Supported by our ELEVATE Young Artist Sponsors

GERTRUDE JOHNSON ESTATE

MAUREEN WHEELER AO

HANS & PETRA HENKELL

RUTH & TOM O'DEA

YOUNG ARTISTS 2022

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TALENT DEVELOPMENT

Each year, a select group of post-tertiary (or equiv.) emerging artists are chosen to be members of the extraordinary ACOCo Young Artist Program.

Inspired by the motto of legendary Australian soprano and entrepreneur Gertrude Johnson MBE: "learning by doing",  ACOCo's Young Artist Performance Program is led by Artistic Director Linda Thompson and creative associates. The program provides tuition-free professional development and paid stage experience to young artists as they begin their professional careers.

 

Singers gain valuable experience with ACOCo by being featured in leading and supporting roles, covering (understudying) roles, participate in small ensembles, and are presented as soloists in concert and soiree programs. Other artists - conductors, stage directors, designers, lighting designers - are engaged to lead and work on dynamic and unique projects.

ACOCo is committed to supporting and nurturing the careers of artists long-term, by bringing back alumni for leading roles in future seasons and guest appearances.

Amongst our esteemed alumni principal artists/creatives are many contracts and awards:

Stacey Alleaume (Opera Australia, Bregenzer Festspiele, Royal Opera House Muscat)

Hadleigh Adams (San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Nederlandse Reisopera, West Edge Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Greg Eldridge (Royal Opera Covent Garden, Icelandic Opera, Opera Australia)

Ashlyn Tymms (Glyndebourne Festival, Buckingham Palace, Opera Australia, West Australian Opera)

Sophie Yelland (English National Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera), Nathan Lay (Opera Australia, Victorian Opera)

Raphael Wong (Festival junger künstler Bayreuth , State Opera of South Australia, Victorian Opera, Opera Australia)

Blake Bowden (Opera Australia)

Nigel Huckle (Opera Australia)

Darcy Carroll (Winner of the German - Australian Opera Grant - Wiesbaden Staatstheater)

Leo Williams - (Resident Artist Detroit Opera)

 

For the past two years, both winners of the prestigious Herald Sun Aria have been ACOCo Young Artists - Georgia Wilkinson and most recently, Naomi Flatman.


In addition to staged productions, YAPs participate in one-on-one coaching, community engagement performances, industry auditions and master classes given by distinguished artists and professionals in their field.  

Our practical program is designed to assist skilled young performers to take their professional careers to the next level.  At the end of their participation, which can range from 1 - 3 years depending on the individual, singers will have worked within a repertory rehearsal, preparation and performance environment.  All activities are geared towards equipping young artists with skills, stamina, experience and reputation to take their place in the professional spotlight - and to give audiences an opportunity to engage with their creative development and professional careers.


Who is it for?
This program is for highly-trained singers, with proven potential for an operatic career. What sets this program apart is the individual focus on the development of skills that are already in evidence, preparation towards appearing in ACOCo productions and performances.  Each year, our singers have come into the profession from different backgrounds and directions, and have specific strengths and weaknesses.  Consequently, the program is devised each year in response to the individual needs of the selected young artists. Our Australian audiences have the opportunity to engage in the progress and path of the next generation of principal soloists.

Subject to vocal development and suitability, each singer is cast to perform and cover certain roles, with intensive input into the craft of performing opera alongside professional artists and creators.  Ours is a unique and successful program, with a focus on contemporary opera and singing in English.  

Our Young Artists are the future of the art form and the cornerstone of our ACOCo's activity.

Compensation
When cast in a role alongside professional artists in staged productions, ACOCo Core Young Artists will receive FairWork minimum trainee payment for full-time participation.  Young Artists in a lead principal role, or returning to sing a leading role, receive LPA minimum professional rates.  For regional performances, travel and/or travel reimbursement applies. If overnight stay is required for regional or interstate activity, shared accommodation is provided.
 
Does ACOCo provide singing lessons?
No. It is assumed that each singer has an existing professional relationship with a singing teacher, and will continue to maintain private vocal tuition in person, or via electronic aids. In addition to regular coaching of expert staff and répétiteurs, visiting coaches and consultants offer further instruction,  and are on hand for repertoire/career advice and guidance.

What is the motivation?
Collaborating to form the future of opera with young artists is rewarding and joyful - forging the future of opera is the cornerstone of ACOCo's activity. Celebrating successes - some immediate, some down the track - it is clear that the future of opera is strong and bright in the hands of dedicated, sensitive, talented, and committed young people, with artistry and excellence and a global view driving careers. Our young artists are also driving change in championing diversity, inclusivity and access. 

How is participation free?
This unique professional development and mentoring program is supported by our ELEVATE Principal Donors, Donor Circle, Supporters, Partners & Philanthropy.  ACOCo believes that access to world-class professional development should be available to any talented young person, regardless of background/circumstances.  ACOCo Young Artists do not pay to be a part of Program. 

We use income generated from events and concerts to pay our professional répétiteurs, directors and industry professionals, and give financial support to Young Artists wherever possible.  ACOCo is a registered charity / NFP, supported primarily through private philanthropy and in-kind partnerships.

What is the time commitment?
Our 2022 program will be run on a project-by-project basis, with the first project due to start rehearsing at the end of January in Melbourne.  As a guide, each project requires availability/flexibility for a block of full time rehearsal between 2 - 5 weeks, depending upon the complexity of the production. 

Project 1 is the Australian Premiere of Opera Holland Park's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
(Full-time from Jan 27 - Feb 12, then performances until March 14)

 

From March to November, coaching, soirees, concerts, masterclasses, professional development/career sessions will be programmed on a rolling basis.


One of two YA training intensives will be held from April 4 - 10 (performance on April 10)


All YAs will be involved in a workshop of a newly commissioned opera from September 17 - 22, 2022

Overseas Participants
We regret that due to CoVID-19 travel restrictions and associated uncertainty, we are unable to support international participants in 2022.  We anticipate our international program will re-start from 2023.

Apply online

ELEVATE Young Artist Sponsors
Gertrude Johnson Estate

Maureen Wheeler AO

Hans & Petra Henkell

Tom & Ruth O'Dea
&
ACOCo Donor Circle

2009

Hadleigh Adams (NZ)

Stacey Alleaume (VIC)

Laura Parkes (VIC)

Mandy Lyn Brook (VIC)

Kristian Gregory (VIC)

Kari Lyon (WA)

Timothy Jacques (VIC)

Alison Lemoh (VIC)

Amy Spruce (VIC)

Jane Matheson, repetiteur (VIC)

2010

Stacey Alleaume (VIC)

Diipti Firmstone (QLD)

Nicholas Dinopoulos (VIC)

Sophie Yelland (VIC)

Nathan Lay (VIC)

Cameron Lukey (VIC)

Kristian Gregory (VIC)

Caitlin McNab (VIC)

Rosel Labone (QLD/NZ)

Foundation

Rhiannon Stevens (VIC)

Yana Georgiou (NSW)

Stephanie Faulkiner (VIC)

Bethany McAleer (SA)

2011

Ashlyn Skye Tymms (WA)

Nathan Lay (VIC)

Hannah Dahlenburg (VIC)

Caitlin McNab (VIC)

Daniel Sinfield (WA)

Rhiannon Stevens (VIC)
Jessica Kinsella (NSW)

Kristian Gregory (VIC)

Joaquin Quilez-Marin (SPAIN)

Samantha Wang (HK)

Li Yang (CHINA)

Foundation

Emma Wheeler (UK)

Adam Bryce (VIC)

2012

Eric Ferrer (PHILIPPINES)

Li Yang (CHINA)

Samantha Wang (HK)

Bernard Leon (NSW)

Holly Joseph (VIC)

Emma Wheeler (UK)

Rhiannon Stevens (VIC)

Jual Rigall (NSW)

Raphael Wong (VIC)

Caitlin McNab (VIC)

Israeli Opera Exchange

Na'ama Goldman (ISRAEL)

Eric Ferrer (PHILIPPINES)

Guest Young Artist

Bianca Andrew (NZ)

2013

Eric Ferrer (PHILIPPINES)

Li Yang (CHINA)

Samantha Wang (HK)

Bernard Leon (NSW)

Holly Joseph (VIC)

Emma Wheeler (UK)

Rhiannon Stevens (VIC)

Jual Rigall (NSW)

Raphael Wong (VIC)

Caitlin McNab (VIC)

Israeli Opera Exchange

Na'ama Goldman (ISRAEL)

Eric Ferrer (PHILIPPINES)

Guest Young Artist

Bianca Andrew (NZ)

2014
2015

Rada Tochalna (UKRAINE)

Alyssa Andraski (USA)

Alexandra Lidgerwood (VIC)

Tamzyn Alexander (VIC)

Eugene Raggio (NSW)

Sung Sun Hong (baritone)

Damien Noyce (NSW)

Rhiannon Stevens (VIC)

Megan Steller, piano (VIC) 

Alyssa Andraski (USA)

Agathe de Courcy (FRA)

Alexandra Ioan (VIC/NZ)

Lisa Parker (VIC)

Owain Browne (UK)

Piera Dennerstein (VIC)

Tamzyn Alexander (VIC)

Evita Pehlaka (LATVIA)

Michelle McCarthy (VIC)

Alexandra Lidgerwood (VIC)

Eugene Raggio (NSW)

Khary Wilson (USA)

Patrick MacDevitt (VIC)

2016

Allegra Giagu (NSW)

Spencer Chapman (QLD)

Lisa Parker (VIC)

Alexandra Lidgerwood (VIC)

Elizabeth Chennell (UK)

Alexandra Ioan (VIC)

Joshua Erdelyi-Götz (VIC)

Jemima Martin, piano (VIC)

Guest Young Artists

Patrick MacDevitt (USA)

Raphael Wong (VIC)

Desirée Frahn (SA)

2017

Juliet Dufour (FRANCE)

Shir Rozzen Koren (ISRAEL)

Bethany Hill (SA)

Darcy Carroll (VIC)

Brigette De Poi (VIC)

Lisa Parker (VIC)

Joshua Erdelyi-Götz (VIC)

Allegra Giagu (NSW)

Henry Shaw (VIC)

Hew Wagner (VIC)

2018

Naomi Flatman (QLD)

Georgia Wilkinson (VIC)

Louise Keast (NSW)

Yu Lin (VIC)

Ella Broome (VIC)

Juan Guzman (MEXICO)

Zachary McCulloch (NZ)

Guest Young Artists

Hew Wagner (SA)

Alexandra Ioan (VIC/NZ)

Joshua Oxley (NSW)

Nigel Huckle (VIC/USA)

Desirée Hahn (SA)

2019

Naomi Flatman (QLD)

Georgia Wilkinson (VIC)

Victoria Thomasch (USA)

Frances Kruske (USA)

Alexandra Amerides (VIC)

Morgan Carter (SA)

Yu Lin (VIC)

Sheridan Hughes (VIC)

Nigel Huckle (VIC/USA)

Joshua Oxley (NSW)

Leo Williams (USA)

NuoLin OuYang (VIC)

Guest Young Artists

Sam Ward

Zoe Drummond

Harry Grigg

Besen Family Design Fellow

Joseph Noonan

Winner, Australasian Final Glyndebourne Opera Cup

Jessica Harper (NSW)

2020

Alexandra Amerides (VIC)

Morgan Carter (SA)

Daniel Felton (VIC)

Tash Atkins (NSW)

Katie Miller-Crispe (NSW)

Lana Lowry (VIC)

Callum MacDonald (VIC)

 

Guest Young Artists

Georgia Wilkinson

Nigel Huckle

Sam Ward

2021

Alexandra Amerides (VIC)

Daniel Felton (VIC)

Tash Atkins (NSW)

Sandra Liu (NSW)

Angelique Tot (NSW)

Zhibang Chen (CHN)

Jessica Mills (SA)

Leah Phillips (VIC)

Associate Young Artists

Erin Absalom (VIC)

Grace Gallur (NSW)

Guest Young Artists

Callum Andreas

Natalie Grimmett

Quin Kelly

Georgia Wilkinson

Naomi Flatman

2022

Alexandra Amerides (VIC)

Daniel Felton (VIC)

Sandra Liu (NSW)

Angelique Tot (NSW)

Jessica Mills (SA)

Bailey Montgomerie

Callum Andreas (SA)

Grace Gallur (NSW)

Caitlin Toohey (VIC)

Genevieve Droppert (WA)

Mitchell Sanders (VIC)

Besen Family Design Fellow:

Madeline Nibali

Associate Young Artist

Leah Phillips

Young Artist Repetiteurs

Po Goh

Lily Begg

Success story:

“I'm writing to let you know that I've recently been offered -­‐ and accepted -­‐ a place in Jette Parker Young Artist Program at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden. I'll be the first Australian director to join the Program, and I wanted to let you know how much your help and support at the beginning of my career has meant to me. [ACOCo] provided an opportunity for me at a time when no other institutions considered accepting young directors, and through my 3-­‐year association with the [ACOCo] Studio I was exposed to many ideas, techniques and examples of professional practice that have directly influenced my own rehearsal and production processes.

 

Without the [ACOCo] Studio's resources, faculty and opportunity, I have no doubt that my career right now would be significantly different. I'd like to thank you personally for believing in me and allowing me to join you on the [ACOCo] Studio Adventure; it was a lot of fun and I hope that you might even allow me back when I (eventually!!) get back to Australia."

- Greg Eldridge, Stage Director

Assoc. Professor of Opera Directing, University of Cincinnati Conservatorium of Music

If you're a budding director, designer, lighting designer, stage manager or producer, wanting experience in a contemporary opera company, let us know!