6 August 2010

Con graduate Simone Easthope will soon be Big Apple-bound after clinching the prestigious Lady Fairfax 2010 New York Scholarship.

Simone, who has been coached by Maree Ryan at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for the past eight years, receives $43,000 to travel and live in New York, coaching from some of the world's eminent opera tutors, and also the opportunity to audition for major opera companies.

The Sydney singer was one of six finalists for the scholarship, including fellow Con graduate Renee Martin, and current Con students Erika Simons and Naomi Johns.

"It's really a huge deal for a young singer to have this kind of break,'' commented Easthope, speaking to The Australian.

"It's really hard to go from a being a student singer to being a professional singer.

Easthope, who will leave for the US in November, aspires to work with Joan Dornemann at the Metropolitan Opera. She also hopes to meet her idol, soprano Renee Fleming.

``I think I'd die if I saw her,'' she said.

"This is a stunning achievement for Simone and underscores how hard she has worked to better her singing talent," said Dean and Principal, Professor Kim Walker. "We extend our hearty congratulations to Renee, Erika and Naomi for their stellar effort in making the final."

The scholarship was initiated in 1947 by Lady Mary Fairfax.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

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