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Vocal and opera studies

Stretch your singing capability beyond your imagination
Step on to the stage with confidence as our courses help you develop and refine your singing voice.

What is vocal and opera studies?

Sydney Conservatorium of Music has a long tradition of producing singers of exceptional quality for concert and opera stages in Australia and worldwide. Your development as a singer and performer will be mentored and supported to reach your potential by teaching staff who are internationally experienced active performers, teachers and researchers.

At both an undergraduate and graduate level your focus will be on thorough technical and stylistic preparation for imaginative and engaged performance. Interpretative skills are supported by expert tuition in lyric diction as well as separate language classes.

We offer performance opportunities in solo and ensemble concerts and opera, as well as weekly performance feedback from expert performers and teachers.

Our opera studies at graduate level offer the only specialist opera training courses in Australia, concentrating on intensive study of core operatic skills in singing, languages, role preparation and repertoire, stagecraft, acting, dance, ensemble, opera history and theatre studies. Two staged operas with orchestra per year are ideal opportunities for you to immerse yourself in all aspects of the craft of opera, and to acquire experience in singing entire roles.

Why study vocal and opera studies with us?

  • Receive guidance from remarkably experienced teaching staff. Many of our teachers actively perform as concert and operatic artists with repertoire interests ranging from the early Renaissance to contemporary classical music.
  • Coaching and language instruction from our Piano Accompaniment and language staff will complement your vocal lessons.
  • Gain constant performance opportunities and exposure. The Conservatorium Opera School showcases talent in regular public opera productions, so you can take your first bow in practical preparation for the opera profession. Weekly performance workshops, masterclasses and opera performance classes also provide additional performance opportunities.
  • Join the likes of many successful graduates whom 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.
  • Benefit from the rich cultural life of Sydney and industry association through resident and visiting performers and coaches from companies such as Opera Australia, Musica Viva, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Pinchgut Opera. 
  • At graduate level, you will have opportunities to connect with the international opera community through competitive scholarship support for international Opera Summer Schools.

Who can I study vocal and opera studies with?

  • Dr Rowena Cowley, Senior Lecturer in Voice and Pedagogy
  • Associate Professor Michael Halliwell, Vocal and Opera Studies
  • Dr Stephen Mould, Senior Lecturer in Conducting and Opera Studies
  • Ms Maree Ryan AM, Senior Lecturer in Voice
  • Mr Barry Ryan OAM, Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Dr Narelle Yeo, Senior Lecturer in Voice and Stagecraft
  • Mr Andrew Dalton, Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Mrs Anke Hoeppner-Ryan, Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies, Diction and Language Studies
  • Mr Simon Lobelson, Casual Language Teacher (French) and Theatre Studies
  • Mrs Robyn Wells, Casual Lecturer in Vocal Studies
  • Ms Olivia Ansell, Casual Lecturer in Dance and Movement
  • Ms Paige Gardiner, Casual Lecturer in Drama and Acting
  • Mr Andrew Morton, Casual Lecturer in Theatre Studies

What are my study options with vocal and opera studies?

Where vocal and opera studies can take you

While establishing and refining your vocal, musical and artistic skills, the Vocal and Opera Studies program helps you to develop the personal attributes needed for a career in performance, teaching or other fields.

  • Opera singer
  • Concert and Oratorio singer
  • Professional Ensemble singer
  • Professional Opera Chorus singer
  • Singing teacher (primary, secondary, tertiary and/or private)
  • Music research/academia
  • Broadcaster
  • Music writer/blogger/critic
  • Artist agent
  • Arts administrator

Gavin Brown

Headshot of Gavin Brown singing on stage
Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance)
"Singing solo on the Concert Hall stage with the amassed orchestras, bands and choirs of the Conservatorium was such an incredible experience – but the best part? It counted towards my credit points!”
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