Eight young artists to get hands on practical experience with a major opera company.

Seven exciting young singers and a pianist have won this year’s coveted places in Victorian Opera’s Master of Music course. The unique two-year program is delivered in collaboration with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) at the University of Melbourne.

The students will be in at the deep end this June, taking principal roles in Victorian Opera’s production of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. The students also get to be part of the ensemble for other productions throughout the year, with the opportunity to work alongside some of opera’s biggest names, including Lisa Gasteen, José Carbo and Jessica Pratt.

This year’s intake was chosen from an impressive field of over 70 applicants, after a highly competitive selection process. Victorian Opera’s artistic director Richard Mills has praised the winning candidates calling them the “cream of the crop” and pointing out that “none can be pigeonholed into the misconceptions or stereotypes of what an opera singer is.”

The singers for the 2014-2015 program are sopranos Kate Amos and Cristina Russo, mezzos Elizabeth Lewis and Emma Muir-Smith, tenor Michael Petruccelli, and baritones Nathan Lay and Matthew Tng. As well as the...

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