Soprano Natalie Aroyan has been announced as the recipient of the Harding Miller Foundation Opera Scholarship 2019. Awarded by the Australia Council for the Arts to female opera singers who have demonstrated outstanding ability and promise, the $30,000 scholarship can be used to enable study or travel either domestically or internationally. Founded by Kim Harding and Irene Miller in 2012, the Harding Miller Foundation funds Australian projects that advance opportunities for girls and women, particularly in the arts, education and environment.

Natalie AroyanNatalie Aroyan. Photo © James Horan

A Principal Artist with Opera Australia, Aroyan’s recent roles for the company include the title role of Aida, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Micaëla in Carmen. Past accolades include winning The Opera Foundation New York Competition and the Herald Sun Aria Competition, both in 2008.

“It is a tremendous honour to be selected to receive such a prestigious and generous scholarship from the Harding Miller Opera Foundation,” Aroyan told Limelight. “I am so grateful to Opera Australia and the Australian operatic community for their continued support and encouragement in this challenging and rapidly evolving industry. This scholarship will enable me to travel overseas to audition for various opera houses, [and] in turn expand my reach and placement among other internationally acclaimed artists and… world-renowned opera houses and companies. I will also be able to share my experiences and knowledge upon returning to Australia, where I will be based.”

“Personally, this is a huge achievement for me and a great reward for all the hard work and sacrifice I have put into making this career,” Aroyan added. “I am so grateful that my persistence, patience and perseverance has enabled me to [achieve] such great heights on and off the stage, knowing full well that none of this would have been possible without the support of the Australian opera Community and Opera Australia, who have motivated me and moulded me into the artist I am today.”

“With this very generous financial aid I plan to make trips overseas to both the United States and most of Europe. My agent is now working tirelessly to organise these auditions for me and hopefully I can finalise my travel plans very soon. I would love to audition for the Royal Opera House among other world-renowned opera theatres and companies.”

Australian audiences will next see Aroyan perform with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in its upcoming Opera Gala in June. She then appears with Opera Australia for its Great Opera Hits concert in July.