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 2

Join us to celebrate the next generation of opera singers as Sydney Conservatorium of Music presents Malcolm Williamson’s operatic interpretation of Edith Sitwell’s novel. Through its sharp wit English Eccentrics takes a sideways look at a collection of quirky characters from English society. Bonkers and barking mad, each character more bizarre than the last, the opera introduces us to a weird and wonderful palette of aristocracy, tradesmen, maids and clergy and the eccentricities that lie within.

Australian composer Malcolm Williamson studied at Sydney Conservatorium of Music before embarking on a prolific career as a composer. His diverse work spanned opera, jazz, choral and orchestral works and in 1974 he was appointed Master of the Queen’s Music.

Performance Dates


Study Options

Vocal and Opera Studies Faculty

  • Ms Olivia ANSELL – Casual Lecturer in Dance and Movement
  • Ms Eun-Jung BYUN – Casual Lecturer Keyboard Support
  • Ms Tanith BRYCE – Casual Language Teacher (Italian)
  • Mr Gareth COLLINS – Opera Coordinator
  • Dr Rowena COWLEY – Director of HDR Performance Research; Senior Lecturer in Voice/Pedagogy
  • Mr Andrew DALTON – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Ms Paige GARDINER – Casual Lecturer in Drama and Acting
  • Associate Professor Michael HALLIWELL – Associate Professor of Vocal and Opera Studies
  • Mrs Anke HOEPPNER-RYAN – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Mr Simon LOBELSON – Casual Language Teacher (French) and Theatre Studies
  • Mr Andrew MORTON – Casual Lecturer in Theatre Studies
  • Mr Stephen MOULD – Lecturer in Conducting and Opera Studies and Chair of Opera Production
  • Mr Barry RYAN – Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Ms Maree RYAN – Senior Lecturer in Voice and Chair of Vocal and Opera Studies Unit
  • Mrs Robyn WELLS – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Mr Stephen YALOURIS – Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Ms Narelle YEO – Senior Lecturer in Singing and Stagecraft

Undergraduate Audition Requirements – Classical Voice only

Postgraduate Audition Requirements