In a strong partnership of more than 20 years, New Zealand Opera and the Dame Malvina Major Foundation announce the Studio Artists who will be taking part in the company’s plans for artist development.
The selected artists are: soprano Hannah Ashford-Beck from Auckland, and tenor Emmanuel Fonoti-Fuimaono and soprano Katherine Winitana from Hawkes Bay.
This partnership with the Dame Malvina Major Foundation is one component of a broad development programme at New Zealand Opera. Participation provides opportunity for some of New Zealand’s most promising young singers to develop their craft within the context of our national opera company. Artists are equipped with the skills to lay the foundations for a career in opera through a programme of training encompassing vocal and repertoire coaching, language, acting, interpretation, career skills and performance mindset. They are mentored by resident and international experts, while also being supported through role study and performance opportunities with New Zealand Opera.
The programme is tailored specifically to meet the needs of each individual artist. New Zealand Opera Head of Music Mark Dorrell states “we are very excited to be working with three promising young singers. We are particularly delighted that in the year ahead they will be involved with several major opera productions throughout the country, including Macbeth, the mainstage production for NZ Opera’s 2022 Season, and will be mentored throughout the programme by established New Zealand artists”. Studio Artists also have an opportunity to connect with and introduce a younger generation to opera through the company’s popular Opera in Schools Tour.
For singers participating, the Studio Artists programme works to bridge the gap between university studies and a professional career, with many artists going on to achieve international success. New Zealand Opera General Director Thomas de Mallet Burgess states, “New Zealand’s most precious natural resource is its voice in the world, and nowhere is this in more evidence than in the voices of our young singers we export to all four corners of the globe. The Dame Malvina Major Foundation for the past 20 years has been a central pillar of this reality, and NZ Opera is pleased to build on our partnership in our 21st year to welcome two new studio artists and one returning studio artist in 2022.” Close to 100 artists have taken part in the training programme over the past two decades, many of whom have used this training as a springboard to create successful overseas careers.