Amy Black

A strength of a milestone is that it encourages us to take a moment and reflect on the journey. For a decade, Melba Opera Trust has provided some of Australia’s most valuable scholarship support for exceptional young opera singers and repetiteurs. As we gathered in 2008 in the Great Hall at the NGV for our launch, it was impossible to imagine the future of this unique program and the scale of the impact it would have on opera within this country and the world.

Certainly in 2008 we hoped and dreamed for global success stories but, more importantly, we actively and purposely worked towards pioneering an entirely fresh and innovative approach to training and developing young artists to support our vision ‘that another Melba may arise…’

The first demonstrable indications that our program was having the desired impact came when Brenton Spiteri became the first Melba to win the Herald Sun Aria, followed by Stacey Alleaume and Lauren Fagan receiving first and second place at the Sydney Aria. We began to expect to see Melbas represented in Australia’s leading singing awards, as well as being staple cast members in opera companies across the country. When not three but four of our Melbas were accepted into the coveted Jette Parker Young Artist Program at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, it signified that our scholars were also competitive internationally.

Our scholarship journey started with two scholars and over ten years we have proudly nurtured 51 emerging careers. As we look at our long list of alumni, close to 90 per cent now enjoy thriving careers in the industry. Our scholars’ successes instilled a baseline of excellence that has continued to drive our program development and has resulted in our alumni working around the world, an enormous achievement for a small, independent arts organisation.

We started this journey with an ambitious objective – to build a capital endowment that would sustain the activities of Melba forever. We started with $4.3 million and now, thanks to the donations, pledges, grants, bequests and the expertise of our investment managers, JB Were, our endowment is currently forecast at just over $10 million.

Thanks to the faith, commitment and support of all within our Melba community, what began in 2008 as a promise has become a stunning legacy of support for opera in Australia. We are exceptionally grateful for every gesture of support that has been provided to Melba. The successes of our alumni are the direct outcome of that support. Now that our method is proven, the mission remains – to ensure our world-class program is preserved for future generations.

We’re still a long way from the endowment sustaining our activities, and we remain focused on establishing a secure future. I hope that our loyal community of benefactors will continue to be involved as we commit to our next decade of providing the highest standard of international training for our promising Australian singers and repetiteurs ‘so that another Melba may arise’.

Thank you for believing in us!

Melba Scholars and Alumni


Kyla Allan 2012

Stacey Alleaume 2010, 2012

Damian Arnold 2017

Morgan Balfour 2015

Roberto Barbaro 2013

Shauntai Batzke 2014–2015

Fleuranne Brockway 2018

Simon Bruckard 2016

Angela Brun 2011

Daniel Carison 2015–2017

Stefan Cassomenos 2014–2015

Hannah Dahlenburg 2011–2012

Bronwyn Douglass 2016–2017

Zoe Drummond 2015–2017

Emily Edmonds 2013

Lauren Fagan 2011–2012

Amir Farid 2013

Alexandra Flood 2014

Leilah Fox 2013

Stephanie Gibson 2009–2010

Christian Gillett 2013

Rebecca Gulinello 2013–2014

Georgina Hall 2017, 2019

Jessica Harper 2018

Tessa Hayward 2019

Nikki Hill 2014–2015

Samuel Johnson 2013

Fiona Jopson 2010

Panayiota Kalatzis 2013

Paull-Anthony Keightley 2018

Jeremy Kleeman 2014–2015

Nathan Lay 2011

Cleo Lee-McGowan 2017–2019

Stephen Marsh 2018–2019

Adam McMillan 2018–2019

Jade Moffat 2014–2015

Timothy Newton 2016

Tiriki Onus 2012–2013

Michael Petruccelli 2016

Samuel Piper 2017–2019

Jacqueline Porter 2010

Xenia Puskarz Thomas 2019

Matthew Reardon 2013–2014

Samuel Sakker 2011–2012

Brenton Spiteri 2012–2014

Siobhan Stagg 2009–2012

Janet Szepei Todd 2010–2012

Nicholas Tolputt 2015–2016

Shakira Tsindos 2016

Jonathan Wilson 2016–2017

Sophie Yelland 2010

10 Years of Leadership

2019 Melba Board

Roz Zalewski-Ruskin, Chair

Kate Shelmerdine, Deputy Chair

Dmitry Danilovic, Treasurer

Chris Arnold AM

Amy Black

Kris Neill

Peter Reilly


Retired Directors

Paul Crapper

The late Lorraine Elliott

Ross Elliott

Peter Garnick

Lewis Johnson

Robert G. Logie-Smith AM

Arnold Mayfield

Fiona Menzies

Jenny Sutherland

Professor Melville Waters

Barbara Yeoh

10 Years of Mentoring

Artistic Development

David Aronson (coach)

Matthew Barclay (director)

Cheryl Barker AO (singer)

Siro Battaglin (coach)

Judy Bellingham (breathing)

Tanja Binggeli (language)

Susan Bullock CBE (singer)

Jak Callick (movement)

Peter Coleman-Wright AO (singer)

Constantine Costi (director)

Sir Andrew Davis CBE (conductor)

Prof Lynne Dawson MIL, FRNCM (singer)

Teresa Desmarchelier (language)

The late Fra’ Richard Divall AO OBE (conductor)

Giuseppe D’Orazzi (language)

Asher Fisch (conductor)

Renée Fleming (singer)

Johannes Fritzsch (conductor)

Lisa Gasteen AO (singer)

Nathan Gilkes (director)

Julia Grace (actor)

Nance Grant MBE (singer)

Sylvia Greenberg (singer)

Jonathan Grieves-Smith (conductor)

Hugh Halliday (director)

Thomas Hampson (singer)

The late Eileen Hannan AM (singer)

Brendan Hanson (director)

Tim Harbour (movement)

Dr Erin Helyard (conductor)

Roxanne Hislop (singer)

Greg Holdaway (movement)

Chuck Hudson (director)

Lindy Hume (director)

Liane Keegan (singer)

Yvonne Kenny AM (singer)

Andrew Keshan (stage make-up)

Sharolyn Kimmorley AM (coach)

Dr David Kram (conductor)

Prof Michael Lanskoi (coach)

Yvette Lee (movement)

Marko Letonja (conductor)

Mary Li (movement)

Dame Felicity Lott DBE FRAM FRCM (singer)

Jenny Lovell (actor)

Jennifer Marten-Smith (coach)

Daria Masiero (singer)

Emma Matthews (singer)

Stuart Maunder OAM (director)

Cameron Menzies (director)

Dr Richard Mills AM (conductor)

Patrick Nolan (director)

Dennis O’Neill CBE (singer)

Simon O’Neill ONZM (singer)

Moffatt Oxenbould AM (director)

Valéria Palmieri (language)

Denis Passalent (language)

A/Prof Merlin Quaife AM (singer)

Semyon Rozin (coach)

Neil Semer (coach)

Andrew Sinclair (director)

Alexandra Sherman (singer)

Stuart Skelton (singer)

Andrew Strano (singer)

Anna Sweeney (director)

Marie-Claire Szekely OAM (language)

Teddy Tahu Rhodes (singer)

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ CH DBE AC (singer)

Jenny Thirtle (movement)

Guillaume Tourniaire (conductor)

James Wright (director)

Deborah Humble (singer)

Professional Skills

Ken MacKenzie-Forbes AM (business)

Dr Campbell Thompson (wellbeing)

Graham Abbott (presentation)

Dr Patricia Armstrong-Grant OBE (business)

Antoinette Bekos (presentation)

Linda Britten (presentation)

Julian Burak (presentation)

Geraldine Cook (presentation)

Lani Corbett (business)

Charles Cunningham (business)

Suzanne Dekyvere (presentation)

Bernard Despasquale (business)

Catrionadh Dobson (business)

Joe Eapen (business)

Jenifer Eddy OAM (business)

Naomi Eyers (wellbeing)

Judith Field (presentation)

Peter Garnick (business)

Craig Hassall (business)

Dr Karen Hill (wellbeing)

Rhonda Hirst (business)

David Hobson (business)

Sam Hunt (business)

Dr Phil Jauncey (wellbeing)

Daniel Johnson (business)

Trudy Johnston (business)

Corinne Jones (presentation)

Prof Diana Kenny (wellbeing)

Alexandra Kinloch (business)

Chong Lim (business)

L’Oreal Cosmetics (presentation)

Jenny Mate (business)

Sharron McBeth (presentation)

Nicky McCartney (wellbeing)

Jo McEniery (business)

Wendy Milner (business)

Wes Mudge (business)

Kris Neill (business)

Mairi Nicolson (presentation)

Diem Ngo (business)

Paul Noonan (business)

Monica O’Brien (wellbeing)

Tim Patston (wellbeing)

Slavko Periac (business)

Dr Debbie Phyland (wellbeing)

Graham Pushee (business)

Virginia Read (presentation)

Stephen Richardson (business)

Mark Roberts (business)

Leah Shmerling (wellbeing)

Shane Simpson (business)

Diane Steller (business)

Anthony Stockley (business)

Meaghan Sullivan (wellbeing)

Peter Taplin (business)

Cecellia Telkes (presentation)

Lyndon Terracini AM (business)

Richard Thomas (business)

Patrick Togher (business)

Dr Tim van Gelder (business)

Ron Vermeulen (business)

Katija Vlatkovich (business)

Andrew Wallace-Smith (presentation)

David Ward (business)

Derek Welton (business)

James Williams (business)

Susie Wilson (business)

Glen Winslade (business)

Helen Woods (business)

Melba medal Recipients

2009 Pamela, Lady Vestey

2009 Alfred Ruskin AM (posthumous)

2009 Stephen Bolton (posthumous)

2009 Graham Sellars-Jones

2009 Bill Joscelyne (posthumous) and

Mary-Jane Joscelyne OAM

2010 Prof. Mel Waters

2012 Jenny Sutherland

2014 John & Elizabeth Wright-Smith

2015 Professors Joseph Sambrook

and Mary-Jane Gething

2017 Robert G. Logie-Smith AM

Melba Opera Trust Staff – 2010 to Present  

Amy Black 2004 –

Simon Suen 2010 –

Peter Garnick 2010 – 2019

Bruce Raggatt 2010 –

Anne Kennedy 2011 – 2014

Jo Beaumont 2013 – 2018

Dana Moran 2013 – 2014

Suzanne Chaundy 2014

Carolyn Archibald 2015 – 2017

Timothy Hannah 2015 – 2017

Olivia Giglia 2015 – 2016, 2019 –

Megan Steller 2016 – 2017

Laura Quigley 2017

Rosemary Cocklin 2017 –

Hannah Dahlenburg 2018 – 2019

Sharolyn Kimmorley 2019 –

Michelle Hunder 2019

Nina Rokvic 2019 –

Holly Cardamone 2019 –

Johanna Rosenthal 2019 –

The articles contained within this page were curated and compiled from previous editions of Melba Opera Trust publications da capo and The Melba.