Monday, 4th December 2023
The 2024 Abbot Placid Scholar is announced!
The Abbot Placid Spearritt Memorial Scholarship selection committee proudly announces the awarding of the 2024 Scholarship to esteemed Australian mezzo-soprano, Allegra Giagu.
Allegra's journey into the world of opera began with her début at the Sydney Opera House at the age of eleven. She has worked with Opera Australia and sung as a soloist with the Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra amongst others.
She is an ABC Classic Artist, nominated for an Aria Award, featuring on Evergreen Ensemble’s, Curious Caledonians. Allegra is also featured on the Oscar-nominated and Ivor Award-winning film soundtrack of Anna Karenina, written by Dario Marianelli; and other soundtracks, advertisements and recordings.
Her career gained international attention following Leo Schofield’s selection of her as a soloist for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s Salute to Australia, leading to a collaboration with Dame Judi Dench and Classic FM in London. This success prompted her relocation to London where she studied at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music. Allegra is now undertaking doctoral research at the University of Melbourne on eighteenth-century Iberian Music-Theatre.
Watch an example of Allegra’s ensemble, Mamás Bravas, this year at Bloomington Early Music Festival in the United States of America:
In her application for the Abbot Placid Spearritt Scholarship, Allegra proposed an intriguing exploration into the musical legacy of Dom Salvado at New Norcia. She plans to delve into his compositions, including those housed in New Norcia’s archives, reflecting his unique contributions to musical traditions.
Allegra’s research aims to spotlight Dom Salvado’s life, highlighting his influential role in shaping a distinctive musical heritage at New Norcia. The project seeks not only to shed light on Dom Salvado's musical contributions but also aims to bring his compositions to contemporary audiences, providing a unique opportunity to revisit and celebrate an important chapter in the history of music at New Norcia.
We are excited to see how Allegra's innovative approach will enrich awareness of Dom Salvado's musical life, and we look forward with great anticipation to the performances and insights that will emerge from her research.