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  • 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). A successful applicant for admission to the Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will have gained a relevant undergraduate diploma or degree and will successfully complete an audition and interview. 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. For the audition, candidates should be prepared to present a varied program of at least three arias at an advanced level of difficulty and to an excellent standard. In the interview following the performance, the student will outline a proposed plan of study. Applicants who do not have a recognised tertiary award but who demonstrate an equivalent musical ability and maturity at the audition and interview, and who can show considerable performing experience may be admitted. The Sydney Conservatorium Opera School showcases vocal and dramatic talent in regular public opera productions, using the 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. Coaching and language instruction from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Piano Accompaniment Unit and language staff complement individual vocal lessons. Along with establishing and refining studentsvocal, musical and artistic skills, the Vocal and Opera Studies Unit develops the personal attributes needed for a career in performance, teaching or other fields.

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