Young soprano Lizzie Bett Estrada, a scholar of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, bested the participants from prestigious music conservatoires in England, Scotland, and Wales and won the first prize in the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers last October 29, held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England.
Currently taking the Music Standard Pathway program at the Royal Academy of Music, Estrada was selected to represent the academy in the competition. With her innate musical ability, formal music guidance, and exposure to a variety of musical events, she excelled on the stage and won against other participants in the said competition. She performed “Ano Kaya Ang Kapalaran” by Francisco Santiago.
“[I’m so] grateful for this opportunity to represent the Royal Academy of Music. [I’m] sharing this great achievement to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Ayala Foundation, Inc., Ms. Lyca Balita, Ms. Zenaida Tantoco, Gregorio Araneta Inc, NCCA, Mayor Ross Rizal and to all the people who helped me and made studying in London possible,” said Estrada in her social media post.
Established in 1996, the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary is a prestigious competition opened to vocal students aged between 19 and 24 who are just beginning their second year of study in one of the eight major music colleges in England, Scotland, and Wales. Every year, each college sends two singers who will then present an 18-minute varied program.
The competition is named after one of the world’s renowned singers, Kathleen Ferrier. Born in 1912 at Higher Walton, a village near Preston in Lancashire in the North of England, Ferrier was known for her amazing voice and warm personality, making her one of the most celebrated British female singers. Died in 1953, she might have had a short-lived career in music but her legacy lives on. She is still held in high regard today, and remembered by many with great love and admiration.
“We congratulate Lizzie Bett Estrada for winning first prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Society Bursary for Young Singers. We are so proud of her accomplishment. She is one of the many artists the CCP has been supporting in their pursuit for artistic excellence in both local and international stages,” said CCP president Michelle Nikki Junia.
Since its inception, the CCP has been true to its mandate to nurture the next generation of Filipino artists.
“Aside from providing training and venues to showcase their talents, the CCP has been identifying noteworthy Filipino talents to whom we can provide financial support. No matter how meager our budget, we are able to contribute to the artistic journey and career of these young artists. We have been providing assistance to aspiring young musicians in their music studies and creating opportunities to make their headstart in the most difficult and demanding careers,” shared Junia.
Embodying the ideals of the late singer, Estrada is training under the tutelage of Professor Susan Waters at the Royal Academy of Music in London, United Kingdom. Prior to her London studies, the young soprano graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA). Under the tutelage of Filipino soprano Camille Lopez-Molina and Pablo Molina, she graduated with the highest honors and received the Outstanding Student Award.
To further her music career, she enrolled in special programs in music, including the Virtual Masterclass for Classical Singers with Susan Waters and Camille Molina in 2021 and 2020, as well as Masterclass with Filipino tenor Arthur Espiritu for the Voice Major at the Philippine High School for the Arts in 2017.
In 2020, Estrada bagged the first prize in the Junior Voice category in NAMCYA (National Music Competitions for Young Artists).
She has performed in various capacities in the different CCP shows, including in Tuloy Po Kayo 2021 and Pasinaya 2019. She was also involved in Ating Kalayaan, organized by the Philippine Consulate General in Frankfurt, in coordination with MusicArtes, Inc., as well as in the Viva Voce Vignettes – Viva Vivaldi of Manila Pianos and in Tita King, A Tribute to Lucresia Kasilag’s 100th Birth Anniversary.
While in London, she has performed at St. Leonard’s Church Streatham and United Reform Church Caterham.