Artist development with NZ Opera

The main focus of Foundation sponsorship is through the New Zealand Opera Artist Development Programme.

Co-ordinated and administered by New Zealand Opera, the Artist Development Programme provides an opportunity for some of New Zealand’s most promising young opera singers to develop their craft within the context of our national opera company.

Each year, early career singers are selected as Dame Malvina Major Foundation Studio Artists (previously Emerging Artists). Dame Malvina is part of the selection panels. Artists are equipped with the skills necessary for an opera career through a programme of vocal and dramatic training encompassing languages, movement, interpretation, stagecraft, and mentoring by international experts. They are supported through role-study and performance opportunities with New Zealand Opera. The programme is tailored specifically to meet the needs of each individual artist under the guidance of New Zealand Opera’s Head of Music, Lindy Tennent-Brown.

Selection of Dame Malvina Major Foundation Studio Artists

Applications for the New Zealand Opera Artist Development Programme are invited annually via New Zealand Opera’s website.

 

“Thank you all so much for your commitment and belief in this wonderful programme... I will forever treasure this special time in my extraordinary journey.”

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Studio Artists 2020

Anna Simmons, soprano

Anna Simmons was born in Tauranga, and graduated from Waikato University with a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2016, where she was a Sir Edmund Hilary Scholar. She has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2015 and has appeared in Tosca, The Mikado, Carmen, Candide, L’Elisir d’Amore, Aida, La Bohème, and Don Giovanni. She is popular as a soloist with choral societies around the country, and has premièred two works by Janet Jennings including the critically acclaimed opera, Flowing Water.

Felicity Tomkins, soprano

Felicity Tomkins graduated from the University of Waikato, as a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar and Adastra Foundation Scholar, with conjoint Bachelor of Music (voice) and Bachelor of Science (biochemistry) degrees. She studied with Glenese Blake and Gina Sanders, and is currently completing her Master of Music. She joined the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus (Auckland) 2019.

Felicity holds ATCL Diplomas with Distinction in Classical Singing Performance (2017), Public Speaking (2016), Speech and Drama (2014). She was selected to be a member of the 2014 SGCNZ Young Shakespeare Company, participating in a three-week workshop in London and performing in Julius Caesar at The Globe Theatre. Felicity was awarded the 2018 Sir Edmund Hillary Medal for the Arts, and won the 2017 University of Waikato Aria Competition. As a semi-finalist in the 2018 PACANZ National Young Performer of the Year, she won the award for the singer with the most potential. She has appeared as a soloist with several choirs, including Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle with Cantando Choir, and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Hamilton Civic Choir.

Harry Grigg, tenor

Harry Grigg completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours (First Class) at the University of Auckland under the tutelage of Te Oti Rakena, and placed third at the 2018 PACANZ Young Performer of the Year Competition. During 2017 Harry attended Si parla, si canta, a six-week summer school in Italy, and took part in Patricia Hurley’s Italian for NZ Opera Singers Masterclasses with support of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation. He performed the role of Scaramuccio/Ariadne auf Naxos as part of the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in Brisbane. Harry was selected as a member of the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation Singer Development Programme in 2017/18. He is currently a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus in Auckland and performed in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s Don Giovanni during 2019. Harry was recently awarded a Circle100 travel scholarship to help him explore his future study options overseas.

“Learning what is expected of a professional performer is an integral lesson that I will take on my journey...”

Emerging Artists

2018-19

  • PASQUALE ORCHARD
  • WILL KING
  • ANGUS SIMMONS

2017-18

  • NATASHA WILSON
  • MANASE LATU
  • SAMSON SETU

2016-17 (as Scholars)

  • ELIZA BOOM
  • JAMES HENARE
  • OLIVIA SHEAT

2015-16

  • KATHERINE MCINDOE
  • MADISON NONOA

2014-15

  • JARVIS DAMS
  • CHELSEA DOLMAN
  • FILIPE MANU
  • EMILY SCOTT
  • CHRISTIAN THURSTON

2013-14

  • CHEUKY CHAN
  • ELIZABETH MANDENO
  • OLIVER SEWELL
  • THOMAS ATKINS

2012-13

  • BIANCA ANDREW
  • EDWARD LAURENSON
  • KIERAN RAYNER

2011-12

  • EMMA FRASER
  • MOSES MACKAY
  • STEPHEN DIAZ

2010-11

  • AMELIA BERRY
  • CAMERON BARCLAY
  • RACHEL DAY
  • XING XING WANG

2009-10

  • ALEXANDRA IOAN
  • ANDREW GRENON
  • BRIGITTE HEUSER
  • POLLY OTT

2008-09

  • ANNA ARGYLE
  • CLAIRE BARTON
  • DANIEL O’CONNOR

2007-08

  • BARBARA GRAHAM
  • BARBARA PATERSON
  • HADLEIGH ADAMS
  • JULIA HILL (BOOTH)
  • MATTHEW LANDRETH
  • MICHAEL GRAY

2006-07

  • CATHERINE NORTON
  • DAVID KELLY
  • RACHELLE PIKE
  • SARAH-ANN WALKER

2005-06

  • MALCOLM EDE
  • PALOMA BRUCE
  • REBECCA CRABTREE
  • SARAH WOOD

2004-05

  • ANDREW GLOVER
  • KRISTEN DARRAGH
  • PHILLIP RHODES
  • WADE KERNOT

2003-04

  • CARLA PARRY
  • ELAINE WOGAN
  • SARAH McONIE (now COURT)
  • SEAMUS CASEY
  • STEPHANIE BAIN

2002-03

  • ANDREW CONLEY
  • EMMA SLOMAN
  • SARAH-JANE RENNIE
  • SEAMUS CASEY

2001-02

  • ANDREW CONLEY
  • APRIL MARIE NEHO
  • HELEN LEAR
  • JOANNA HESLOP
  • TODD MOHI

2000-01

  • BRENDON MERCER
  • JAMES HARRISON
  • JAMES MENG
  • JOANNA HESLOP
  • PENNY DAVIS
  • WENDY DAWN THOMPSON

Young Artists/Fellows

2019

  • JOEL AMOSA

2018

  • THOMAS ATKINS

2017

  • JAMES HARRISON

2016

  • EMMA FRASER

2015

  • AMELIA BERRY

2014

  • RACHELLE PIKE

2013

  • ANNA LEESE

2012

  • PHILLIP RHODES

2011

  • PHILLIP RHODES

2010

  • DAVID KELLY

2009

  • KRISTIN DARRAGH

2008

  • WADE KERNOT

“One of my personal favourite parts of the program was the constant availability to work with visiting artists from overseas.”

Thank you

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