Opera Australia has announced the winners of its Regional Student Scholarship for 2018. Each of the four winners – Bonnie Staude from Albany, WA, Maddie Stephens from the Gold Coast, QLD, Declan Ross from Cairns, QLD, and Leah Bateman from Alice Springs, NT – will have the opportunity to perform for Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.

Opera AustraliaRegional Student Scholarship winner Bonnie Staude. Photo supplied.

The singers, high school students, were selected from more than 30 finalists who auditioned during Opera Australia’s regional tour of The Marriage of Figaro. They will fly to Sydney in January for a week-long practical experience with the national opera company, that will give them a behind-the-scenes look at professional life for opera singers. They will have exclusive access to industry professionals, receiving training from artistic, music, language and drama coaches at Opera Australia during January, as well as spending time backstage at the Sydney Opera House.

The winners were chosen by Terracini and Opera Australia’s Head of Music Tahu Matheson after being shortlisted by Children’s Chorus Master Joshua van Konkelenberg.

Since its inception in 2014, the Regional Student Scholarship has aimed to broaden Opera Australia’s Regional Tour community through engagement activities that reach audiences from all around Australia.

“There is an enormous amount of talent in this country, and after the success of the scholarship programme in previous years, we are looking forward to seeing the new round of winners in Sydney,” said Terracini.

“We already develop young singers through our Young Artist Program, but the Regional Student Scholarship allows us to work with a younger group – senior secondary students – who might be considering a career in opera,” he said. “It is important for us to nurture and support these talented individuals with their journey into the music industry.”

Limelight, Australia's Classical Music and Arts Magazine