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Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

- T. S. Eliot

Talent development is a life-long task, and Australian Contemporary Opera Co. is a place for talented story-tellers - emerging and established -  to meaningfully connect with the community. Through contemporary repertoire and lens, artists of all kinds expand skills and horizons, role and project experience with ACOCo - opening up a world of opportunities in the global opera arena!

hadleigh adams
baritone

 
san francsico opera
los angeles opera
florida grand opera
san diego opera
west edge opera
carnegie hall

 

stacey alleaume soprano
 
OPERA AUSTRALIA
OPERA AM RHEIN
BREGENZ FESTSPIELE
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, MUSCAT
FONDAZIONE TEATRO PETRUZZELLI

 

LEO WILLIAMS
TENOR

 
FLORIDA GRAND OPERA
DETROIT OPERA

 

RAPHAEL WONG 
BARITONE
BLAKE BOWDEN 
TENOR

 
OPERA AUSTRALIA
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

 

NA'AMA GOLDMAN,
MEZZO SOPRANO

 
ISRAELI OPERA
Stadttheater Gießen
WEXFORD FESTIVAL OPERA
SHANGHAI BAROQUE FESTIVAL
DEUTSCHE OPER BERLIN

 

GREG ELDRIDGE,
STAGE DIRECTOR

 
ROYAL OPERA, COVENT GARDEN
SCOTTISH OPERA
ICELANDIC OPERA
LOS ANGELES OPERA
GLYNDEBOURNE FESTIVAL OPERA


 

BACKGROUND

Talent Development

GIFT  + INSTINCT  + GRIT  + PROFESSIONALISM

 

ACOCo is not only engaged in creating performances of now, we're setting the bar for the future:  leaving our unique footprint on the path of artists' careers, connecting them with their supporters and audience, and enabling the future of a dynamic performing arts sector. 

 

Aside from an exceptional voice and interpretative instinct, the most important elements for any highly-talented artist are grit, communication skills, and acceptance that opera is a team-sport.  Every contribution is vital, and every individual success is a team success. Our Resident Emerging Artists develop individually and collectively during their time with ACOCo, adding roles and repertoire to CVs, and professional skills and experiences to their toolbox.

Each year since 2009, a select group of post-tertiary (or equiv.) emerging artists are chosen to be members of the extraordinary ACOCo Resident Emerging Artists 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.

Past participants who are now leading principal artists in Australia and around the world include:


In addition to staged productions and concerts, our resident emerging artists participate in coaching, community engagement performances, industry auditions and master classes given by distinguished artists and professionals in their field.  

This practical program is designed to assist skilled opera and music theatre (classically-trained) 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.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is the Resident Emerging Artist Program 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, and additional preparation towards appearing in ACOCo productions and performances.  Each year, our singers come into the profession from different backgrounds and directions, with specific strengths, potential 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.  

Compensation


When cast in a role alongside professional artists in staged productions, Australian Resident Emerging Artists will receive FairWork minimum trainee payment for full-time participation.  

For regional performances, travel and/or travel reimbursement applies. If overnight stay is required for regional or interstate activity, shared accommodation is provided.
 
International participants see below

 

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 forge the future of opera is a pillar of ACOCo's purpose - assisting the next generation of artists is rewarding and beneficial.  When 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 for resident emerging artists free?


Fulfilling a commitment to contribute to public good through operatic story-telling, and to ensure equal access, this unique professional development and mentoring program is supported by our 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 Resident Emerging Artists are invited to join the company, do not pay to be a part of the Program.


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

What is the time commitment?


In 2023, the program will run on a project-by-project basis, with staged activity in the second half of 2023, and in the Festival (Feb 2024.)  As a guide, each project requires availability/flexibility for a block of full time rehearsal between 1 - 6 weeks, depending upon the complexity of the production / performance / workshop.

From time to time, collaborative coaching, soirees, concerts, masterclasses, professional development/career sessions will be programmed on a rolling basis
 

Overseas Participants


We regret that due to CoVID-19 disruptions and associated economic uncertainty, at this time we are unable to financially support international participants in 2023.  We may offer participation on a self-funded basis to a select few on the understanding that international emerging artists are not paid, being part of a cultural exchange and skills development program. 

 

Overseas participants are invited to submit a CV and link to recent performances on youtube or vimeo (no uploads). Successful overseas participants will need to organise and fund their own travel, visa, accommodation and living expenses. ACOCo is happy to assist with advice for visa application, and provide a Letter of Invitation to assist with grant applications if required.

International
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2022 talent development supported by

Gertrude Johnson Estate
Hans & Petra Henkell
Maureen Wheeler AO
Tom & Ruth O'Dea
Lorna Nash
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