Diva awards opera newcomer

13 May 2005

"Lucinda shows such a maturity of understanding and expression and technicality for one so young, that she makes your heart sing to hear her," said Australian opera diva, Joan Carden.

She was speaking of 20-year-old Lucinda-Mirikata Deacon, a third year Bachelor of Music student to whom she yesterday handed an inaugural scholarship in her name at a ceremony held at the University's Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Award-winner Lucinda-Mirikata Deacon with diva Joan Carden.
Award-winner Lucinda-Mirikata Deacon with diva Joan Carden.

The Joan Carden Award, to be made annually to an outstanding singing student at the Conservatorium, is sponsored by the Sydney University Graduate Choir (SUGC) with support from the University's Chancellor's Committee.

"It is important to respect any career in the arts, whether mine or others," Ms Carden said, "and I'm very honoured ... that the Sydney University Choir has seen fit to name this award after me.

"The arts need more support like this, especially at this time when Mars is thundering, and music particularly can bring to us all a calming influence of peace."

Lucinda, who already has a Joan Sutherland Society Scholarship under her belt, won the new award after tough auditions with the selection panel chaired by Ms Carden.

"I'm very thrilled," said the young soprano. "Being recognised through this award is very motivating. It's an incentive to keep working hard and I'm excited about what my future prospects are now."

Her ambition is to sing opera professionally. "I've got a lot of studying to do first though," she said. "It's great to be studying with people who are also talented and serious about what they do."

The award includes the opportunity for a solo performance with the SUGC which Lucinda looks forward to taking up for their 10 December concert this year.

Meantime, the Sydney University Graduate Choir and Orchestra, directed by Christopher Bowen, will perform Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor and a new work by Bowen, Tenebrae, in the University's Great Hall tomorrow night, Saturday 14 May at 8pm.