Focusing on developing the next generation of opera and musical theatre stars, Opera Australia has announced the four recipients of their 2019 Regional Vocal Scholarship program, selected from secondary school applicants across regional Australia.
The 2019 Opera Australia Regional Vocal Scholarship winners are: Amelia Bland, 18 (Orange, NSW), Hannah Burton, 18 (Tamworth, NSW), Luke London, 17 (Speewah, QLD) and Aylish Ryan, 16 (Toowoomba, QLD).
Auditions were submitted through a new digital platform and attracted applicants from communities across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania. The four recipients will fly to Sydney in January 2020 for a week-long immersive experience with the national opera company, gaining exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the working life of an opera singer.
They will receive world-class professional training from artistic, music, drama and language coaches, and spend time backstage at the Sydney Opera House before performing in front of Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.
“As a national company we have a responsibility to bring opportunities like the scholarship to regional communities across Australia,” said Mr Terracini. “We are hugely proud that we can offer world-class training to students who have the passion and the promise to be opera singers. Providing mentorship for young talent is a core part of what we do and I’m looking forward to their time in Sydney.”
Applicants were short-listed by Opera Australia’s Regional Children’s Chorus Master Mark Connors, who gave constructive feedback to students before they resubmitted for the final round. Mr Terracini and Mr Connors judged the final winners, selecting four who have the potential to develop careers in opera and musical theatre.
“The level of talent is incredibly promising, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many of these applicants seeking further study and performing on our stages,” said Mr Connors. “The fact that two of our winners were previous members of the Regional Children’s Chorus means we are successfully fostering a love of opera with our touring program.”
The Regional Vocal Scholarship launched in 2014 to expand Opera Australia’s community engagement activities, which include the Regional Children’s Chorus, the Schools Program, education and community workshops and Auslan Shadow Interpreting.
Open to all Year 11 and 12 students who live more than 100kms from a capital city, the Scholarship aims to make opportunities in the arts easily accessible for those living in regional areas. The 2019 recipients join an alumni of nineteen talented singers who have gone on to enjoy success in the music industry.
Applications for the 2020 scholarship open next year. For more information and to register your interest, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.
Image: Previous Winners of Opera Australia’s Regional Vocal Scholarship – courtesy of Opera Australia