Bass-baritone Joel Amosa has won New Zealand's most coveted singing prize.
Mr Amosa, a part-time opera singer, was the winner of the 2018 Lexus Song Quest at the Auckland Town Hall last night.
A proud New Zealand-born Samoan, the 28-year-old told Music Alive's Clarissa Dunn growing up singing hymns in church first exposed him to choral music.
He was encouraged into music by his grandfather, but credits his former college, Auckland's Dilworth School, for his success.
At 17-years-old, he sung his first ever non-contemporary piece of music, Caro Mio Ben.
"I loved the fact that it was so similar to the Samoan language, in terms of vowels and speaking, so it came a lot easier to me," he said.
"I fell in love with the stories, I love telling stories."
He takes away a cash prize of $20,000 and a study scholarship worth another $27,000, plus international travel to the value of $3000.
Soprano Eliza Boom, 24, of Whangarei was runner-up taking the Malvina Major Foundation prize of $10,000 and a study scholarship also worth $10,000.
And another former Dilworth old boy 25-year-old tenor, Filipe Manu, won the Kiri te Kanawa Scholarship for the most promising young singer.
Dame Kiri was on hand to present her foundation's award to Mr Manu who was a runner-up in the 2016 Lexus Song Quest.
Adjudicator Lisa Gasteen of Australia said she made her decisions knowing the other talented finalists had time, but for Joel it was important he was given an opportunity now.
Dame Malvina Major presented the runner-up prize to Eliza Boom saying she wished she had $10,000 to give to all the singers.