At just 13 years old, opera singer Tayla Alexander received this award. In early December 2017 she featured on Television New Zealand’s Seven Sharp telling her amazing story.
At just 16, she was the youngest student ever to be taken in by the Auckland Opera Studio where she is coached by celebrated voice coach Frances Wilson.
Tayla, who Wilson says is set for stellar career in opera (a sentiment also expressed by Dame Malvina Major), told the programme "I was the fat girl who found her confidence on the stage”. She explained that she had gone from feeling isolated and lonely, to finding her voice in spectacular fashion.
The programme referred to Tayla as possibly “the next Lorde of the Opera” in reference to local Shore musical sensation Ella Yelich O'Connor (Lorde), who also won an AIMES Award, just one year before Tayla.
The AIMES Awards judging panel clearly saw Tayla’s potential back in mid-2014 when they selected her to receive the Judges Special Award. Back then her debut album ‘Songbird' charted in the top 10 on both the Independent Music New Zealand Album chartsand the New Zealand Music Charts, making her the youngest artist to appear on the New Zealand music charts. Covering both classical and easy listening genres, Tayla has performed songs in English, Italian and Maori.
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