NZ Opera Internships

At New Zealand Opera, we consider it one of our key roles to identify talented New Zealand singers and provide them with support through the many stages of their operatic career. This may involve giving young singers exposure to a working opera environment, bringing young New Zealanders back to sing roles after a period of overseas study, or giving the opportunity for New Zealand based singers to continue to develop their skills.

Applications are open for the 2018 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists

Closing date for applications is Monday 14 August 2017

Dame Malvina Major Scholars

Dame Malvina Major Scholars

Up to four New Zealand based artists, either singers or répétiteurs will be selected for this internship. The singers may be given small roles and understudies, given the opportunity to sing in NZ Opera branded concerts and can be part of the NZ Opera chorus. Vocal, stagecraft and language coaching will be provided. Répétiteurs will have the opportunity to play for rehearsals and NZ Opera concerts, as well as coaching with visiting répétiteurs, coaches and conductors. The internship period ideally covers at least six months in total, focussing mainly on the mainstage production periods. Selection is by audition.

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Meet our Scholars

Eliza Boom, Meet our Scholars

Eliza Boom

Soprano

Soprano Eliza Boom grew up on the stage, singing with her family. Eliza completed her BMus at Vision College (2014), focusing on classical singing while also developing versatility in musical theatre and contemporary music. She did her Honours year (2015) and a PGCert in Opera Studies (2016) at the University of Waikato studying under Dame Malvina Major. In 2016 she was a finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition where she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester in 2017-18.

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James Henare, Meet our Scholars

James Henare

Baritone

James Henare is a Bass-baritone singer based in Wellington. A graduate of New Zealand School of Music, James has been involved in music from an early age, having played and sung in various musical groups from country to metal, before settling with opera. James has sung in the chorus for several New Zealand Opera productions, as well as singing as a soloist for Wellington based ‘Eternity Opera’ and is looking forward to this year as a Dame Malvina Major Scholar.

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Olivia Sheat, Meet our Scholars

Olivia Sheat

Soprano

22 year old soprano Olivia Sheat has just completed her Honours year of study towards a Bachelor of Music at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. Studying with Wellington singing teacher Jenny Wollerman, Olivia has been named as a Dame Malvina Major Scholar for 2017. In 2016 Olivia performed as the guest soprano soloist in Donizetti’s Requiem, Handel’s ‘Messiah’ and the New Zealand premiere of Robert Hanson’s ‘Psalms of David’. 2016 also saw Olivia in the finals of the Wellington Aria Competition, win a nomination to the New Zealand Young Performer of the Year competition and receive the Ariadne Danilow Music Prize at the New Zealand School of Music.

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Fellow

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Fellow

One singer will be chosen to undertake role(s) in main stage productions for NZ Opera. Typically this will be a young singer just becoming established or a returning past Emerging Artist. The Dame Malvina Major Foundation Fellow will receive music and language coaching and performance support as deemed necessary. The internship period covers at least six months, focussing mainly on the main stage production periods. Application is by invitation.

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Meet our Fellow

James Harrison, Meet our Fellow

James Harrison

Baritone

James Harrison graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland. After a year as an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, studied with Margaret Kingsley at the Royal College of Music where he won the prestigious Lies Askonas Prize, the McCulloch Prize for Opera and a special Director’s Prize. James then went on to the National Opera Studio.

Prior to a very successful season as Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in Norway, James recently made his debut for English National Opera in Tansy Davis’ Between Worlds and made his ROH debut in Opera Holland Park’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at The Lindbury Studio. His operatic roles include Christus in the London Handel Festival’s world premiere staging of Handel’s Brocke’s Passion; Papageno in The Magic Flute (Merry Opera Company); Escamillo in Carmen and Onegin in Eugene Onegin (Riverside Opera); Bello in La Fanciulla del West (Opera Holland Park); Conte Alamaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro (Regent’s Opera); Hortensius in La Fille du Regiment (Opera della Luna); Scarpia in Tosca (Opera UpClose); and Mauregato in Schubert’s Alfonso und Estrella

Freemasons Resident Artists (RA)

Freemasons NZ Opera Artists

Artists who are New Zealand permanent residents and are in the top echelon of domestic singers may be invited to be become a Freemasons NZ Opera Artist following the annual New Zealand Opera auditions. These artists will receive funding for a study plan from the Freemasons Foundation, may be suitable for roles and understudies, may be given opportunities to sing in NZ Opera branded concerts and can be part of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus.

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Meet our Artists

Barbara Graham, Meet our Artists

Barbara Graham

Soprano

Barbara Graham has been a NZO Freemasons Resident Artist since 2015, and was a 2007–8 NZO Emerging Artist. She studied with Emily Mair at Victoria University, then at the Schola Cantorum in Paris, France, with Nathalie Spinosi. In 2010 she won the Napier Aria, came 2nd in the Symphonies d’Automne in Macon, France, and 1st in the Festival de Musique et de Langue Françaises in Paris. Recent roles include Peep Bo in NZO’s The Mikado, 1st Genie in NZO’s The Magic Flute, Christine in Amici Productions’ Phantom of the Opera, Rosa Bud in Circa Theatre’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Sophie in Days Bay Opera’s Der Rosenkavalier. She is a soloist with the New Zealand Air Force Band, recently touring France and Belgium as a vocalist for the 2017 Anzac commemorations. Barbara holds a BSc in Marine Biology from Victoria University, and a Diploma in Publishing from Whitireia NZ.

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Elizabeth Mandeno, Meet our Artists

Elizabeth Mandeno

Soprano

Elizabeth Mandeno is a 2017 Freemasons NZ Opera Artist and was a 2013/2014 Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist. She has a BMus (Hons)/BA from University of Auckland and an MA in Advanced Vocal Technique from the Wales International Academy of Voice.

Opera roles include Jane Kendall: This Other Eden by Anthony Ritchie (Opera Otago, world premiere); Papagena, Second Lady: The Magic Flute (schools adaptation); cover Zerlina: Don Giovanni; cover Musetta: La Bohème (New Zealand Opera); Galatea: Acis and Galatea (Handel Consort and Quire Auckland); Adele: Die Fledermaus (Opera Factory NZ); Ulla: Ulla’s Odyssey by Anthony Young (Opera Factory NZ, world premiere).

Concert repertoire includes Messiah (Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), Where Moons Circle and Burn by Louise Webster (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, world premiere), Death of a Bullfighter by Jonathan Mandeno (Ensemble Aventa, world premiere), The Creation (cover, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra), Bachianas Brasileiras no.5 (Aorangi Orchestra), Merab/Witch of Endor: Saul (Handel Consort and Quire Auckland), Mozart’s Requiem (St Matthew’s Chamber Orchestra Auckland), Pierrot Lunaire, Carmina Burana (University of Auckland). 

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Imogen Thirlwall, Meet our Artists

Imogen Thirlwall

Soprano

Imogen Thirlwall is a 2017 Freemasons NZ Opera Artist and has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2012. A versatile performer specialising in modern compositions and character roles, Imogen recently toured in the nationally cast ensembles for New Zealand Opera’s Sweeney Todd and The Mikado.

Operatic roles include Frasquita (cover): Carmen (NZO); Papagena (cover), 2nd Genie (cover): The Magic Flute (NZO); Despina: Così fan tutte (Wanderlust Opera; Days Bay Opera); Lieschen: The Coffee Cantata (Wanaka Arts Festival); Linfea: La Calisto, Annina: Der Rosenkavalier, Auretta: L’oca del Cairo (Days Bay Opera); Mercédès: Carmen (NZCF); Hermia: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (NZSM). Concert repertoire includes works by Todd, Hanson, Mozart, Faure, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Bach and Schubert. Prizes include semi-finalist in the 2016 Lexus Song Quest and finalist in the 2015 New Zealand Aria.

A bookworm and feminist critical theory enthusiast, Imogen won a full scholarship to complete a Master of Music in Classical Performance Voice at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music following a First Class Honours BMus in Performance, BMus in Music Studies and a BA in English Studies. 

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Lilia Carpinelli, Meet our Artists

Lilia Carpinelli

Soprano

Italian soprano Lilia Carpinelli has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2013. Lilia has appeared with orchestras in Italy, Israel, Palestine, Austria, China and New Zealand. Operatic roles include: Micaëla (cover): Carmen (Napier Festival Opera); Lisa: La sonnambula (Auckland Opera Studio), Maria: M. Williams – The Juniper Passion (Atoll Records), Eleonora: Prima la musica poi le parole (Vienna, Orchestra Giovanile di Roma); Lulù in Viviani’s Eden Teatro (Naples, Trianon Orchestra); O Nino: El retablo de maese Pedro (Salerno, Augusteo Theatre); Dirindina: Scarlatti (Caserta, Garibaldi Theatre with Nuova Orchestra Scarlatti), Dorilla in Hasse’s La Serva Scaltra (Naples, Teatro Cilea, Discantus Ensemble); Girlfriend: Len Lye: The Opera (Auckland University). Oratorio performances include Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Napier Civic Choir) and Petit Messe Solemnelle (Auckland Choral), Monteverdi’s Vespres 1610 (Bach Musica), Faurè’s Requiem (Avellino Conservatorium Orchestra), Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (Nuova Orchestra Napoletana), Cimarosa’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria, world premiers of Logroscino’s Stabat Mater, Paisiello’s Requiem and Piccinni’s Salmo ‘Da te solo in tanti affanni’ ( Salerno Conservatorium Orchestra). Lilia has a MMus in performance with First Class Honours (University of Auckland) and a BMus with Hons in Classical Singing (Salerno Conservatorium - Italy).

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Declan Cudd, Meet our Artists

Declan Cudd

Tenor

New Zealand born tenor Declan Cudd is a 2017 Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist with New Zealand Opera. Declan holds a Bachelor of Music and Post Graduate Diploma in Classical Performance Voice from the New Zealand School of Music, where he was awarded the Te Koki New Zealand School of Music Directors Scholarship. Declan now studies under the tutelage of tenor Patrick Power, other teachers included tenor Richard Greager and Australian soprano Lisa Harper-Brown.

Declan has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2013, recently performing in New Zealand Operas tours of Sweeney Todd and The Mikado. Recent roles include Monostatos (understudy), The Priest (understudy) and the First Armed Man (understudy) in The Magic Flute and The Beadle (understudy) in Sweeney Todd. Declan performed the title role in the New Zealand School of Music’s 2015 production of Dido and Aeneas, and the Teapot and Math’s Man in L’enfant et le Sortileges, and minor tenor roles in their 2013 production of Il Corsaro. Concert performances include the tenor solos in Elijah, Mozart Mass in C minor, Mozart Requiem, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle.

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Chelsea Dolman, Meet our Artists

Chelsea Dolman

Soprano

New Zealand based Soprano Chelsea Dolman holds a MMus in Performance Voice (Waikato) and was a 2014/15 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with NZ Opera. She recently completed her studies with Dame Malvina Major and received the Dame Sister Mary Leo Scholarship at the 2015 New Zealand Opera School.

She was a finalist in both the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod McDonalds Aria and the 2014 NZ Aria Competition. She also gained 1st place in the 2016 IFAC Handa Napier Aria and 2nd place in both the Christchurch Aria (2013 & 2015) and the Waikato Aria (2013 & 2014). Operatic roles include Louisa: The Bone Feeder (Auckland Arts Festival 2017), First Lady (understudy): The Magic Flute (New Zealand Opera 2016), Kate Pinkerton: Madama Butterfly (NZO 2015), Tisbe (understudy): La Cenerentola (NZO 2015), Dr Bartola: Barber of Seville (NZ Opera’s 'Opera in Schools' Tour) and Pamina: Die Zauberflöte (University of Waikato).

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Elisabeth Harris, Meet our Artists

Elisabeth Harris

Mezzo soprano

An exciting and engaging performer, Elisabeth Harris is a 2017 Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist with a contagious passion for her art.  Born in Christchurch, Elisabeth completed her Masters of Music at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music. Operatic roles include: Madame Larina: Eugene Onegin; Medora: Il corsaro; Orlofsky: Die Fledermaus; Rusalka: Rusalka (adaptation); and Witch I: Dido and Aeneas.  She is an experienced chorus member with New Zealand Opera, recently touring the country in their production of Sweeney Todd; an accomplished actor; and has had considerable experience as a conductor, musical director and private singing teacher.  On the concert platform, Elisabeth has been the soloist for works including: Haydn’s Paukenmesse; Bach’s B Minor Mass; Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Donizetti’s Messa Di Requiem; Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Opus 125, the Mozart Requiem and Vaughan William’s Mass in G. In September this year, Elisabeth is delighted to be moving to New York to study toward a Masters of Music at the Manhattan School of Music.

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Morag McDowell, Meet our Artists

Morag McDowell

Soprano

Morag McDowell BA LLM, soprano, joined New Zealand Opera in 2004 as a chorus member.  She has since sung in many operas and has performed a number of roles and covers including: Bridesmaid: Marriage of Figaro (NZO); Page: Rigoletto (NZO); Galatea: Acis and Galatea (SMCO, NZO (cover)); Marguerite: The Opera Ball, Esmeralda: The Bartered Bride (NZO (cover)); Queen of the Night: The Magic Flute and the Stolen Sun, The Magic Flute  (NZO (cover));  Atalanta: Xerxes (NZO (cover)); and Belinda: Dido and Aeneas (Viva Voce, Boutique Opera).  Morag regularly sings as a concert soloist.  Her concert repertoire includes Solomon, Messiah, Mozart's Mass in C minor, and Bach's Magnificat. She also sings with top Auckland choir, Viva Voce.

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Daniel O'Connor, Meet our Artists

Daniel O'Connor

Baritone

Daniel O’Connor is a baritone currently based in Wellington and a former PWC Dame Malvina Major New Zealand Opera Emerging Artist. He has recently returned from the United Kingdom, where he completed a Masters in Opera at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2013. 

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Sarah-Jane Rennie, Meet our Artists

Sarah-Jane Rennie

Soprano

Sarah-Jane holds a Bachelor of Music Performance in Voice from The Victorian College of the Arts and a Diploma in Performing Arts (Opera) from the School of Music (Auckland University). She was a 2002 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist.

Sarah-Jane’s roles include: Amor: Orfeo and Euridice (Auckland Chamber Orchestra 2002) and Elettra: Idomeneo (Auckland Opera Studio 2005). Her cover work for New Zealand Opera includes: Leila: The Pearl Fishers (2002); Donna Anna: Don Giovanni (2013); Violetta: La Traviata (2014, 2016); and Micaëla: Carmen (2017). Her concert work includes: Verdi in Concert with the APO (2005); The Lloyd Webber Requiem (2002); The Messiah with the CSO in 2003; and ‘Kiri and Friends’ concert with APO recorded for TV, CD and DVD.

She has toured for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ the Really Useful Group and played the Carlotta Alternate for The Phantom of the Opera Australasian tour 2008-09 and the World tour 2013-16. She sang in ten cities across the Pacific, Asia and Europe.

Sarah-Jane has trained under Isabel Cunningham in Dunedin and Olga Vosnesenskaya at l’Arena di Verona and regularly works with Sharolyn Kimmorley.        

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Tabatha McFadyen, Meet our Artists

Tabatha McFadyen

Soprano

Tabatha was initially trained at the Queensland Conservatorium, graduating in 2013 with First Class Honours and the University Medal. She also undertook intensive post-graduate studies at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and completed a residency with the Meitar Opera Studio at the Israeli State Opera. Tabatha has been successful in a number of competitions, most recently winning the Margreta Elkins Award as part of the NFA’s 2016 Dame Joan Sutherland Competition. In 2015, she won the Richard Bonynge Prize as part of the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award, and the Opera & Arts Support Group Scholarship. In 2014, she won the 49th International Dvořák Singing Competition in the Czech Republic, the Mietta Song Competition, the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Awards, and placed as runner-up in the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald's Operatic Aria. Her operatic roles have included Musetta: La bohème (Festival Opera, NZ; Opera Projects), Prilepa: Queen of Spades (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Zerlina: Don Giovanni, Titania, Suor Genovieffa: Suor Angelica & La Contessa: Le Nozze di Figaro for QCGU and Susanna: Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera New England. An active concert artist, she has been a guest artist with ensembles such the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata of St. John’s and Kupka’s Piano, as well as performing with her long-term musical partner Alex Raineri regularly in recital across Australia. 

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Celia Falchi, Meet our Artists

Celia Falchi

Soprano

Celia has been a member of the New Zealand Opera chorus for a number of years. Over her singing career she has sung and studied a number of major roles with performances with the London City Opera and Wellington G&S Light Opera in New Zealand, France, USA and the UK. Those roles have included Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, The Plaintiff in Trial by Jury, Yum Yum in The Mikado, and Elsie in Yeomen of the Guard. Celia’s solo concerts have included performances at Auckland’s Aotea Centre, and Sydney Town Hall. She had previously studied singing with Flora Edwards at Massey University, and Margaret Lobo in London. Currently Celia also works as a psychologist and as mum of two very energetic young children.

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