top of page























Flaxmere Singer Wins Napier Aria Competition

Flaxmere baritone Alfred Fonoti-Fuimaono is the winner of the $4000 Brayden Coldicutt Aria Competition in Napier, held at the MTG Century Theatre on Sunday 31 March.

The finalists were Sarah Mileham, Breony Bearman, Alex Buchanan, Alfred Fonoti-Fuimaono, Tomairangi Henare, and Samuel McKeever. The three Hawke’s Bay men had all progressed through the Project Prima Volta programme as young singers. 

Australian-based adjudicator Conal Coad commented that the quality of all the performers was high and he was impressed to see the finalists had absorbed his comments at the Sunday morning masterclass to refine the presentation of their final songs.

Each finalist repeated the opera song they had sung in Saturday night’s preliminary and then followed with a new aria.  They were accompanied by former Hawke’s Bay pianist, Catherine Norton.  The audience included the finalists’ families, opera enthusiasts, and Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazelhurst, who thoroughly appreciated the quality and variety of music.

Alfred Fuimaono sang ‘O du mein holde Abendstern’ from Tannhäuser by Wagner and ‘Io morro’ from Don Carlo by Verdi.  He has completed his Masters in Advanced Opera Studio through the Aotearoa New Zealand Opera Studio at the University of Waikato and has been selected for the prestigious NZ Opera School for a fifth consecutive year. 

Second place and recipient of the $2000 Gifford Devine Law prize was Waikato-based soprano Breony Bearman who sang ‘Non più di fiori’ from La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart and ‘Glück das mir verblieb’ from Die tote stadt by Korngold.  She is completing her Masters of Music at Waikato University and plans to head to Europe to further her opera training.       

Hawke’s Bay bass Samuel McKeever came third receiving the $1000 Franki James prize.  Samuel is a graduate of Te Kōkī NZ School of Music and has appeared in many opera roles and choruses including for Hawke’s Bay’s Festival Opera.

Mileham, Buchanan and Henare each received $200 Taradale Medical Centre prizes as finalists.

The aria competition was the highlight of the vocal competitions which were part of Napier Performing Arts Competitions Society’s popular “Easter Comps” held every year.




















The aria competitions, which began in 1993, are a great opportunity for our young singers to develop their talent, gain confidence, learn from each performance, give pleasure to the audience and have the opportunity to see their potential recognized.

Musical Theatre:

Let’s start at the very beginning – a very good place to start


The Sound of Music' was the last Musical written by  Rodgers and Hammerstein and it seemed a good  place to start 'our  beginings' by offering something new to our Napier Aria. Blending Classical and Musical Theatre was proposed and we could envisage a marriage between these genre performing together on the same stage, at the same time, in the Century Theatre here in Napier as part of the 2024 Performing Arts Easter Festival. We hope you will enjoy our challenging and  innovative performance as we move forward into the future.


These competitions are truly an amazing experience. For more information on the rules, dates, adjudicators, prizes and set pieces, please scroll down and follow the links provided.

2024 Aria Winner
Alfred Fonoti-Fuimaono

Second Place
Breony Bearman

Third Place
Samuel McKeever

Aria Finalists 2024

*Please note all Aria entrants must fill in this form
*Please note all Musical Theatre entrants must fill in this form


Senior Vocal - Pan Pac Foyer, Municipal Theatre, Tennyson Street, Napier. 

Aria & Musical Theatre - MTG Century Theatre, Marine Parade, Napier 

Date & Time:

Senior Vocal - TBC

Aria & Musical Theatre– TBC


Conal Coad Brisbane, Australia


Click the links below to find out all the necessary information regarding the Easter Festival.

bottom of page