Sleath Lowrey Award


The Sleath Lowrey Scholarship has been awarded since 1989 and is part of the broader award network called the Acclaim Awards. The Rotary Club of Cheltenham sponsors this award annually at a competition of the highest quality classical bel canto singing students at honours or masters level who are Between 18 - 25 YEARS of age and AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS. Applicants will be shortlisted, and those progressing to the next round will be asked to attend an audition  at the Henley Rehearsal Room, Camberwell Grammar School, 55 Mont Albert Rd, Canterbury VIC 3126,  on Tuesday 4th September from 5.00pm.  All requested participants are required to attend the complete audition session.  If you cannot attend this audition you will not be considered for the award.

Students shortlisted for this award will also be considered for the Harold Fisher Memorial Opera Scholarship, offered by B'Nai B'rith Victoria. The late Harold Fisher was a long-standing member of B'nai B'rith and a Past President of District 21 – Australia/New Zealand. One of his greatest passions was opera. After his death, B'nai B'rith Victoria decided to honour his memory by establishing a scholarship for a classical music student at the Faculty. The scholarship is awarded to enable the recipient to further their training in Opera. Applicants will be shortlisted, and those progressing to the next round MAY be asked to attend an audition  in September 2018.


The total value of the Harold and Erika Fisher Memorial Scholarship in 2018 is expected to be $1000.

The total value of the Lowrey scholarship awarded in 2018 wil be $5,000 plus a $1,350 Linda Britten dress or performance suit (at the discretion of the Board).  In 2017 the award also included masterclasses with Valeria Esposito and an immersion trip to Italy.

Open and closing dates

Applications have closed for 2018.   Shortlisting will be expected to take place soon after and the final decision will be made at the audition.  Only shortlisted applicants who attend the audition can be selected.

Criteria and eligibility

This scholarship is open for award to undergraduate honours or higher level classical singing music students enrolled in the FacultyApplicants must be Australian Citizens.

Selection process

Competitors are required to audition for the Judge and they are to perform 2 Arias of their choice.  The pieces must be an Italian opera aria and should be no longer than five minutes long.

The judging will assess all competitors on the following criteria:

  • artistic interpretation
  • demonstration of technical ability
  • demonstration of comprehension of the pieces
  • interpretation of the meaning of the pieces
  • best performance on the day
  • who demonstrates the most potential of all candidates to be able to achieve an international opera career

Please do not apply if you will not be able to attend the audition as it will not be rescheduled.  An accompanist will be provided. Shortlisted applicants will also be questioned at the interview/audition as to their musical intentions and need for financial assistance.

All Sleath Lowrey competitors should be aware that the winner will be required to provide a fully completed application (especially with their two recordings) for the 2018 Masterclass within 48 hours.  The Application Pack can be downloaded from the Acclaim website at The Application Pack and recording will then be provided to Professor Valeria Esposito who will review (as she has with all other Masterclass applicants) to determine if the winner of the Sleath Lowrey is to be accepted to the 2018 Masterclass as a Finalist.  If they are accepted, they will be required to attend the 2018 Masterclass which will run from Monday 24th September to Friday 5th October.  The Masterclass experience is valued at $2,500 per artist.

The Masterclass has two purposes.  Finalists will receive one-on-one training by internationally renowned soprano and teacher, Professor Esposito.  The Masterclass sessions will generally run for six and a half hours a day, from 10-1.00pm and 2– 5.30pm every weekday There will usually be a least 1 personal session each day for every artist and each session will generally run for 30-45 minutes.  All Masterclass Finalists are expected to attend every day to observe and learn from the teaching of all artists as well as undertake their own lessons.  The Masterclasses will be in the Henley Rehearsal Room at Camberwell Grammar School, 55 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury.    

The second purpose of the Masterclass is the competition; all Masterclass Finalists will be competing for the Acclaim Awards Italian Opera Fellowship.  On the final day of the Masterclass series, each finalist will perform one selected aria of their choice.  The piece must be an Italian opera aria.  Finalists will be assessed on this performance and on their progression through the two week Masterclass.  Finalists will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • Quality of the voice
  • Vocal technique
  • Age and Potential
  • Musical skill and knowledge
  • Artistic interpretation
  • Demonstration of comprehension of the pieces

•       Italian Language skill

•       Development throughout the Masterclass

•       Likelihood of being able to achieve an international opera career

An Acclaim Awards Dinner will be held at 7.00pm on Saturday 6th October 2018 at The Australian Club in Melbourne.  All Masterclass Finalist  are required to attend the dinner and perform an aria which will be selected following discussion with Professor Esposito.  At the conclusion of the dinner the results of the competition will be announced.  If no candidate is identified during the competition as meeting all the criteria then Acclaim will not award a Fellowship.

The Acclaim Italian Opera Fellowship is designed to help artists develop an international opera career. The Acclaim Awards Italian Opera Fellowship is structured to include some or all of the following:

• Individual voice teaching – singing, breathing, technical, stylistic, etc;

• Teaching of Italian language. The Program is designed for the artist to be able to achieve perfect enunciation, pronunciation and diction in Italian for opera performances. It is strongly focused on immersion and theoretical learning;

• Enrolment at a short term or perhaps a year-long Accademia Program (e.g. Accademia Teatro alla Scala; Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Accademia dell’Opera di Bologna] (personally tailored to the Fellowship Awardee)

• Attend professional opera performances in Italy;

• Applications to Italian and other selected international opera competitions;

The Fellowship is conducted in Italy and is usually at least for 2-3 months and is designed to be undertaken in one time period.  The Fellowship will include airfares, accommodation, singing lessons and a per diem.  The Fellowship is required to be undertaken within 18 months of being awarded.

If a Finalist does not wish to be considered for the Fellowship prize they must advise Acclaim no later than Thursday 4th October.

Additional requirements

To accept this scholarship, successful recipients are required to write a letter of thanks and provide an artistic biography for the donors or trustees. On occasion recipients will be contacted to provide a progress report.

How to apply

Refer to the Open and Closing Dates section above for the application link. The link will only be visible during the application period.

The application will require personal information, including course and year level, and some questions addressing the selection criteria listed above. You will be required to attach some documents, such as CV and academic transcript.