Taranaki singer Bryony Williams can rely on the support of her home town tonight when she competes in the grand final of New Zealand's most prestigious opera competition.
While the New Plymouth songbird's parents will be in the audience at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington, her extended family, friends and fans will be able to tune in live to the Lexus Song Quest on Radio New Zealand Concert. "I've only ever talked live on radio before. It's a new experience," the 23-year-old soprano said.
"But to be honest, I totally forgot about that. It was the last thing I have thought about."
Williams, who has just returned from Florence, Italy, where she has been studying Italian, said it would still be great to have her parents close by.
"Mum and dad are gathering a little contingent to support me," she said.
If Williams wins the top prize tonight she would join the likes of past winners Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and former Oaonui resident Dame Malvina Major.
Williams said she was doing her best to not let the pressure get to her.
"It's wise to just keep cool, calm and collected."
The winner will receive $10,000 in prizemoney, a $15,000 study grant and return international airfares to help them study overseas.
The prizemoney could come in handy as Williams heads to Manchester in England next month to continue her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. "Win or lose I will be over there for a while."
Williams said despite her hectic schedule she still planned to squeeze in a visit to Taranaki.
"I'm spending a few days back home in New Plymouth before leaving for England."
The Lexus Song Quest final starts at 7.30pm tonight and can be lheard live on Radio New Zealand Concert. Corey Taylor is a Witt journalism student
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you think state schools should conduct religious instruction for primary-aged children?