The 23-year-old competed alongside 14 aspiring young opera singers in Christchurch at the weekend, with seven going through to the Aria final on Queen’s birthday.
The second place was awarded to soprano Ingrid Fomison-Nurse and the third to soprano Sophie Sparrow.
Currently a scholar with New Zealand Opera, Eliza grew up on the stage, singing with her large Whangarei-based family.
She studied under Major at the University of Waikato and was last year a finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition where she was awarded a scholarship to study at world leading conservatoire, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.
The DMMF was established in 1991 to help young performing artists achieve their potential by providing financial assistance, performance opportunities and professional guidance, supporting them to prepare for professional careers. It does this through a range of grants, prizes and scholarships, including internship programmes with NZ Opera.