherland Friends Society, NSW, Meg Lawrence, Richard Bonynge

Due to the economic downturn, sponsorship proved difficult to arrange for the 2009 competition, but with the approval of Dame Joan, we have now made the eventĀ  a national bi-annual festival. Dame Joan suggested that this format, similar to those in Europe, was appealing, giving entrants greater opportunity to become performance-seasoned prior to competing for the award.

Our next finals will be held on Thursday 24th June 2010 at The Good Shepherd Lutheran Hall. The judges will be Marilyn Richardson, James Christiansen and Brad Jarrett.

Due to the sad loss of Greta during the year, the NFA has decided to retain
three permanent adjudicators, with a guest judge invited for the finals.

Meg Lawrence was invited by the president of the Joan Sutherland Friends Society in Sydney, Doug Cremer, to attend their finals in Sydney on August 30th. This was an interesting exercise in that there were 13 finalists, each of whom sang an art song and an aria together, as opposed to the NFA competition where the song is performed by all competitors in turn, followed by the aria. Interestingly, the pieces are introduced by the presenter rather than the performers.

Their finals are the culmination of a gruelling 10 day elimination competition run by the Sydney Eisteddfod. This adds complications to the proposed affiliation between the NFA DJS Award and the Sydney festival. A further complication is the age grouping, their ages are 17-25, whilst ours are 20-35.

At a meeting the following day with the Joan Sutherland Friends Society, it was established that the Noosa Competition is the only Dame Joan Sutherland vocal competition in Australia and the richest in regional Queensland.


It had been anticipated that Dame Joan would be at the Sydney competition, but due to illness was unable to attend. We wish her all the best and a speedy recovery.