Vocal Awards Archive

Vocal Awards at a Glance

  • Total Prize money awarded: £116,600
  • Number of times awarded: 28
  • Previous Judges include: Patricia Bardon (2018), Emma Bell (2019), Teresa Cahill (2000), Neal Davies (1999, 2003), Christopher Glynn (2017), Rosemary Joshua (2016), Dame Felicity Lott (2013), Rosa Mannion (2017), Malcolm Martineau (2013), Dame Felicity Palmer (2014), Ian Partridge CBE (2013), Joan Rodgers (2016), Amanda Roocroft (2018), John Rutter CBE (1992), Dame Joan Sutherland (2003), Sir John Tomlinson (2019), Roger Vignoles (2010), Sarah Walker CBE (2010), Mark Wildman (1999, 2000).
  • Location: Wigmore Hall, London (since 2006)
  • Previously held at: Great Elm Village Hall, Frome (1992-2002); Rook Lane Chapel, Frome (2003-2004); St Mary’s Church, London NW3 (2005)
  • Previously called: Rosemary Bugden Vocal Award (1992), Great Elm Vocal Awards (1994-1998), Jackdaws Vocal Awards (1999-2010)

Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards

Uniquely rewarding potential as well as achievement

Past Winners of the Vocal Awards


2023Joint First Prize: Lexie Moon & Natasha Page

The 30th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, June 2023 at Wigmore Hall

Third Prize: Ed Birchinall

Pianist Prize: Archie Bonham

Audience Prize: Ceferina Penny

2022Harry Grigg, Tenor
The 29th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, December 2022 at the Lehane-Wishart Studio

Harry Grigg is a Tenor from Cheviot, New Zealand and is currently the Kiri te Kanawa Scholar at the Royal College of Music.

Joint 2nd Prize: Felix Gygli, Baritone & Jamie Woolard, Bass

Pianist’s Prize: Jongsun Woo


Anna Cooper, Mezzo Soprano, Winner of the 28th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards2020Anna Cooper, Mezzo-Soprano
The 28th Maureen Lehane Virtual Vocal Awards, 3rd February 2021, online
Anna Elizabeth Cooper graduated from the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio having previously gained a Master’s Degree with Distinction at the Royal College of Music.

Best Performance of a Wishart Song: Sam Harris, Tenor
Best Performance of a Handel Aria: Ffion Edwards, Soprano
Runner Up Performance of a Wishart Song: Jamie Woollard, Bass
Runner Up Performance of a Handel Aria: Stephanie HershawSoprano
Overall Winner: Anna Cooper, Mezzo-Soprano

The 28th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards were pushed back from November 2020 into 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Competitors submitted video recordings using backing tracks recorded by Richard Shaw, and were judged remotely using a different prize format.

Harriet Burns2019Harriet Burns, Soprano
The 27th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 14th November 2019 at the Wigmore Hall
British soprano Harriet Burns is studying with Yvonne Kenny at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama on the Opera Course programme.

2nd Prize: Annabel Kennedy, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: Caroline Taylor, Soprano
Accompanist Prize: Ana Manastiereanu
Audience Prize: Rebecca Leggett, Mezzo-Soprano

James Atkinson2018James Atkinson, Baritone
The 26th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 16th November 2018 at the Wigmore Hall
James is in his second year on the Postgraduate programme at the Royal College of Music, where he studies with Alison Wells and Simon Lepper.

2nd Prize: Charlotte Bowden, Soprano
3rd Prize: Verity Wingate, Soprano
Accompanist Prize: Michael Pandya
Audience Prize: Charlotte Bowden, Soprano

Ema Nikolovska by Pablo B. Strong2017Ema Nikolovska, Mezzo-Soprano
The 25th Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 10th November 2017 at the Wigmore Hall
Ema Nikolovska is currently on the Artist Masters Course at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with Professor Susan McCulloch. Ema was born in Skopje, Macedonia and spent most of her life in Toronto, Canada where she studied voice privately with Helga Tucker for seven years, and also completed undergraduate studies in violin performance on full scholarship at The Glenn Gould School with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman.

2nd Prize: Joel Williams, Tenor
3rd Prize: Kieran Rayner, Baritone
Accompanist Prize: João Araújo
Audience Prize: Ema Nikolovska, Mezzo-Soprano

Winner of the Maureen Lehane Vocal Award 2016 - Nardus Williams, Soprano2016 – Nardus Williams, Soprano
Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 28th October 2016 at the Wigmore Hall
Nardus Williams is a young soprano currently studying on the Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Yvonne Kenny, having previously studied with Lillian Watson and David Thomas. She is also mentored by Matthew Rose.

2nd Prize: Holly Marie Bingham, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: Sam Carl, Bass
Accompanist Prize: Leo Nicholson
Audience Prize: Nardus Williams, Soprano

Julien van Mellaerts2015Julien Van Mellaerts, Baritone
Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 12th November 2015 at the Wigmore Hall
British / New Zealand baritone Julien Van Mellaerts studied at the University of Otago, before joining the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music. His studies have been supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, Janet Bolton O’Sullivan Scholarship, the Hunn Trust, an Alex Templeton Award, a Laing Award and the Wates Foundation Trust.
He is now a Fishmongers Company Scholar, supported by a Thomas Weinberger Award. www.julienvanmellaerts.com

2nd Prize: Grace Durham, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: James Newby, Baritone
Accompanist Prize: Jointly awarded to Edward Liddall and Natalie Burch
Audience Prize: James Newby, Baritone

Patrick Terry2014Patrick Terry, Countertenor
Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 14th November 2014 at the Wigmore Hall
Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Patrick earned his Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2014 where he studied with Adriana Zabala. His concert work included the Alto Soloist in the Vivaldi Gloria and Bach’s Magnificat with the Minnesota Oratorio Society. He placed second in the 2015 Joan Chissell Schumann Lieder Competition, won the 2014 Maureen Lehane Vocal Award, was awarded the Loveday Song Prize in the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, and was the winner of the 2017 Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award.

2nd Prize: Henry Neill, Baritone
3rd Prize: Timothy Nelson, Baritone
Accompanist’s Prize: Rebecca Taylor
Audience Prize: Henry Neill, Baritone

Raphaela Papadakis, 2013 winner2013Raphaela Papadakis, Soprano
Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 8th November 2013 at the Wigmore Hall
London born Raphaela is currently studying for an Artist Diploma at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama under the tutelage of Janice Chapman, having recently graduated from their Opera Course where her roles included Tytania (cover) A Midsummer Night’s Dream and excerpts from Don Giovanni, Tamerlano, Flight, Der Rosenkavalier, Le nozze di Figaro, and La finta giardiniera. In the 2012/13 season she sang the role of Aurore in Massenet’s Le portrait du Manon, and Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. www.raphaelapapadakis.com

2nd Prize: Frazer B. Scott, Bass-Baritone
3rd Prize: for the first time jointly awarded to Soraya Mafi, Soprano, and Anna Sideris, Soprano
Accompanist Prize: Chad Vindin
Audience Prize: Frazer B. Scott, Bass-Baritone

Andrew Dickinson, 20122012Andrew Dickinson, Tenor
Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 23rd October 2012 at the Wigmore Hall
Andrew Dickinson graduated from the Royal Academy Opera School in 2011, under the tutelage of Ryland Davies and Audrey Hyland. He recently won the Maureen Lehane Competition 2012 at Wigmore Hall, the Hampshire Young Singer of the Year 2011 and the UK Dvo?ák Society Award in 2011. www.andrewdickinsontenor.com

2nd Prize: Joanna Songi, Soprano
3rd Prize: Thomas Humphreys, Baritone
Accompanist Prize: Matthew Fletcher
Audience Prize: Anna Anandarajah, Soprano (now Anna Rajah)

Marta Fontanals-Simmons2011Marta Fontanals-Simmons, Soprano
Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards, 21st October 2011 at the Wigmore Hall
Originally from Somerset, Marta began postgraduate training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the tuition of Marilyn Rees in 2010 and joined the Opera Course in September 2012. She is gratefully supported by the Gwen Catley Scholarship, Worshipful Company of Leathersellers, Countess of Munster Musical Trust and a Sybil Tutton Award administered by the Musician’s Benevolent Fund. www.martafontanals.com

2nd Prize: Andri Björn Róbertsson, Bass-Baritone
3rd Prize: Ben McAteer, Baritone
Accompanist: Timothy End
Audience Prize: Andri Björn Róbertsson, Bass-Baritone
Renamed the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards after passing of the award’s founder, Maureen Lehane Wishart. First awarding of the Audience Prize

Ruth Jenkins-Robertsson, 20102010Ruth Jenkins, Soprano (now Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson)
Jackdaws Great Elm Vocal Awards, 19 October 2010 at the Wigmore Hall
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and a Samling Scholar, Ruth Jenkins-Róbertsson won the 2012 John Scott Award from the Scottish Opera Endowment Trust, Second Prize at the 2012 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the 2011 Leonard Ingrams Award from Garsington Opera.
Ruth grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and graduated in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge. www.ruthjenkinsrobertsson.co.uk

2nd Prize: Victor Sicard, Baritone
3rd Prize: Katie Bray, Mezzo-Soprano, and Anna Starushkevych Mezzo-Soprano
Accompanist Prize: William Vann

Sarah-Jane Lewis, 20092009Sarah-Jane Lewis, Soprano
Jackdaws Great Elm Vocal Awards, 14 October 2009 at the Wigmore Hall
Sarah-Jane graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2009 with First Class Honours. Her principal study professor was Kathleen Livingstone.
In September 2013, Sarah-Jane will further her studies at the National Opera Studio supported by a scholarship from the Nicholas John Trust, and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. www.sarah-janelewis.com

2nd Prize: Emily Kenway, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: Hannah Bradbury, Soprano
Accompanist Prize: Craig White

Anna Devin2008Anna Devin, Soprano
Jackdaws Great Elm Vocal Awards, 15 October 2008 at the Wigmore Hall
Anna Devin has established an international career since graduating from the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist programme in 2012. The 2014/15 culminated in Anna receiving a prestigious Helpman Award for ‘Best Supporting female in an opera” for her portrayal of Clotilde in Handel’s Faramondo at Brisbane Baroque. www.annadevin.com

2nd Prize: Laura Mitchell, Soprano
3rd Prize: Michael Davis, Baritone
Accompanist Prize: Marc Verter

Madeleine Pierard, 2007 winner2007Madeleine Pierard, Soprano
Jackdaws Great Elm Vocal Awards, 20 October 2007 at the Wigmore Hall
Lyric Soprano, Madeleine Pierard was a Jette Parker Young Artist with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden from 2010 to 2012. She began as a pianist in Napier, New Zealand and later as a member of The New Zealand Youth Choir, The Tudor Consort and Voices New Zealand. After completing studies at Victoria University of Wellington (reading Musicology, Composition and Biomedical Science), she completed her MMus at the RCM International Opera School in London. www.madeleinepierard.com

2nd Prize: Philip Smith, Baritone
3rd Prize: Anna Huntley, Mezzo-Soprano
Accompanist Prize: Joseph Middleton

Anna Leese, 2006 winner2006Anna Leese, Soprano
Jackdaws Great Elm Vocal Award, 7 October 2006 at the Wigmore Hall
New Zealand Soprano Anna Leese completed a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours at the University of Otago. Anna was recipient of an impressive number of Australasian awards and prizes, and has won the 2004 Royal Overseas League Vocal competition (and was named best overseas competitor in the same competition) and the 2005 Richard Tauber Prize as well as the Maggie Teyte and Sybill Tutton awards. In 2011 Anna represented New Zealand in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. www.annaleese.com

2nd Prize: Erica Eloff, Soprano
3rd Prize: Anna Devin, Soprano
Accompanist Prize: Mark Nixon
First presentation at the Wigmore Hall

Verity Parker and Ben Johnson2005Verity Parker, Soprano and Ben Johnson, Tenor
The Great Elm Jackdaws Vocal Award, 15 October 2005 at St Mary’s Church, Primrose Hill

2nd Prize: Catrin Davies, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: Kristen Darragh, Contralto
Accompanist Prize: Caroline Jaya-Ratnam
First awarding of the Accompanist Prize.

Dawid Kimberg, 2004 winner2004Dawid Kimberg, Baritone
Great Elm Vocal Awards, 21 October 2004 at Great Elm Village Hall
Dawid was born in Johannesburg and moved to the UK in 2001 to further his studies at the Royal College of Music under the tutelage of Ryland Davies. He subsequently attended the National Opera Studio and between 2009 – 2011 was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Dawid represented South Africa in the 2009 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
Future engagements include the title role in Owen Wingrave for Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Dr. Falke Die Fledermaus for Bolshoi Opera and Masetto Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. www.dawidkimberg.com

2nd Prize: Leah Gordon, Soprano and Julia Riley, Mezzo-Soprano

Shuna Sendall2003Shuna Scott Sendall, Soprano
Great Elm Vocal Awards, 13 September 2003 at Rook Lane Chapel, Frome
Scottish soprano Shuna Scott Sendall graduated from the Alexander Gibson Opera School at RSAMD, where she studied with Jane Irwin and Patricia Macmahon. She has won many prizes, most recently the inaugural BBC Radio 2 Kiri Prize, as well as the Great Elm Vocal Awards, the 2004 Scottish Wagner Society’s Bayreuth Scholarship, and a scholarship to the Lake Placid Institute International Vocal Seminar (New York). She is also a Samling scholar and a Crear Scholar. Shuna has been announced as The John Mather Charitable Trust Emerging Artist in Scottish Opera’s 2011-12 Emerging Artists programme. www.shunasendall.co.uk

2nd Prize: Belinda Evans, Soprano
3rd Prize: Elizabeth Lugg, Soprano (later adopted stage name “Elizabeth Bailey“)

Amanda Echalaz2002Amanda Echalaz, Soprano
Great Elm Vocal Awards, 24 October 2002 at Great Elm Village Hall
Echalaz came to worldwide prominence when she represented South Africa in the Cardiff Singer of the World. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the 2008 season when she was invited to create the role of ‘Kir’ in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s opera The Minotaur under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano. This was the season Echalaz announced herself as a major emerging talent when she garnered unanimous critical acclaim for her portrayal of Pucinni’s heroine Tosca at Opera Holland Park. She has just finished her debut run at the New York Met as ‘Cio-Cio-San’ (Madama Butterfly). www.amandaechalaz.com

2001Sonya Prentice, Soprano
Jackdaws Vocal Awards at Great Elm Parish Church

2nd Prize: Samantha Hay, Soprano
3rd Prize: Owen Gilhooly, Tenor

2000James Robinson, Bass-Baritone
Jackdaws Vocal Awards, 26 October 2000 at Great Elm Parish Church

2nd Prize: Kate Royal, Soprano
3rd Prize: Helen Withers, Mezzo-Soprano

Andrew Kennedy1999Andrew Kennedy, Tenor
Jackdaws Vocal Awards, 28 October 1999 at Great Elm Village Hall
Andrew’s fast growing discography includes six solo albums (Hyperion, Signum Classics, Landor Records, Altara and Naxos); three shared recital discs (Signum Classics and Delphian) and numerous recordings for LSO live. 2013/14 saw a further six recordings released and future performances include a world tour of Handel’s Theodora with the English Concert and Harry Bicket, Messiah in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne with Matthew Halls, Pang Turandot (Scottish Opera concert performance at Usher Hall) St Matthew Passion with the Britten Sinfonia, Britten’s Serenade with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Les Illuminations with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra. hazardchase.co.uk/artists/andrew-kennedy

2nd Prize: Adam Green, Baritone
3rd Prize: Byron Watson, Baritone

Sophie Grimmer1998Sophie Grimmer, Soprano
Great Elm Vocal Awards, 26 August 1998 at Great Elm Village Hall

2nd Prize: Natalie Clifton-Griffith, Soprano
3rd Prize: Natalia Burtt-Jones, Soprano


Timothy Mirfin1997Timothy Mirfin, Bass
Great Elm Vocal Awards, 30 October 1997 at Great Elm Village Hall
The English bass, Timothy (Tim) Mirfin, graduated in Law from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he was also a choral scholar. He studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music as a postgraduate scholar, followed by the National Opera Studio.
His recent opera engagements include Pelleas et Melisande for the Theater an der Wien, Basilio (Il barbiere di Siviglia) for WNO and Colline for Opera Holland Park, and his many concerts include Haydn Nelson Mass at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, with Frans Brüggen and Creation in Sweden with Robin Ticciati. He has released CDs on Delphian, Nimbus, NMC and ASV.

2nd Prize: Hilary Dolamore, Soprano
3rd Prize: Joanne Lunn, Soprano

Sarah Fox1996Sarah Fox, Soprano
Great Elm Vocal Awards at Great Elm Village Hall
Sarah won the Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1997, the year after she won our Vocal Award, and the John Christie Award in 2000. Last year she was made an Honorary Fellow of Royal Holloway College, London University.
Current & future engagements include Micaela (Carmen) at Covent Garden; Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Berlin Philharmonic & Sir Simon Rattle; a tour of Britten’s Les Illuminations in Israel; Mozart recitals with the Classical Opera Company at London’s Wigmore Hall; recitals of Cole Porter with the conductor James Burton; concerts with Rufus Wainwright in The Hague and Dresden; and the Last Night of the Halle Proms concert at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. www.sfoxylady.com

2nd Prize: James Rutherford, Bass-Baritone
3rd Prize: Andrew Foster, Bass-Baritone

Mary Nelson1995Mary Nelson, Soprano
Great Elm Vocal Awards, 26 October 1995 at Great Elm Village Hall
Mary Nelson was recently elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music where she studied. An ENO Company Principal from 1999 to 2004 subsequent roles included Susanna, Pamina, Dalinda Ariodante, Atalanta Xerxes, Trash The Fairy Queen (with performances in the Gran Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona), and Lucia The Rape of Lucretia for ENO and the Aldeburgh Festival, also broadcast on BBC TV and Radio 3.
She has also sung Sandman (Hansel and Gretel) and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the BBC Proms. Her recordings include Mendelssohn Symphony No. 2 (Naxos), Georg Schumann’s Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt (Guild Music) and Vivaldi Cantatas (Gaudeamus). owenwhitemanagement.com/sopranos/Mary-Nelson

2nd Prize: Panajotis Iconomou, Bass-Baritone
3rd Prize: Alison Kettlewell, Mezzo-Soprano

Christopher Maltman1994Christopher Maltman, Baritone
Great Elm Music Festival Vocal Awards, 28 October 1994 at Great Elm Village Hall
On the opera stage, Christopher Maltman’s recent appearances include the title role of Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival, at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin, at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, and in Cologne; Posa (Don Carlo) for the Netherlands Opera; Papageno, Guglielmo, Marcello, Ramiro, and Forester at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Papageno, Silvio and Harlekin at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. He has also appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin, Zurich Opera, Oper Frankfurt, and at the opera houses of San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco. http://www.askonasholt.co.uk/artists/singers/baritone-bass-baritone/christopher-maltman

2nd Prize: Emily Bauer-Jones, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: Hirohisa Tsuji, Tenor

No award.

1992Jane Haughton, Mezzo-Soprano
The Rosemary Bugden Vocal Award, 29 and 30 October 1992 at Great Elm Village Hall
In 1993 Jane co-founded The Garden Opera Company with whom she toured extensively throughout the UK and Holland. In 1999 Jane joined the Royal Opera House chorus for with whom she sang full time for 6 years.

In 2005 she took a sabbatical from the chorus and retrained as a vocal animateur with the ROH education department. She has since moved to West Sussex, Cuckfield to bring up her family. She now runs workshops for opera companies throughout the U.K. including ROH, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, Glyndebourne and Wigmore Hall Education Depts and teaches part time at Ardingly College.

2nd Prize: Alison Kettlewell, Mezzo-Soprano
3rd Prize: James Barrett, Tenor