Dame Nellie Melba Scholarship Annie McFarling Opera Scholarship Patrick & Vivian Gordon Award
Tessa Hayward is supported by the Dame Nellie Melba Scholarship, the Annie McFarling Opera Scholarship and the Patrick & Vivian Gordon Award.
In 2018, she was awarded the inaugural Dame Elizabeth Murdoch prize at the Herald Sun Aria Final and was also a finalist in the Limestone Coast Italian Aria Competition, winning the encouragement prize for outstanding potential. A highlight in 2019 was performing in the chorus of Opera Australia’s production of Turandot.
Tessa was a finalist in Noosa Federation for the Arts Joan Sutherland Memorial Scholarship Prize, the Opera and Arts Support Group Scholarship, the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Awards, The Sydney Eisteddfod Joan Sutherland Memorial Vocal Scholarship, and of the Cowra, Shoalhaven and Wollongong Eisteddfod where she received 2nd and 3rd place.
Tessa has given concerts and recitals for Sydney Opera Projects, the Cantorion Choir, Camdenville Community Choir and The Opera and Arts Support Group as well as corporate performances and other functions.
Recent roles performed include Cleopatra (reduction) (Giulio Cesare), Micaëla (Carmen), Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), La Converse (Suor Angelica) and Night (The Fairy Queen).
She completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of Professor Janet Delpratt and is continues her studies with Glenn Winslade.
Harold Blair Opera Scholarship Ruskin Opera Scholarship
Wiradjuri soprano Georgina Hall is supported by the Harold Blair Opera Scholarship and the Ruskin Opera Scholarship. She returns to Melba Opera Trust after having been the recipient of the Harold Blair Scholarship and the Mel & Nina Waters Award in 2017.
In early 2018, Georgina toured to Amsterdam singing in Indigenous Kaurna language for the international debut of the Australian Dance Theatre’s production The Beginning of Nature. In November 2018, she joined the Australian Dance Theatre again for an 8-week tour of Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium where The Beginning of Nature thrilled audiences and critics alike.
In the winter of 2018, Georgina was delighted to make her Opera Australia chorus debut in Aida at the Sydney Opera House. During this time, Georgina placed 3rd in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation’s 2nd Sydney Song Prize.
In 2017, she produced Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, performing as Laetitia, at the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. Later that year, she was awarded the Doris Smith Scholarship for voice by the University of Newcastle. For Opera Hunter, Georgina has performed The Countess (The Marriage of Figaro) and the Mother (Amahl and the Night Visitors).
A 2015 and 2016 Pacific Opera Young Artist, she performed the Forester’s Wife and covered the role of the Fox in Pacific Opera and Sydney Symphony Youth Orchestra’s production of The Cunning Little Vixen.
Georgina studied at Newcastle Conservatorium of Music and has an associate diploma through Trinity College London.
Cleo Lee-McGowan is supported by the Joseph Sambrook Opera Scholarship.
Cleo has performed the role of Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Victorian Opera, both in their 2018 Melbourne season and their 2017 regional tour of Victoria. During this tour, she also sang in the concert ‘Heroes and Villains’, and the premiere of a new work, Gordon Kerry’s The Snow Queen. In 2018 Cleo was a soloist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Cleo was a finalist in the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition and was the recipient of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Award, Pasqualina Lipari Prize, Sydney Symphony Orchestra Award, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Prize and Audience Prize. She also was a soloist in the concert ‘Twilight Under the Dome’ raising funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
In 2017, Cleo was featured as a soloist in a live broadcast on ABC Classic FM in celebration of International Women’s Day. She participated in a Director’s Workshop with Lyric Opera of Melbourne and was a soloist in the Acclaim Awards Italian Masterclass Concert in 2016. For the 2016/2017 season, Cleo was the proud recipient of the Peter and Melissa Hebbard Scholarship with Opera Scholars Australia. In January, Cleo performed as a finalist for the title of Opera Scholar of the Year 2017 at the Opera in the Alps.
Cleo has experience in the Melbourne Opera Chorus, performing in Rienzi, Madama Butterfly and Les Pêcheurs de perles. She has performed in the Athenaeum Club Young Prize-Winners Concert and was a soloist and co-curator of Musical Maverick: Five Concerts in Tribute to Grainger. In late 2016, she performed Strauss’ Four Songs Op. 27 with the Melbourne Philharmonia Project. Cleo has undertaken master classes with Yvonne Kenny, Richard Divall, Emma Matthews, Stuart Skelton, Simon O’Neill, Neil Semer, Valeria Esposito and Chuck Hudson.
Cleo holds a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Performance, as well as taking language studies in French and Italian. She received a number of scholarships during her tertiary studies, including Runner-Up of the Acclaim Awards Sleath Lowrey Scholarship, the Athenaeum Club Female Solo Vocalist Prize, the Muriel Cheek Scholarship, the Mona McCaughey Scholarship, the Florence Bradford Scholarship and is the joint winner of the Harold Fisher Memorial Opera Scholarship.
Paulette Bisley Opera Scholarship Eleanor Blakemore Opera Society Scholarship
Stephen Marsh is supported by the Paulette Bisley Opera Scholarship and the Eleanor Blakemore Opera Scholarship.
He made his professional debut in Victorian Opera’s Sleeping Beauty in 2017 and was a developing artist with the company for the 2017-2018 seasons, performing both in regional tours and mainstage productions. Stephen’s roles with Victorian Opera include: The Woodcutter in Respighi’s Sleeping Beauty, Peter (Hansel and Gretel), Shepherd/Doctor (Pelléas et Mélisande) and Second Grail Knight (Parsifal). Upcoming roles include The Giant in the Australian premiere of The Selfish Giant by Simon Bruckard and Emma Muir-Smith and Fiorello (Il barbiere di Siviglia).
In 2018 Stephen also made his debut with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, performing the role of Grégorio in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
Stephen has worked with Melbourne Opera since 2012 and has been chosen as one of the inaugural members of the Richard Divall Emerging Artist Program for 2018/2019. Other companies he has performed with include Lyric Opera of Melbourne, Opera Scholars Australia and Shoestring Opera Company.
Stephen received 1st place in the ‘Melbourne Welsh Male Choir Singer of the Year’ Competition in 2018 and has been the recipient of multiple scholarships including the Barbara Pigdon Memorial Scholarship, the Betty Amsden AO Scholarship ‘Opera Scholar of the Year’ for the Australian Music Events 2016/17 season and the John Duncan scholarship.
Margaret Schofield Opera Scholarship Mel & Nina Waters Award
Melbourne-based pianist Adam McMillan is supported by the Margaret Schofield Opera Scholarship and the Mel and Nina Waters Award. He has received awards including first prize in the MRC Great Romantics Competition, the Musica Viva Chamber Music Prize and first prize in the Queensland Piano Competition.
Recent performance highlights include the Peninsula Summer Music Festival, Brisbane Baroque Festival, Canberra International Music Festival, Australian Showcase at the Sydney International Piano Competition, 4MBS Festival of Classics, Australian Piano Duo Festival, Camerata with Julian Bliss and performing with Paul Dean in the inaugural Ensemble Q performance. Adam has performed as soloist with the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra, ANAM Orchestra, and South Melbourne Symphony. His performances have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM, 3MBS, and 4MBS.
Adam graduated in 2017 from the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM), where he studied with Timothy Young. He has also attained a Bachelor of Music studying with Jenni Flemming at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, graduating with First Class Honours and a University Medal.
John & Elizabeth Wright-Smith Scholarship Ryman Healthcare Opera Scholarship
Samuel Piper, lyric baritone, is supported by the John & Elizabeth Wright-Smith Scholarship and the Ryman Healthcare Scholarship.
In 2018, Samuel debuted as Masetto (Don Giovanni) for Opera Queensland:
“…Masetto was brilliantly played by Piper… It was a performance that evoked sympathy and compassion from the entire audience…”
He also joined Opera Australia in La bohème on the Harbour, Aida and Shostakovich’s The Nose. Samuel performed with Cantillation and Pinchgut Opera in their production of Handel’s Athalia at the City Recital Hall.
His ongoing relationship with Opera Queensland has included performing in several productions and events including in the Helpmann Award nominated Mozart Airborne, education launches, season launches, gala events and concerts. He also performed Moralès (Carmen) in collaboration with Opera Queensland, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in 2017.
His operatic repertoire also includes Sid (Albert Herring), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), The Gamekeeper (The Cunning Little Vixen), The Father (Hansel and Gretel), Antonio (Le nozze di Figaro), and multiple roles in Purcell’s King Arthur. Alongside these roles, he has also worked on scenes from Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni, A Streetcar Named Desire, Così fan tutte, L’elisir d’amore, Pagliacci, L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Samuel has worked with many of Queensland’s premiere organisations including Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Conservatorium, Opera Queensland, Expressions Dance Company, Brisbane Baroque Festival, 4MBS Festival of Classics, Bach Society of Queensland, The Queensland Choir, Noosa Chorale, Southern Cross Soloists and Bangalore Music Festival.
A graduate of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Samuel is the recipient of numerous scholarships and prizes and has furthered his training through opportunities with Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, Southern Cross Soloists, Goethe Institut Berlin, and as a recipient of the Pellegrino Scholarship through the Italian Consulate.
Brisbane-based mezzo-soprano Xenia Puskarz Thomas is supported by the Amelia Joscelyne Memorial Scholarship.
Recent professional engagements include performing with The Southern Cross Soloists, and the Camerata of St John’s, both at Tyalgum Music Festival and in their Helpmann nominated “Home” concert. Xenia was also invited to represent Australia in the 2017 Australia-Chinese Film Festival in Wuhan, China.
Competition success in 2018 included the Opera Foundation for Young Australians’ Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship and the Tinkler Encouragement Award at the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition.
Xenia began her formal studies with her mentor Margaret Baker Genovesi at 16 years of age and continued her training with Dr Margaret Schindler at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Last year, she was awarded a Bachelor of Music with first class honours and the University Medal for Academic Achievement.
During her studies, Xenia performed excerpts from Idomeneo(Idamante) and Cendrillon (Le Prince Charmant) and the roles of L’Enfant (L’Enfant et les sortilèges) and Mrs Gladys Callaway (Dry River Run). Xenia’s awards from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University include the Sir Mostyn Hanger Opera Award, the Linda Edith Allen Undergraduate Award, the Barbara Hebden Music Bursary and most recently the Brisbane Club Award.