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WAAPA’s inaugural Taryn Fiebig Award goes to classical voice student Erin Strle

An award to honour one of Australia’s brightest singing stars, Taryn Fiebig, has gone to WA Academy of Performing Arts third-year classical voice student Erin Strle.

The $10,000 scholarship, supported by the Humanity Foundation, was founded in Fiebig’s memory and supports a WAAPA student by funding professional development.

WA-born Fiebig, one of Australia’s leading sopranos, winner of two Helpmann Awards, a principal soprano at Opera Australia and regular with Pinchgut Opera, died in March 2021, aged 49.

Taryn Fiebig.
Camera IconTaryn Fiebig. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

She was also a cellist who famously reduced Prince Charles to tears at a Buckingham Palace Concert in 2015.

Six finalists were selected from WAAPA’s classical voice and music theatre programs and judged by a panel including Humanity Foundation director Talya Masel, Perth Festival artistic director Iain Grandage, soprano Sara Macliver, and WAAPA executive dean Professor David Shirley.

Finalists sang repertoire ranging from Mozart to Sondheim, for a live audience including members of the Fiebig family.

Strle won with Mozart’s Padre, germani, addio! (Father, brothers, farewell!) from Idomeneo.

“It is such an honour to be named the recipient of the inaugural Taryn Fiebig Award,” Strle said.

“Taryn was a phenomenally talented and inspiring artist, and I am so grateful to the Humanity Foundation for this opportunity.”

Erin Strle sings in competition, accompanied by WAAPA associate artist Tommaso Pollio.
Camera IconErin Strle sings in competition, accompanied by WAAPA associate artist Tommaso Pollio. Credit: Stephen Heath/Stephen Heath Photography

Strle will use the prize money to study in Melbourne, Sydney, and Canberra.

WAAPA co-ordinator of classical performance voice, soprano Emma Matthews, sang Strle’s praise.

“Erin is a gorgeous young soprano who demonstrated musicianship, characterisation and beauty of tone along with an excellent study plan,” she said.

“I think Taryn would’ve loved the evening, and am so proud of all the finalists, who all sang and performed beautifully.”

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