- Areas of Study
- How to Apply - Undergraduate
- How to Apply - Postgraduate
- Scholarships and Prizes
- Notable Alumni
- Composing Women
- SCM Visiting Artists and Scholars Program
- Estivo: European Chamber Music Summer School
- Henderson Travellers
- MOOC: Music Education in the 21st Century
- OLE: Digital Communication: Sound
Vocal and Opera Studies
Vocal and Opera study options
- Bachelor of Music (Performance) – Course Structure
- Bachelor of Music (Music Education) – Course Structure
- Diploma of Music – Course Structure
- Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) – Course Structure
- Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Performance) – Course Structure
- Master of Music Studies (Performance) – Course Structure
- Graduate Diploma in Music (Performance) – Course Structure
- Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) – Course Structure
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Course Structure
Undergraduate Audition Requirements – Classical Voice only
Vocal and Opera Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music reflects our strong commitment to singing, an environment in which our students have excelled (Dame Joan Sutherland is the most famous example). Together with the Conservatorium Opera School, the Vocal and Opera Studies staff teach skills in a wide range of repertoire and performance types from the recital to the opera stage. Our students come from all states of Australia and overseas, attracted by a teaching staff with wide experience as concert and operatic artists and outstanding pedagogues, all of whom have had distinguished careers. Many of our teachers are still active as performers with repertoire interests ranging from the early Renaissance to contemporary classical music.
Coaching and language instruction from our Piano Accompaniment and language staff complement individual vocal lessons. Along with establishing and refining students’ vocal, musical and artistic skills, the Vocal and Opera Studies program develops the personal attributes needed for a career in performance, teaching or other fields. Our vocal students have various opportunities for performance in workshops, chamber music concerts and masterclasses. They are encouraged to take part in concerts of major choral works and in the Conservatorium Opera School’s opera productions. Our students have also been successful in many competitions around Australia.
The Conservatorium Opera School showcases vocal and dramatic talent in regular public opera productions, using our versatile performing spaces. These well-attended productions provide an opportunity for outstanding talent to take its first bow in practical preparation for the opera profession. Working with established and emerging stage directors, conductors, coaches and repetiteurs, students train in aspects of stagecraft, such as characterisation, language and ensemble skills. They also receive the invaluable opportunity to study and perform a role, and the style of the selected operatic repertoire is diverse. Weekly performance workshops, masterclasses and opera performance classes provide additional performance opportunities.
Graduates from the Conservatorium Opera School have been employed as full-time artists by the national company, Opera Australia; in state opera companies; and in young artist programs of opera companies, such as those in Zurich, Cologne, Vienna and Rome.
Vocal and Opera Studies Staff
- Associate Professor Michael Halliwell – Vocal and Opera Studies, and Musicology
- Dr Rowena Cowley – Senior Lecturer in Voice and Pedagogy
- Ms Maree Ryan AM – Senior Lecturer in Voice
- Dr Narelle Yeo – Senior Lecturer in Voice and Stagecraft
- Dr Stephen Mould – Lecturer in Conducting and Opera Studies
- Mr Barry Ryan OAM – Lecturer in Vocal Studies
- Ms Olivia Ansell – Casual Lecturer in Dance and Movement
- Ms Tanith Bryce – Casual Language Teacher (Italian)
- Mr Andrew Dalton – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
- Ms Paige Gardiner – Casual Lecturer in Drama and Acting
- Mrs Anke Hoeppner-Ryan – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies, Diction and Language Studies
- Mr Simon Lobelson – Casual Language Teacher (French) and Theatre Studies
- Mr Andrew Morton – Casual Lecturer in Theatre Studies
- Mrs Robyn Wells – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
- Mr Stephen Yalouris – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
“I had always wanted a career involving the stage. After finishing school in rural NSW, I sought to find an institution that would enable me to achieve my dreams.
“The Sydney Conservatorium of Music has been helping me develop skills vital to the career I have chosen. From music theory to performance opportunities, the Conservatorium offers an extremely thorough musical education.
“Being able to study within a tight-knit community with whom I can share my journey has been invaluable. Fellow students across a variety of disciplines inspire me on a daily basis, whilst teachers and mentors are preparing me for the realities of the performance profession.
“The Conservatorium’s campus is at the heart of a vibrant artistic city. Having the chance to work on musical projects with Conservatorium members in venue’s including the Sydney Opera House has been extremely enriching. The Conservatorium’s close relationship with many musical establishments and artists has enabled me to access professional performances, as well as build relationships with musicians working in the industry.”
“The Con Opera School involves intensive learning in the domains of voice, performance skills and languages. In each semester there is a production, as well as concerts and masterclasses, which enable you to practise performing in real situations in different ways. It is a very practical course, with an opportunity to sing and practice your craft every day.
“Situated on the picturesque grounds of the Royal Botanical Gardens, sipping coffee in the sun while spotting the sails of the Sydney Opera House, the beautiful building dripping with history adorned with pictures of alumni at every corner, how could you not be inspired.
“Studying to be an opera singer had been a long-held dream and getting into the Con Opera School is absolutely a dream come true. Having practised as an occupational therapist for 15 years, it finally came time to realise my own occupational aspirations and take the plunge into a massive life and career change and into the unknown. The opera school has been amazing – the staff caring, the students supportive and the experience wonderful. The expectations are high and the work intense but that’s what we’re here for.
“Being the centenary year with many special celebrations brought the fortuitous opportunity for me to be a soloist in Bernstein’s MASS at the Sydney Opera House. Now how amazing is that? What a thrill!”