Alumnus Jeremy Boulton wins $30K Singing Competition.
The winner of the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition this year was 23-year-old Operatic Baritone Jeremy Boulton, who gave a standout performance singing “Or dove fuggo io mai” from I Puritani by Vincenzo Bellini and “Questo amor, vergogna mia” from Puccini’s lesser known work, Edgar.
In his winner’s speech, Jeremy noted that his singing journey began when he took voice lessons at 7 years old with the 2010 Marianne Mathy Scholarship Winner, soprano, Rachel Bate (who was formerly the WollCon Head of Voice). He shares with us his journey to winning the $30K prize.
“After studying at the Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts (whilst learning at the Wollongong Conservatorium) and graduating from the Talent Development Project as a musical theatre artist, I made the switch to opera, inspired by a week-long experience at the Opera Australia Regional Student Scholarship program.”
He developed a love for fine music (jazz and classical) during his high school years where he played brass but because of his love and commitment to singing, “… I never was really able to get as far as I wanted and had to stop. I hope to return to it recreationally in my old age. I was also in a rock band with friends during that time and we wrote, recorded and produced our own extended play.”
Soon after, he enrolled in the Sydney Conservatorium where he completed a Bachelor and Masters of Opera Performance degrees.
“I loved singing lessons with Rachel Bate. She was my teacher from when I was seven years old until I left high school. We worked through all sorts of styles as different performance opportunities came my way through school performances and local eisteddfods. Rachel also helped me prepare for my audition for the Sydney Conservatorium which put me on the path to becoming an opera singer.”
What have been Jeremy’s most valuable lessons with music education?
“The importance of a good, open-minded attitude, the need for strong business acumen (for instance, making your own work when you don’t have it), extreme conscientiousness and devotion to your work.”
His advice for younger singers with similar aspirations is to first find a suitable teacher. One who you trust and connect with, and then commit to each other, working extremely hard at everything you learn in your lessons.
“There is nothing more important than putting in the hard yards consistently, for years.”
Jeremy’s $30,000 Scholarship comes with the opportunity to audition for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s artist-development program, and the inaugural $6,250 Nicole Car Prize, which he will use to travel to Paris and be mentored by the acclaimed soprano.
“This competition has been a tremendous experience from the heats to the final. The selection process has been rigorous, challenging and rewarding, and it has given me a good taste of what hurdles I will have to jump over in an operatic career … I’d like to thank WollCon for all its support over the years for myself and the wider music community.