The $50,000 opera prize was announced as part of Victorian Opera’s 15th anniversary celebrations in October and attracted high-calibre candidates from across Australia.
“Victorian Opera is pleased to announce baritone Stephen Marsh as the inaugural recipient of the Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts Opera Prize for 2021,” said Victorian Opera’s Artistic Director Richard Mills.
“Stephen will join the company in January for a full year of employment, intensive coaching and mentoring to prepare him for the next stage of what promises to be a significant career.”
“Victorian Opera thanks Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts for the generous and visionary sponsorship that has made this new initiative possible,” said Mr Mills.
Having appeared in many Victorian Opera youth productions, Stephen Marsh made his mainstage debut in Respighi’s The Sleeping Beauty in 2017 and has since appeared in several operas including Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande, Wagner’s Parsifal, and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville.
He received acclaim for his performance in the title role of Victorian Opera’s Green Room Award-winning new work, Simon Bruckard and Emma Muir-Smith’s The Selfish Giant.
“I am incredibly excited to be the inaugural recipient of the Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts Opera Prize,” said Stephen Marsh. “2021 marks 10 years since my first production with Victorian Opera and I cannot wait to start this new chapter with the company!”
In 2021, Stephen appears in Victorian Opera’s production of The Sleeping Beauty as well as singing the role of Zurga in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.
Image: Stephen Marsh – courtesy of Victorian Opera