Our second Mentor Block this year was held for the first time in Sydney, much to the delight of our Sydney-based scholars:

“It was really great to stay at my own house during a Mentor Block – I didn’t have to plan and pack all my music and clothes in advance! It has also been good to discover new venues, mentors, opera enthusiasts and benefactors based in my current hometown.” Zoe Drummond

Melba Opera Trust has become accustomed to entertaining Sydney audiences, having held several Sydney-based events over the last few years to engage and develop a supportive community. “The enthusiasm we have received from our Sydney supporters, and the reality that over half of this year’s scholars live in NSW meant that 2017 was the ideal time to begin delivering some of our programs from Sydney”, said General Manager, Amy Black.

The training block was launched most auspiciously, with our Sydney ‘Meet the Scholars’ event held at Kirribilli House. The Prime Minister’s Office invited Melba Opera Trust to host one of only fifteen events to be held between Kirribilli House and the Lodge as part of the Official Establishments Charity Events Programme in 2017. Read more about this event here

While in Sydney, scholars worked with visiting international voice specialist Neil Semer, participated in an intensive character development workshop with Lindy Hume (retiring Artistic Director Opera Queensland), participated in an all-Italian cooking (and speaking!) class with language specialist Teresa Desmarchelier, and took part in an Italian repertoire master class with Italian soprano Daria Masiero, fresh from her role as Tosca with Opera Australia.

Our Sydney experience was a great success, and we are already preparing for our next visit in July, when scholars will work with renowned director Patrick Nolan (Artistic Director Opera Queensland), and enjoy industry chats with Lyndon Terracini AM (Artistic Director Opera Australia) and Graham Pushee (Artist Manager). They will also learn the art of stage make-up with Opera Australia’s Andrew Keshan, and work in master class with our national treasure, Yvonne Kenny AM.