Egyptian soprano Fatma Said has won this year's Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin.
The 24-year-old from Cairo was honoured at the National Concert Hall on Thursday night where a total of six finalists performed for the judges.
She is one of 10 young people worldwide to receive a scholarship to study song at the prestigious music academy La Scala Academy in Milan.
Said performed three arias on Thursday night along with the Wexford Festival Opera Orchestra, conducted by Patrik Ringborg.
Speaking to RTÉ lyric fm's Niall Carroll on stage after her win, she said: "I can't remember a time when I fell in love with singing. I always loved singing and I always loved music, particularly music, because I came to love opera at a later stage of my life. I must say that being at a German school in Cairo helped me a lot to develop a taste of classical music.
She described it as a "huge honour" to be accepted to study at La Scala.
"I did the auditions after my studies in Germany," she explained. "It's a great experience to be in Italy as an opera singer. I think it's a very important thing for any opera singer to live in Italy at a point in time. Being in Milan and La Scala is definitely the best place one can be as an opera singer."