Vocal and Opera Studies

The Vocal and Opera Studies Unit reflects the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s strong commitment to singing, an environment in which our students have excelled (Dame Joan Sutherland is the most famous example). Together with the Opera School of the Sydney Conservatorium, the Vocal and Opera Studies Unit develops 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 the Sydney Conservatorium’s Piano Accompaniment Unit and language staff complement individual vocal lessons. Along with establishing and refining students’ vocal, musical and artistic skills, the Vocal and Opera Studies Unit develops the personal attributes needed for a career in performance, teaching or other fields. Vocal students at the Sydney Conservatorium 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 Opera School of the Sydney Conservatorium’s opera productions. Our students have also been successful in many competitions around Australia.

The Sydney Conservatorium Opera School showcases vocal and dramatic talent in regular public opera productions, using the Sydney Conservatorium’s 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 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.

Con Opera – Semester 1

The Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell

Join us to celebrate the next generation of opera singers as Sydney Conservatorium of Music presents Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen.

The poetic libretto and Purcell’s rich score relate subtly and metaphorically to William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Written as a masque or semi-opera, this Restoration Spectacular is reshaped by director Elsie Edgerton-Till.

Pivoting out from the Fairy Queen’s desire, love and loss, this production weaves a world of magic and mystery. As the sun sets, natural order and the logic of love give way to a forest at night. As midsummer madness descends, drunk poets, Fairy Kings and Queens even Night and Day become tangled in the sweet torment of Love.

Sung in English, and supported by the Early Music Ensemble, conducted by Associate Professor Neal Peres Da Costa.

Performance Dates


Study Options

Vocal and Opera Studies Faculty

Undergraduate Audition Requirements – Classical Voice only

Postgraduate Audition Requirements