NZ OPERA SCHOOL STUDENTS & TUTORS – WHERE ARE THEY? – WHAT THEY ARE DOING?

We touch base with present, recent and past students and tutors of NZ Opera School, to see what they are doing now, their plans and ambitions for the future. We also talk to them about what they thought about the school and their advice for interested young singers who want to develop their skills.

MADISON NONOA joined the NZ OPERA SCHOOL Alumni in 2013, and has attended in total four NZ Opera School’s since, and is now adventuring abroad to further her studies in the art form of OPERA. A hard working and motivated individual, we ask Madison a few questions about her plans and what she has been doing

Q: What have you been working on since the 2017 NZOS? I.e. performances, competitions etc.

"A couple of weeks after the close of the 2017 NZOS I went into production for Days Bay Opera's season of Handel's "Theodora", in which I sang the role of Theodora. It was a thrilling role to learn and I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to learn it. Next up, I sang the role of "Marie" in Rufus Wainwright's Opera, "Prima Donna", a concert collaboration with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. In March, I auditioned successfully for the role of Catarina Cavalieri in Peter Schaffer's "Amadeus", a singing role that marked my debut with the Auckland Theatre Company in their premiere season at the newly purpose built Auckland Waterfront ASB Theatre."

"In June I competed in and won the North Shore Becroft Aria competition and have since participated as an inaugural singer in the Dame Kirk Te Kanawa Foundation Singers Programme and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Singers Programme."

Madison during a vocal coaching session as part of the 2016 NZOS Masterclasses

Madison during a vocal coaching session as part of the 2016 NZOS Masterclasses

Q: What's your plans for 2018 and beyond?

“In September of this year I will begin studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where I have been lucky enough to be awarded a full-fees scholarship into the prestigious Opera Programme. My teacher will be Yvonne Kenny, which I am so excited about! My plan is to complete the two year degree, coming back briefly to NZ in the middle of next year to perform the role of "Giulietta" in Auckland Opera Studio's production of "I Capuleti e I Montecchi" (Bellini), and audition for Young Artist programmes in Europe."

Q: How has the NZ Opera School helped you strive for your aspirations as an Opera Singer?

“The NZOS has been an integral part of my training over the past five years. I have looked forward to each school as an opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers in the country and also the visiting tutors, all of whom I have found inspiring and gleaned an enormous amount of information about "the industry" from."

Madison performing with Jarvis Dams at the 2016 Heritage House Recital in Whanganui  

Madison performing with Jarvis Dams at the 2016 Heritage House Recital in Whanganui  

"The school has been a key motivator and a place where I could honestly assess my skill set and my personal areas of weakness that I would like to dedicate time towards strengthening. I felt supported, encouraged and inspired by my colleagues and the teachers; at times I was pushed to grow and at other times I was allowed to "enjoy the moment", and I think the balance of having both expectations as a singer was a great learning curve -- you have to love what you do, but you also have to be constantly looking for ways to appreciate the music and improve your ability to be a vessel for it!."

Q: What would you say to a young NZ Opera singer about the NZOS and why should they attend?

“I would say apply! Go for it! But: be ready to work very hard and for things to "get real"; it's the place for you if you want to really get an idea of the things you would like to be able to do. Don't worry if you can't do everything now, you don't have to be able to sing Mimi or La Traviata -- you just have to be able to take the advice, absorb everything that you can and give it all a go. If you love Opera and it's the career you want to be a part of, I think the NZOS is the perfect place to start."

Madison performing Tornami a dir – Don Pasquale   Donizetti, with Filipe Manu during the 2017 NZ Opera School, Opera Great Moments at RoyalWhanganui Opera House

Madison performing Tornami a dir – Don Pasquale   Donizetti, with Filipe Manu during the 2017 NZ Opera School, Opera Great Moments at RoyalWhanganui Opera House

Q: What was one or a few of the highlights of the school/s you have attended?

“There have been many! My favourite times have been performing together with the others students. Filipe Manu, Jarvis Dams and I were thrown in the deep end one year and had to learn a tricky little Donizetti trio for the final concert a few days before the event, but it turned out to be a marvellous exercise in teamwork and "thorough fast learning". I really enjoyed the public masterclass with Simon O'Neill, who is such a warm and charismatic teacher, particularly supportive of young Singers trying to make it through the early stages of this career. Mostly, I think, it has been a real highlight to have not only been coached by so many of these incredible professional teachers, singers and language/music coaches, but also to have had the opportunity to join a network of musicians who have become colleagues and friends, as well as mentors."

The New Zealand Opera School would like to thank Madison for partaking in this interview and wish her the best of luck for her aspiring career ahead of her. We know you will do well, and Whanganui and New Zealand look forward to your return to give us a taste of your studies abroad. 

NZ OPERA SCHOOL - NOT JUST A TRAINING SCHOOL

NZ Opera School is not just a school to up-skill in the Art of Opera Singing, it is an opportunity to be part of OPERA WORLDWIDE and to meet various professionals within the Opera Community. KEEP READING!!

Edward Laurenson who recently had a benefit concert, presented by Sir James Wallace, The Wallace Arts Trust and The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and accompanied by Terence Dennis, with guest appearances by The National Youth Theatre Company this past Wednesday held at Rannoch,had been well received and an excellent opportunity for the young NZ singer to raise funds for his aspiring future abroad.

Edward has been a student of the NZ Opera School in previous years, and more recently attended the 2017 school earlier this year and shares one of his opportunities and benefits the school had for him;

"Earlier this year I attended the 2017 New Zealand Opera School in Whanganui as one of the School’s inaugural postgraduate alumni. It was during this School that I was introduced to César Ulloa, currently Chair of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, who was visiting New Zealand as the 2017 Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation’s International Voice Faculty Tutor".

"César and I worked very well together, and I felt I made a great deal of progress, so much so that I expressed my desire to study with him over the coming year". NZ Opera School Directors "conveyed this to César and a"..."meeting was arranged. César suggested I make a late application to audition for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Following my live audition in San Francisco several weeks later, I found out that not only was I successful in securing a place at the School, but I was also granted their only full-tuition scholarship. I commence my studies later this month, and am incredibly grateful to Donald, Jonathan, the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation and the New Zealand Opera School for opening this door".

Another great example of the benefits of attending the World renown NZ Opera Training School and the only kind like it in NEW ZEALAND for Young New Zealand Singers from all levels of their development. So get those application in, click on the link below and get applying NOW!! 
http://www.operaschool.org.nz/applications/

Ed_Laurenson_8836.jpg

World’s best teachers love Whanganui and coming back for 2018 School!

We are delighted to announce that world-renowned singing teachers Della Jones and César Ulloa loved being with us at the New Zealand Opera School for 2017, so have both agreed to return for 2018. Applications are now open so get in quick!

Della Jones

Della Jones

Della Jones, has had a stunning career as one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos, appearing in the U.S, Russia, Japan, Canada, U.K. and throughout Europe in over 120 operatic roles. She has worked with all the leading orchestras and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and Sir Antonio Pappano. More recently Della has been doing tremendous work with students in London (National Opera Studio) and in Cardiff (Welsh International Academy of Voice).

 

César Ulloa

César Ulloa

César Ulloa is Chair of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatoire where he also heads up the San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola and Adler Fellows programs. His students perform regularly on the major operatic stages of the world, and have been top prize winners and finalists in numerous competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Operalia, Montserrat Caballé, Loren Zachary, George London, Richard Tucker and Cardiff Singer of the World. Since last year’s Opera School Edward Laurenson has now become a student of Cesar’s at San Francisco Conservatoire.

We are also pleased to announce that longside these amazing international tutors we have again secured an exceptional line-up of New Zealand talent including much loved coaches Sharolyn Kimmorley, Terence Dennis and Bruce Greenfield, and director Sara Brodie. 

Student places for the School, which will take place 8-21 January 2018 at Wanganui Collegiate, are strictly limited to 22. With competition expected to be very high, students are encouraged to start on their recordings and applications now to maximise their chances of securing a place.  Closing date for applications is 31st August 2017.

Click here to apply for the 2018 school.

OPERA EVENING with Jonathan Alver & Pegasus Bay Wines - Huka Lodge 29 April 2017

This year, Huka Lodge is the venue once more for a gala presentation of all the finest things in life – beautiful opera music, fine wines and superb cuisine.

Jonathan Alver

Jonathan Alver

Master of Ceremonies for this stunning evening is Jonathan Alver, Director of the New Zealand Opera School, who has created a rich and memorable musical recital for your enjoyment. This will be presented by the young and talented artists from the NZOS and promises to be as well received as ever.

Paul Froggatt

Paul Froggatt

Edward Donaldson, comes from an opera loving family, and will share some of their magnificent Pegasus Bay wines during the evening. These wines will be paired with a stunning five-course menu created especially by Huka Lodge Executive Chef, Paul Froggatt, to enhance the whole gourmand experience.

 

 

Four talented young performers from the New Zealand Opera School, Katherine McIndoe (Soprano), Harry Grigg (Tenor), Olivia Sheat (Soprano) & Jonathan Eyers (Baritone) will perform during the evening. All these young people are poised at the start of promising careers, and in many cases destined for further study and valuable experiences overseas.
 

For more information go to the Huka Lodge Website www.hukalodge.co.nz

2017 School brings the world closer

The guiding hand of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has once again helped propel some of New Zealand’s most promising young singers along their international career paths.  After visiting and personally teaching at the annual New Zealand Opera School last summer, Dame Kiri facilitated the attendance this January of two more world-renowned teachers, as the core of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation International Vocal Faculty: Della Jones (UK) and César Ulloa (USA). This, says school director Jonathan Alver, contributed to an enviable learning opportunity the equal of any in the world.

“Through the Foundation’s support and Dame Kiri’s personal interest we were able to offer our students one of the highest possible standards of vocal tuition available internationally.  Professor Ulloa is regularly coaching the very best young voices in the United States; they are winning competitions and going on to young artist programmes at the major opera houses in the world.

“Della Jones brought to us the stunning nuances of character and style that has made her such a renowned performer and now a regular teacher at the National Opera Studio in London. For our students she demonstrated the incredible attention to detail and broad spectrum of skills needed for an international singing career.”

Deputy Chair of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, Diana Fenwick, says the sponsorship of these highly respected tutors provided for “an amazing experience” for the students this year.  “They gave so much time, knowledge and encouragement, and we were thrilled with the progress of the singers during the two weeks of the school.”

24 students, who had been selected from applicants throughout New Zealand, were required to show evidence of their talent and their existing commitment to professional studies. They lived and breathed music for two weeks in the intensive residential course which takes place over two weeks every January on the campus of Wanganui Collegiate.

After 23 years, the annual opera school has produced a disproportionate number of students who have been accepted for highly contested study programmes overseas. More than one third of this year’s roll are already committed to offshore endeavours in the next 12 months, says Jonathan Alver. “In addition we have discovered a number of exceptional voices among the first time attendees this year, and some of those will be following their colleagues in the next few years after further nurturing their skills at the summer school. Dame Kiri firmly made the point last year that ‘the world only wants exceptional’ so I am pleased we continue to rise to her call.”

Diana Fenwick adds that especially for those singers who are still working towards their overseas travels, bringing the opera world’s best teachers to New Zealand fulfils one of the Foundation’s objectives.  “Not all students are ready or able to travel overseas, so by sponsoring these tutors here at the New Zealand Opera School we are delighted to give them this unique experience at home.”

Donald Trott, Executive Chairman and Founder of the School, says New Zealanders can be proud of the resource and the results that the school, its students and its sponsors make possible. “Every year our country is producing a number of great singers who are joining this demanding but very fulfilling profession. As a country, we are certainly singing above our weight!”

Heritage House Recital

The Heritage House Recital held on Wednesday 11th January 2017 in Whanganui organised by the WOW committee was a SELL-OUT event. Performed by four talented students, Eliza Boom (Whangarei), Edward Laurenson (Auckland), Frederick Jones (Wellington) and Katherine McIndoe (Wellington) and Accompanied by Sharolyn Kimmorley AM. 

From Left: Edward Laurenson, Katherine McIndoe, Eliza Boom and Frederick Jones

From Left: Edward Laurenson, Katherine McIndoe, Eliza Boom and Frederick Jones

Tonight we have our first Public MasterClass with one of the world’s best singing teachers, César Ulloa from San Francisco and is one of the 2017 NZ Opera School’s Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation International Faculty.

This will be held at the Wanganui Collegiate College – Prince Edward Auditorium and there will be doors sales. Alternatively listen out next Tuesday for the Radio NZ Broadcast.

Star tutors arriving for 2017 opera school

Lin Ferguson writes in the Wanganui Chronicle of the mounting excitement in the city as opera stars arrive to take their place as tutors in the Kiri Te Kanawa International Faculty at the NZ Opera School which begins on 9 January.  Della Jones (pictured) and Cesar Ulloa both bring considerable experience and acclaim with them, and have been mentioned by many of the record student intake as reasons for their wanting to attend this year.

 

 

Famous mezzo to teach in NZ

One of the world’s most famous mezzo sopranos is coming to teach at the New Zealand Opera School held in Wanganui this year from 9 -22 January. Della Jones will spend two weeks passing on her knowledge to the next generation of opera stars. She talks about the stimulation she gets from passing on her knowledge to future opera stars.

To listen to click the link below:

http://www.radionz.co.nz/concert/programmes/upbeat/audio/201828251/famous-mezzo-to-teach-in-nz

 

World’s best to teach at New Zealand Opera School

Two world-renowned teachers have been confirmed for the 2017 New Zealand Opera School – the country’s prestigious residential summer school for emerging opera singers. The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation International Vocal Faculty tutors will be Della Jones and César Ulloa.

Della Jones, has had a stunning career as one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos, appearing in the U.S, Russia, Japan, Canada, U.K. and throughout Europe in over 120 operatic roles. She has a prolific recording portfolio exceeding 120 works across every major record label, and has worked with leading orchestras and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Simon Rattle, and Sir John Eliot Gardiner.  More recently Della has been working with students at London’s National Opera Studio and in Cardiff at the Welsh International Academy of Voice.

“I am looking forward enormously to coming to your highly reputable Opera School in Whanganui,” says Della Jones, adding a message for those considering applying for the 2017 intake. “I work hard, but believe in the joy of music- making, and I will help you all in whatever challenges you need to overcome.”

“I am looking forward enormously to coming to your highly reputable Opera School in Whanganui,” says Della Jones, adding a message for those considering applying for the 2017 intake. “I work hard, but believe in the joy of music- making, and I will help you all in whatever challenges you need to overcome.”

Professor César Ulloa is Chair of Voice at the San Francisco Conservatoire and also leads programmes for the San Francisco Opera Center. His students have been first prize winners and finalists in numerous competitions including New York’s Metropolitan Opera,  Placido Domingo’s Operalia,  Concurso Montserrat Caballé, and the Cardiff Singer of the World.

Steven Blier, coach at the vocal arts faculty of the Juilliard School of Music says César Ulloa has uniquely offered “insight into the foundations of great vocal artistry.” Legendary American mezzo Federica Von Stade called him “a guardian angel of singing”.  Great American mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick says Ulloa is “an invaluable and important part of the opera world.”

César Ulloa is considered by many to be the best singing teacher in the world, says NZ Opera School director Jonathan Alver.  “He came to teaching from a long and successful opera stage career and says that hearing stars such as Caballé, Carreras and Kraus both on-stage and in rehearsal trained his ear to hear where young singers will probably be two years ahead. He and Della Jones will be an enviable resource for the 2017 student intake.”

Alongside the international tutors stands an exceptional line-up of New Zealand opera and music professionals including Isabel Cunningham, Sharolyn Kimmorley, Terence Dennis, Bruce Greenfield, and director Sara Brodie.

The New Zealand Opera School takes place from January 9 to 22 on the campus of Wanganui Collegiate. The 22 student places are always keenly contested, with previous alumni having gone on to successful, sometimes stellar international careers. “Given the strong interest and competition for places, we encourage intending students to start on their recordings and applications now to maximise their chances,” says school director Jonathan Alver.  The closing date for applications is 31st August 2016.

 

For more information about the principal sponsor, the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, please visit www.kiritekanawa.org.  More NZ Opera School details at www.operaschool.org.nz.  For further media information, pictures and interviews, please contact Michael Hooper (021 940 893) or Chris Swannell (021 594 007); email spotlightmedia@clear.net.nz

The New Zealand Opera School is supported by the following key sponsors and benefactors:

Deane Charitable Trust, The William and Lois Manchester Trust, Dame Jenny Gibbs DNZM, Mrs Beverley McConnell MNZM, QSM, The Mercury Theatre Restoration Fund, The New Zealand Opera Society, John and Margaret Hunn Trust.

NZ Opera School alumni to perform at Huka Lodge

This year, on Saturday 16 April, the operatic arias of French composers, along with some of France’s finest wines, are celebrated during another gala event at Huka Lodge.

Master of ceremonies, Jonathan Alver, has brought together a fabulous programme of music presented by the talented young performers of the New Zealand Opera School. The NZOS performs an extraordinary nurturing role developing our emerging opera singers.

Jonathan is the Director of the NZOS and during the event shares insights and anecdotes from his extensive 25-year career in theatre, screen and event production.

Jean-Christophe Poizat from Maison Vauron presents a stunning personal selection of fine wines from the famed Burgundy region during dinner. These superb wines will be complemented in a befitting way with a five-course menu created especially by Executive Chef, Paul Froggatt.

A surcharge of NZ$200.00 per room + gst (15%) applies to benefit the New Zealand Opera School. The attractive autumn-winter room rate will be applicable for the night of this event.

Details of the weekend's programme follow below.

SATURDAY, 16 APRIL 2016

  • From 1.00pm onwards – Guests arrive at Huka Lodge, settle in and orientate.
  • 3.00-3.45pm – Join Jonathan Alver in the Main Lodge Room as he shares his stories and insights spanning a 25-year career in opera, theatre, screen and event production within the arts sector.
  •  Refreshments.
  •  4.15-5.00pm – Guests gather in the Main Lodge Room with Jean-Christophe Poizat, Maison Vauron for an introduction to the wines of Burgundy that will be served during dinner.
  • 6.00-7.00pm – Guests return to the Main Lodge for pre-dinner drinks and a welcome by Huka Lodge, General Manager, Kerry Molloy. Jonathan Alver will introduce the New Zealand Opera School alumni who will perform later in the evening.
  • 7.00pm onwards – A fabulous five-course French inspired dinner by Executive Chef, Paul Froggatt will be presented, complemented wines from Maison Vauron, as carefully chosen by Jean-Christophe. As the evening unfolds popular opera arias and duets will be presented for your pleasure by talented young singers – Katherine McIndoe; soprano, Madison Nonoa; soprano, Filipe Manu; tenor and Jonathan Eyers; baritone.
  • After dinner guests gather in the Lodge Room for drinks, a selection of New Zealand cheeses, petits-fours, tea and coffee. All the performers will also join guests at this time.

SUNDAY, 17 APRIL 2016

  • From 7.30am – Full country breakfast is served for guests to enjoy at leisure.
  • 11.00am – Check-out and departure from Huka Lodge.

Applications for the New Zealand Opera School are now open

The New Zealand Opera School is thrilled to call for applications for its 2016 School which will once again deliver an unparalleled professional development opportunity for New Zealand’s rising operatic stars.

Returning to the teaching team by popular demand will be world-renowned baritone Håkan Hagegård, one of two international tutors with whom students will have the opportunity to work.  The second, a stunning stage performer and accomplished teacher, who comes to New Zealand for the first time, will be announced shortly.

Håkan, who is particularly known for his brilliant performance as Papageno in Ingmar Bergman’s film adaptation of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, is now a highly sought after teacher, working with many of the world’s most important operatic institutions. Alongside the international tutors in an exceptional line-up of New Zealand tutors and coaches will be Isabel Cunningham, Sharolyn Kimmorley, Terence Dennis, Bruce Greenfield, Luca Manghi, Sara Brodie, and guest tutor, artist-in-residence and New Zealand star tenor, Simon O’Neill. 

Student places for the School, which will take place 4-17 January 2016 at Wanganui Collegiate, will be strictly limited to 22. With competition expected to be high, students are encouraged to get started on their applications early to maximise their chances of securing a place.  Applications close 31st August 2015. 

Click here to apply for the 2016 school.

Renowned baritone, Håkan Hagegård, joins 2015 NZ Opera School teaching team

Håkan Hagegård

Håkan Hagegård

The New Zealand Opera School is delighted to announce the appointment of Håkan Hagegård, one of the world’s finest baritones, to its teaching staff for the January 2015 school.  He joins a stellar line-up of tutors and coaches including Paul Farrington, Isabel Cunningham, Sharolyn Kimmorley, Terence Dennis, Bruce Greenfield, Sara Brodie and New Zealand star tenor Simon O’Neill.

The addition of Hagegård, whose participation is supported by the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, follows the reluctant withdrawal of Dennis O’Neill who is unable to travel to New Zealand this year for health reasons. Dame Kiri personally assisted in the search for a suitable replacement.

“I am very excited to assist in bringing Håkan to the New Zealand Opera School. I have known him for close to 40 years as a performer and as a friend. His singing has always been of the highest level and now he is passing on all that skill, stage experience and advice to the next generation.” Dame Kiri said.

Hagegård is one of the world’s finest baritones, particularly renowned for his brilliant performance as Papageno in Ingmar Bergman’s film adaptation of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte. Now a highly sought after teacher, he works with many of the most important institutions in the operatic world.

The school is also delighted to welcome Simon O’Neill as guest tutor and 2015 artist-in-residence, and Sharolyn Kimmorley, Australasia’s foremost operatic repetiteur and coach. O’Neill is at the height of his career and will bring a wealth of advice for young singers entering the profession. Kimmorley is in great demand internationally and will be known by many from her recent involvement in the preliminary rounds of the prestigious Lexus Song Quest.

With such an impressive staff line-up, competition will be strong for the 22 places at the 2015 school, which will take place 5-19 January 2015 at Wanganui Collegiate. Students are encouraged to get started on their applications early to maximize their chance to secure a place. 

Click here to apply for the 2015 school.