Boston-Based Kiwi Takes Top Prize at Christchurch Vocal Competitions

Monday 8 July 2024, 10:02PM

By RedPR


LtoR First Olivia Pike_Second equal Sarah Mileham and Emma McClean_Third Scott Bezett
LtoR First Olivia Pike_Second equal Sarah Mileham and Emma McClean_Third Scott Bezett Credit: Supplied


Rising opera star, Olivia Pike, has taken away $5000 and first place in the 2024 Christchurch Vocal Competitions at The Piano.

Competition Vocal Convener, Sally Binnie says Ms Pike who was 3rd in 2019, 2nd in 2021 and 2022 and 3rd in 2023, (the event was cancelled in 2020), returned to New Zealand from Boston where she is in the middle of a two-year graduate performance diploma at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Olivia is a University of Otago Bachelor of Music graduate.

“The standard of entries this year was outstanding but then again the standard is high every year,” says Ms Binnie. “We were thrilled to have internationally recognised opera, recital and oratorio artist Clare Martin as adjudicator, and acclaimed accompanist Catherine Norton on piano.”

Sarah Mileham and Emma McClean placed second equal and Scott Bezett came third.

Competitors come from around New Zealand, sometimes  Australia, and a few years ago a contestant came from Wales.

“The vocal competitions give talented young and not so young performers a platform to perfect their chosen pathway. For many years now we have been known as the ‘friendly comps’ professionally run, and I am very proud of that,” says Ms Binnie who says the team is already planning for 2025.

The Christchurch Vocal Competitions gives entrants a foot in the door to hopefully advance in the operatic or the musical theatre world.


Some of the previous competitors / winners:

Amina Edris and Pene Pati, came up through the competition as did James Harrison - New Zealand Youth Choir (; Elisabeth Harris: Mezzo soprano wins DMMF Christchurch Aria - Dame Malvina Major Foundation ( Boom - Soprano - NewsOpera Singer | Emily Mwila

Some of the previous adjudicators:

Adjudicator John Bolton Wood Adjudicated in 2015 - John Bolton Wood | Opera Australia; Merlyn Quaife Adjudicated in 2018 - The Merlyn Quaife biography; Catrin Johnsson Adjudicated in 2019 - Catrin Johnsson - Voices NZ - Choirs Aotearoa

The Christchurch Competitions Society wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation for the generous support of the following sponsors: The Canterbury Opera Foundation, Pomeroy Group, Pegasus Bay Winery, Irelands Property Management and Real Estate, Judy Bellingham, Marilyn Davies, Teresa McMahon, Christchurch Competitions Society, Gillian Wess, Daniella Bercovitch, Jillian Hewson, Margaret Naismith, Margot Button, Michelle Haskett, McKessar Family, Showbiz, Merilyn and William Forsyth, The Mounsey Family, Zara Ballara, Philip Norman (Nota Bene Music), The Family of Gillian Button, Toi Toi Opera, Jamie Hart, Liz and Hank van Til, Showbiz Christchurch, Kim Chan Florist and Event Stylist, Juliet Reynolds-Midgley, Rakuto Kurano, Lois Johnston, John and Denise Jones, Lisa Oquist.