Returned soldiers competing in the Sun Aria are permitted to deduct their period of war service from their age, and outstanding young Ballarat soprano, Elsie Morison, is presented with a cheque for £510 from the Trust Committee to allow her to receive tuition at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Elise went on to pursue an international career and become a regular member of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden where she sang not only the lead roles in Puccini’s La Boheme and Mozart’s Magic Flute but also appeared in operas by contemporary composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten and Francis Poulenc.

A ‘crowning’ highlight came in 1952 when she was asked to sing at a memorial Concert for King George VI at the Royal Albert hall – and again in 1953 when she sang as Australia’s representative at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey.

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