31 Aug 2012
By Wright Communications
Twenty-two-year-old Amitai Pati from Auckland took home the grand prize, which includes a $15,000 career-defining study scholarship, $10,000 cash and an international airfare, all provided by Lexus, after impressing the Song Quest's distinguished international judge, Welsh tenor, Dennis O'Neill.
Last night's concert at the Michael Fowler Centre marked Lexus' fourth year of sponsorship of the event, which searches for New Zealand's best young operatic talent.
Lexus New Zealand Manager Debbie Pattullo said Lexus was again honoured to play a part in fostering the country's most promising young singers.
"Lexus is pleased to be able to provide this continuing opportunity to recognise, applaud and encourage our finest operatic talent through the Lexus Song Quest.
"Last night's Grand Final event provided a fantastic treat for opera lovers to see the next generation of Kiwi soloists performing on stage at their best with the backing of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra."
Ms Pattullo also congratulated the runners up - Stephen Diaz and Alexander Wilson - on their spectacular performances. They will join Amitai to perform together once more in Auckland tomorrow tonight, as part of the Lexus Song Quest Winners' Recital being held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell.
The six Grand Finalists were selected from more than 50 young and diverse singers from across New Zealand, with the judges said to have been stunned by the wealth of talent they heard.
Meanwhile Amitai joins the ranks of well-known previous Song Quest winners including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Malvina Major, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Anna Leese and Jonathan Lemalu.
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