The Richard Divall Programme
The Richard Divall Programme focuses on providing opportunities for emerging opera singers to experience the pressure of intensive role preparation, rehearsal and performance in a professional setting whilst continuing artistic development with tailored high quality coaching, workshops, master classes and mentoring.This year we are supporting emerging artists Olivia Federow-Yemm, Rachael Joyce, Jordan Kahler, Asher Reichman, Henry Shaw, Emily Szabo, Caitlin Weal and Amanda Windred. We are also supporting developing artists Andrew Alesi, James Park, James Penn, Daniel Felton, Lily Ward and repetiteur Alex Byrne.
Applications are closed for 2023 and will reopen in March 2024.
2023-2024 Emerging Artists Programme Members
The Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme was created to honour the memory of one of Australia’s most lauded conductors, Maestro Richard Divall, supported by a generous bequest made by Melbourne born international soprano, Sylvia Fisher. Upon her death, Sylvia Fisher made this bequest to ensure the continuing support of the development of new artists of operatic excellence in her hometown, Melbourne. Before Maestro Divall’s death in early 2017, he was closely involved in the planning and creation of this program in collaboration with Melbourne Opera.
Managed by a committee of professional opera artists through Melbourne Opera, The Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme aims to develop singers of great potential to a performance-ready standard. It will focus on providing opportunities for emerging opera singers to experience the pressure of intensive role preparation, rehearsal and performance in a professional setting whilst continuing artistic development with tailored high quality coaching, workshops, master classes and mentoring.
- Financial assistance with artistic development expenses.
- Opportunities to perform and understudy main stage roles in a professional environment.
- High level coaching for roles being performed and understudied as well as general repertoire.
- Professional rehearsal conditions.
- Exclusive opportunities to participate in master classes with visiting artists, conductors and directors.
- Weekly language classes (Italian at IIC, German at Goethe Institute).
- Specific instruction in role preparation, & stagecraft (16th street actors studio & guest professionals).
- Professional practice instruction.
- Mentoring from senior colleagues.
- Performance opportunities.
2022-2023 Emerging Artists: Alastair Cooper-Golec (tenor), Naomi Flatman (mezzo-soprano). Olivia Federow-Yemm (mezzo soprano), Esther Gresswell (mezzo-soprano), Teresa Ingrilli (soprano), Adam Jon (baritone), Jordan Kahler (soprano), Amelia Wawrzon (soprano), Alex Byrne (repetiteur). Developing Artists: Andrew Alesi (baritone), Shania Eliassen (soprano), Finn Gilheanny (tenor), James Park (tenor), Syrah Torii (mezzo-soprano), Leah Phillips (soprano).
2021-2022: Alastair Cooper-Golec (tenor), Naomi Flatman (mezzo-soprano). Eleanor Greenwood (soprano),Teresa Ingrilli (soprano), Adam Jon (baritone), Jordan Kahler (soprano), Amelia Wawrzon (soprano).
2020-21: Eleanor Greenwood (soprano), Jane Magao (soprano), Darcy Carroll (bass-baritone), Louise Keast (soprano), Michael Dimovski (tenor), Georgia Wilkinson (soprano).
2019-20: Louise Keast (soprano), Jane Magão (soprano), Shakira Dugan (mezzo soprano), Chloe Harris (mezzo soprano), Michael Dimovski (tenor), Louis Hurley (tenor), Darcy Carroll (baritone) and Associate Artists, Rebecca Rashleigh (soprano) and Stephen Marsh (baritone).
2018-19: Rebecca Rashleigh (soprano), Alison McIntosh-Deszcz (soprano), Shakira Dugan (mezzo soprano), Michael Dimovski (tenor), Michael Lampard (baritone), Darcy Carroll (baritone)and Stephen Marsh (baritone).
Suzanne Chaundy: firstname.lastname@example.org
Raymond Lawrence (Head of Music), Greg Hocking AM, Margaret Haggart, Geoffrey Harris and Roger Howell.
The Richard Divall Emerging Artists are extremely grateful to their supporters: The Sylvia Fisher Fund, The Ian Potter Foundation, Friends Of Melbourne Opera, Allan Myers AC and Maria Myers AC and the Mietta Foundation.
16th Street Actors Studio
Italian Institute of Culture
Goethe Institut Melbourne
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Olivia has performed as a soloist and ensemble member with Melbourne Opera, Opera Australia, BK Opera, Victoria Chorale, Victorian Opera, and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Olivia grew up immersed in music and was in the Young Voices of Melbourne choir and musicianship training program for over fifteen years. This strong foundation of Kodály based learning contributed greatly to the musician she is today and inspired her to continue with her music studies at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and subsequently the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Her performed roles include Nerone in ‘L’incoronazione di Poppea’, Third Lady in ‘Die Zauberflöte’, Zita in ‘Gianni Schicchi’, Proserpina in ‘L’Orfeo’, Suzanne in Offenbach’s ‘Un mari à la porte’, and Oberon in Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Her cover roles include Madame de Croissy in ‘Dialogues des Carmélites’, and Flosshildein Melbourne Opera’s 2023 production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. In 2019, she debuted the role of Winter in Victorian Youth Opera’s ‘The Selfish Giant’. Notable ensemble performances include the 2021 Opera Australia production of ‘Aida’ and Victorian Opera’s 2023 production of ‘Idomeneo’. Olivia will start her second year in the Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme as the recipient of the Melbourne Opera/Rotary International NGSE scholarship to Bayreuth, Germany.
Rachael is an emerging young artist based in Melbourne, who graduated with First Class Honours in Classical Voice from Monash University, after completing a Bachelor of Arts/Music (Honours) majoring in French Language and Music Performance. 2023 marks Rachael’s third season with Opera Scholars Australia and she was a finalist in the OSA Aria Competition in 2022. This year, Rachael stepped in to perform the role of Rosita in BK Opera’s production of ‘Un Mari à la Porte’ on the day of the opening performance, and in 2022, she covered the role of La Regina dei Topi in Victorian Opera’s production of ‘Il Mago di Oz’. Rachael has received awards at the National Liederfest (2018, 2021), and in 2022 was a finalist and recipient of both the Frank Lasslett Memorial and Lynette Casey-Brereton Awards. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Australian Music Prize at Monash University, as well as winning ‘The Talent’ on 3MBS Fine Music Radio Station. Her most recent concert credits include the Dvořák ‘Stabat Mater’ with Monash University Choral Society; guest artist performances with the Yarra Philharmonic Orchestra, Australian Welsh Male and Excelsis Choirs. Rachael is a semi-finalist in the 2023 Australian Singing Competition and will participate in the Lisa Gasteen National Opera Program 2023.
Asher’s passion for music started at a noticeably early age. Having a violinist/conductor for a father, Asher trained in violin and jazz guitar. He is a graduate from the Melbourne Institute of Technology in health science. During his studies he received an opportunity to tour internationally with the Australian International Opera Company, performing Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’, covering the role of Monostatos, and ensemble in Puccini’s ‘Turandot’. Asher received a fellowship from Xl arts and debuted in contemporary opera roles in Jonathon Dove’s ‘Tobius and the Angel’ and ‘Mansfield Park’. He has sung as a soloist in Beethoven 9th Symphony with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and took part in independent recitals of ‘The Juliet Letters’. Prior to the pandemic, Asher received a fellowship with Opernfest Prague and had already established himself as a professional artist as part of the Melbourne chorus of Opera Australia, taking part in recent productions of ‘Aida’, ‘Mefistofele’, ‘Lohengrin’ and ‘Tannhauser’. Recent engagements include soloist for the Rachmaninov vespas, vassal in Melbourne Opera’s ‘Götterdämmerung’ and Jason in Cherubini’s ‘Medea’.
Henry is a writer, director, and singer, who is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and completed his Masters in Writing for Performance at NIDA. His writing work focuses on challenging and subverting expectations, such as his Offenbach Triptych for the Melbourne Fringe Festival in which he wrote and directed new adaptations of three works by Offenbach for a modern audience. As a performer, Henry has appeared in Melbourne’s opera and musical communities in roles such as Colline in a regional production of ‘La Boheme’ and an award-winning performance as Caiaphas in CLOC’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’. Other roles include Arthur in Peter Maxwell Davies’ ‘The Lighthouse’, La Podestat in ‘Le docteur Miracle’, Jitter ‘Musical of Musicals: The Musical’, Superintendent ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’, ensemble member of Victorian Opera’s ‘Idomeneo’ and was a vassal in Melbourne Opera’s ‘Götterdämmerung’.
Emily began studying classical voice at secondary school. Following the completion of Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Science degrees at the University of Melbourne, she commenced a career in banking. During this time, she continued to pursue her passion for opera and recently embarked on a professional opera career. Her operatic roles to date include, Siegrune (cover) in Wagner’s ‘Die Walküre’ for Melbourne Opera (2023). For Millennium Opera she made her debut as Maria in Donizetti’s ‘Maria Stuarda’ (2015), sang Clotilde (2016 and Norma (2022) in Bellini’s ‘Norma’, and Susanna in Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze de Figaro’ (2018). In 2018 Emily won the Ringwood Aria and the Eisteddfod by the Bay Aria award. In 2022 Emily won the Diamond Valley Eisteddfod and was the recipient of the Richard Divall Prize in the Herald Sun Aria.
Jordan is well known to Melbourne Opera audiences for her roles Waltraute in ‘Die Walküre’ in Melbourne and Bendigo and the Second Norn in ‘Götterdämmerung’ in the Bendigo Ring Cycle. Originally from Brisbane, Jordan moved to Melbourne shortly after completing her Bachelor of Musical Theatre at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Jordan was a finalist in the 2022 Herald Sun Aria Competition and was the recipient of the 2023 Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung thanks to the generosity of the Richard Wagner Society Inc. of Victoria
Amanda is a graduate of both Sydney and Queensland Conservatoriums, having completed an Advanced Diploma of Opera, Graduate Diploma of Opera and a Master of Music Studies (with academic excellence).
During her studies Amanda has trained with some of Australia and America’s most notable teachers, directors and repetiteurs including Dr. Rowena Cowley, Professor Lisa Gasteen, Nic Muni, Alan Hicks, Anthony Manoli and Caren Levine. Amanda has had incredible opportunities on the stage and some of her recent highlights include: Vava in Victorian Opera’s ‘ Cheremushki’, Nella in ‘Gianni Schicchi’ for the Berlin Opera Academy, Mrs Grose in ‘Turn of the Screw’ for the Miami Music Festival, Turandot (Cover) in ‘Turandot’ for Opera Australia, Zweite Magd in ‘Elektra’ for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Marcellina in ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ for the Queensland Conservatorium, and Dritte Dame in ‘Die Zauberflöte’ for Pacific Opera.
Caitlin has known from a young age that her passions lie with music and performing. She began her musical journey as a violinist, but after seeing Mozart’s ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’, Caitlin developed a passion for opera and successfully auditioned for the Queensland Conservatorium majoring in Classical voice. She completed her Bachelor of Music and is now about to complete her Master of Music specialising in Opera at the same institution.
During her time at the Queensland Conservatorium, Caitlin received many performance opportunities in concerts, opera choruses and lead operatic roles. These include Mimi ‘La Boheme’ (2021), Greta Fiorentino ‘Street Scene’ (2021) Susanna ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ (2022), Phyllis, ‘Iolanthe’ (2022) and Euridice in ‘Underworld!’ (2023).Caitlin was selected to participate in the Lisa Gasteen National Opera Program and was cast in the role of Kathi in ‘Der Vershworenen’. In 2022, Caitlin was selected as an emerging artist in the launch of the Voxalis company performing the works of ‘Sech’s Lieder’ (Richard Strauss) in their concert ‘Mahler and Strauss’ to critical acclaim and continues to work closely with the company. In 2023 Caitlin performed the soprano solo in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra Community Sings performance of Hayden’s ‘Nelson Mass’.
German Exchange Scholarship
The Richard Divall Programme in association with Rotary Central Melbourne through the New Generations Service Exchange, Rotary International; offers an annual German scholarship (July to September, with some flexibility) providing travel, accommodation and living expenses in Germany for three months allowing singers to pursue their own development interests in a supported environment.
This is opportunity is exclusively open to current and past members of the Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme. Recipients to date are Michael Dimovski,Louise Keast and Olivia Federow-Yemm.
Applications for 2023 exchange will be open in October.
Due to Rotary rules applicants must be under 30 years of age.
News about programme members present and past.
2022 – 2023 NEWS
Eleanor Greenwood won the 2023 Opera Award.
Stephen Marsh won the 2023 Deutsche Oper Berlin Award.
Chloe Harris won the Lady Galleghan London Award.
Naomi Flatman won the 2022 Acclaim Award and participated in the OpernFest Prague in June/July 2023.
Amelia Wawrzon – has graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2023 and won the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Prize in the 2022 Herald Sun Aria Competition.
Jordan Kahler received the Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung with the support of the Victorian Wagner Society
Alastair Cooper-Golec -. was nominated for a Green Room Award as outstanding supporting artist for one of his role in Melbourne Opera’s Lucrezia Borgia. He, along with 2022 developing artist Syrah Torii shared the Victorian Opera Emerging Artist Prize.
Olivia Federow-Yemm won the Rotary New Generation Exchange scholarship in 2023.
Shania Eliassen won the 2022 Welsh Male Choir Singer of the Year.
2021 Herald Sun Aria
Four of the six finalists in the prestigious Herald Sun Aria 2021 were from our programme, with current programme members Naomi Flatman winning the overall competition. Alastair Cooper-Golec winning the John Fulford Prize. Associate artists Jane Magao won the Richard Divall Award and Darcy Carroll was a finalist.
2021 the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Award Bel Canto Award
Amelia Wawrzon has won a 2021 the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Award Bel Canto Award.
2021 Australian Liederfest Award
Naomi Flatman won the 2021 Australian Liederfest Award with Alastair Cooper-Golec was runner up.
2022 Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts Opera Prize
Associate Artists Michael Dimovksi and Shakira Dugan are joint winners of the 2022 Michael Stubbs and Malcolm Roberts Opera Prize