RMP Artistic Director Andrew Wailes has just announced the finalists for the 2023 RMP Aria Competition as chosen by the judges:


2023 RMP Aria Finalists:

  • Tom Buckmaster, tenor, 26, Perth WA (b. Melbourne , VIC)
  • Talia Garrett-Benson, mezzo-soprano, 25, Brisbane QLD (b. Brisbane, QLD)
  • Jack Jordan, tenor, 24, Melbourne VIC (b. Melbourne, VIC)
  • Chloe Lankshear soprano, 29, Sydney NSW (b. Canberra ACT)
  • Hannah Kostros, mezzo soprano, 29, Melbourne VIC (b. Melbourne, VIC)
  • Benjamin Glover, tenor, 29, Melbourne VIC (b. East Melbourne, VIC)
  • Alla Yarosh, mezzo soprano, 22, Logan City QLD (b. Tal’ne, Ukraine)


Reserve Finalist: 

  • Alex Owens, baritone, 24, Melbourne VIC (b. Camperdown VIC)


Official Accompanist: Stefan Cassomenos



Joining RMP Artistic Director and Chief Conductor Mr Andrew Wailes as judges on this year’s panel are Ms Sally-Anne Russell (leading Australian oratorio soloist, operatic mezzo-soprano and singing mentor), Mr Andrew Bainbridge (RMP Principal Organist; Director of the National Boys Choir of Australia; former continuo and organ soloist with Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras; and organist of both St Mary’s and St David’s Cathedral’s Hobart) and our official accompanist, Mr Stefan Cassomenos (Internationally acclaimed pianist, RMP Principal Accompanist, Founder of Plexus Ensemble and Co- Director of Port Fairy Festival).  


We encourage you to join us at the 17th RMP Aria Final on Saturday the 12th at Melbourne Recital Centre at 5pm. The evening will also feature a full-scale performance of Handel’s spectacular Dixit Dominus. Under the direction of conductor Andrew Wailes, it will be performed by the RMP Choir and Orchestra, as well as outstanding soloists Mia Robinson (s), Astrid Girdis (s), Michael Burden (a), Timothy Reynolds (t), Nicholas Dinopoulos (bb), Stefan Cassomenos (hpchd)  and Andrew Bainbridge (chamb organ).


EXTRA AUDIENCE TICKETS can be booked through the RMP website www.rmp.org.au or from the MRC Box Office.


For further information please visit the RMP Website: www.rmp.org.au



Calling all aspiring oratorio soloists:

Widely regarded as Australia’s most prestigious singing award for oratorio singers, the 17th RMP Aria Competition will take place this year on Saturday 12 August 2023 at 5pm.

For the first time, the Final will be performed in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre.



The RMP Aria Competition is open to all classical singers, amateur or professional
Eligible entrants must be:
i) under 35 years at 12 August, 2023
ii) an Australasian citizen or current resident.

Any previous or current member of the RMP choir, or a previously engaged soloist with the RMP is still permitted to enter the competition, provided they meet the two criteria above.

2. Repertoire for finalists
Contestants must perform repertoire strictly from oratorio, and no operatic repertoire or artsong / lieder et
will be permitted, irrespective of period. Any recitative, aria, or excerpt will be permitted from oratorio,
sacred cantata, mass, mass fragment, liturgical work or a musical composition (originally or generally not intended to be staged) whose text is generally religious, serious or philosophical in nature.

Any queries regarding permitted repertoire should be directed to the RMP Artistic Director,
Mr Andrew Wailes via email: musicdirector@rmp.org.au or SMS: 0433 661 971



First prize will be a cash award of $2500, plus a professional photographic portrait sitting and package (over $500 value), as well as a paid professional future engagement and recording with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and two private coaching sessions with the RMP Chief Conductor and accompanist.

Second prize will be a cash prize of $1000, with an optional offer of a paid professional future engagement with the RMP and two private coaching sessions with the RMP Chief Conductor and accompanist.

Third prize will be a cash prize of $750, with an optional offer of a paid professional future engagement with the RMP.

There will also be a Conductor’s Encouragement Award of $500, awarded by the RMP Artistic Director.

A special People’s Choice Award will take the form of a cash prize of $350. This will be judged by the audience.



2016 Aria Poste with Contestants

SEVEN GLORIOUS VOICES  were on display at Deakin Edge, as the RMP Aria turned 10 in 2016!

On Sunday 14 August seven talented singers  battled it out at the final of the         10th RMP Aria Competition, now firmly established as one of this city’s most important singing competitions.

RMP Aria founder and RMP Artistic Director Andrew Wailes chaired a distinguished panel of Adjudicators which this year also consisted of leading Australian mezzo soprano Sally-Anne Russell, acclaimed organist and composer Dr Calvin Bowman, and Official Accompanist Stefan Cassomenos.

The 2016 finalists were:

    • Sydney based lyric soprano Sarah Ampil 25
    • Melbourne born tenor Tomas Dalton 27
    • Brisbane based baritone Samuel Piper 22
    • Perth born mezzo soprano Fleuranne Brockway 24
    • Tasmanian born now Queensland based contralto Anastasia Bickel 25
    • Melbourne born counter tenor Maximilian Riebl 25
    • Queensland born now Melbourne based bass Timothy Newton 25


  • Winner: Max Riebl (performing Handel and Bach)
  • Runner Up: Sarah Ampil (performing Mozart and Bach)
  • Equal Third: Timothy Newton (Performing Haydn and Handel) and Fleuranne Brockway (Performing Rossini and Bach)
  • Conductor’s Encouragement Award: Samuel Piper (performing Mendelssohn and Handel)
  • People’s Choice Award: Max Riebl

In announcing the results, Wailes commented that this was one of the most polished performances yet and as high in standard as any other year in the competition’s history.

Past winners and runners up of the RMP Aria are now high profile classical singers who, according to Wailes are forging successful careers as concert artists all over the world – names like Sony recording artist Greta Bradman who recently toured India with the Australian World Orchestra; baritone Laurence Miekle (who having been based in London and Italy is now working at Theater Erfurt, Theater Nordhausen and Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar in Germany); Tasmanian bass-baritone Christopher Richardson who is now in demand both in Australia and in New Zealand; soprano Suzanne Shakespeare currently carving out a successful concert career in England;  tenors Robert Macfarlane and Daniel Todd who are both enjoying great success in Germany, and baritones Nathan Lay and Jeremy Kleeman, who are both well known to Austraian audiences. What they all have in common is that their success in the RMP Aria was a huge springboard for their professional careers.

Each Finalist performed a short program of arias and recitatives from the world of oratorio, accompanied on piano by outstanding pianist and RMP Principal Accompanist Stefan Cassomenos. The Adjudicators awarded over $5000.00 worth of cash prizes, as well as other awards including coaching and professional photographic packages and future performance opportunities with the RMP. Other prizes included the People’s Choice Award, voted by all performers and members of the audience, and a special Conductor’s Encouragement Award.

Also on Sunday 14 August the popular annual Sing Your Own Oratorio event took place, where participants from Victoria’s choirs and the wider musical community workshoped and rehearsed Antonio Vivaldi’s sparkling Magnificat in G minor during the day, before performing it that evening with members of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and RMP Orchestra under the direction of conductor Andrew Wailes at the conclusion of the Final.

After the winners were announced the  audience and contestants joined together for a convivial champagne supper at the conclusion of the evening. Wines were provided by Bonic Family Estate Wines.

“There is something really exciting about this event” said Wailes. “Hearing so many excellent young singers all on the verge of glittering careers performing such fantastic repertoire makes for a musically rewarding evening which is always memorable. The competition amongst the finalists just gets better and better every year.”


All Media Enquiries: Andrew Wailes musicdirector@rmp.org.au or 0433 661 971


To download a copy of the event media release as a PDF CLICK HERE


RMP presents the final of the 10th RMP Aria Competition, and a performance of Vivaldi’s sparkling Magnificat in G minor, featuring over 200 performers from the RMP Oratorio Festival Choir and RMP Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Wailes.

For the 10th time, the RMP presents the final of the RMP Aria,  a competition aimed at encouraging the development  of oratorio and concert performance by our nation’s finest young singers. The finalists will perform recitatives and arias from the world of oratorio, accompanied by RMP Principal Accompanist, Stefan Cassomenos.

A distinguished panel of judges will award thousands of dollars of cash and prizes to the winners, including future performing engagements with the RMP. The evening will also feature a performance by over 200 choral and orchestral musicians from the RMP Oratorio Festival Choir and the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic           Orchestra who will perform Vivaldi’s Magnificat in G minor RV 610 at the conclusion of the Final under the direction of RMP Chief Conductor Andrew Wailes.

Tickets include a free Champagne Supper, and the chance to meet the contestants,  performers and judges at the conclusion of the evening.

“Expect to hear some of the most beautiful concert arias ever composed, performed by some of Australia’s emerging music stars. A gala evening not to be missed.”

Book now! Ticket includes a champagne supper.

Deakin Edge, Federation Square
Bookings essential: www.rmp.org.au
or www.trybooking.com/MJLM

RMP ARIA 2014 Winners

Go Pro shot

Full album on RMP Facebook Page.

Dear Royals,

We are humbled by the positive response to last night’s Arias event. Brilliant work from all the Soloists, Choristers and Musicians made it truly memorable evening filled with love and joy all around. Hearty congratulations to all the participants and attendees who came along to share the magic.

Hearty congratulations to 2014 RMP ARIA Winners –
1st – Daniel Carison
2nd – Maximilian Riebl
3rd – Jeremy Kleeman
Audience Prize – Jeremy Kleeman
Conductor’s Encouragement Award – Michael Lampard .

A big thanks to our kind Donors and Sponsors for their invaluable contributions and support – Henkell Brothers, Bonics Estate (for the magnificent Champagne Supper), Hours & Minutes Australia (RMP Time Keeper and Australia’s window to Watchmaking), Saka Water (Hydration Sponsors), Federation Square, City Of Melbourne, Australian Communities Foundation. Last but not the least, we want to thank each and every one of you for supporting our vision for fine music in Australia. Please be sure to visit our website for forthcoming events, and feel free to join the mailing list for latest updates and exclusive offers.