Bass-baritone Jeremy Kleeman is the recipient of the 2019 Australian International Opera Awards scholarship, offered in association with London’s Royal College of Music. Valued at $70,000, the full tuition scholarship will see Kleeman join the RCM’s internationally renowned opera program this September, with travel and living expenses covered. A Helpmann and Green Room nominee, Kleeman is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Victorian Opera’s Developing Artist Program. A past scholar with the Melba Opera Trust, Kleeman received the prestigious Dame Heather Begg Memorial Award in 2016.

Jeremy Kleeman. Photograph supplied

“For 36 years we have encouraged and supported young Australian singers who aspire to perform on the world stage,” said Chairman of AIOA, William Cowan. “We are delighted that Jeremy will have the opportunity to study at the RCM. Our continuing goal is to offer our young Australian winners the very best preparation for a professional career in international opera.”

“We are delighted to once again partner with the AIOA and support young Australian vocal talent,” added Head of Vocal and Opera at the RCM, Nick Sears. “Jeremy is an outstanding young bass-baritone and our proud heritage of developing Australian singers makes the RCM a natural home for the winner of the AIOA scholarship. Our program acts as a bridge to the opera profession and a safe environment in which to hone all the skills required for a successful career as a professional opera soloist.”

Kleeman received Helpmann and Green Room Award nominations in 2016 for playing the role of Magus in Musica Viva and Victorian Opera’s national tour of baroque pasticcio opera Voyage to the Moon. His recent operatic roles include Walter Furst in VO’s 2018 production of William Tell, Second Elder in Handel in the Theatre’s 2018 Susanna, Collatinus in Sydney Chamber Opera’s 2017 The Rape of Lucretia and Famigliari III/Tribuno in Pinchgut Opera’s Coronation of Poppea. Kleeman also appeared in the title role of The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Australia Touring in 2016.

His recent concert engagements include Nielsen’s Third Symphony and Handel’s Messiah with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, CPE Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Melbourne Bach Choir, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Heidelberg Chorale Society.

Kleeman has also participated in several world premieres, creating the role of Toby Raven in George Palmer’s Cloudstreet with State Opera of South Australia, Albert the Pudding in Calvin Bowman and Anna Goldsworthy’s The Magic Pudding — The Opera, and Husband in Hing-yan Chan’s Double Happiness for the Canberra International Music Festival.