Hear it directly from the artists how the Pacific Opera Young Artist Program assists young singers to gain the tools and confidence they need to enter the demanding opera industry.

I can hardly fail to notice how my singing, stagecraft and performing have improved while being a Young Artist with Pacific Opera. The last two years have been such fodder to my growth as an artist. The greatest part about the Pacific Opera Young Artist Program is that you get to work with so many mentors in the field - world class Opera singers, Directors and coaches of the highest calibre. It's wonderful. We have particularly been able to work with Christine Douglas and Simon Kenway, both in 2014 and this year, and they are two of the most talented and genuinely encouraging mentors I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I have also made some absolutely priceless connections in the industry after singing for great artists like Cheryl Barker AO and Peter Coleman-Wright AO, through Masterclasses organised by Pacific Opera. There is also the opportunity to do a professional standard production as well as a myriad of other performances. It has been such a fantastic experience. I am incredibly lucky. - JESSICA HARPER (2014, 2015) 

The Pacific Opera young artists' program was extremely helpful to my development as a singer, it provided me with performance opportunities, further career, acting, movement and vocal training beyond what I could acquire from a University course, and with an opportunity to make connections both within the opera world and the corporate sector. The highlight of my time with Pacific Opera will always be working with people like, Peter Coleman-Wright AM, Cheryl Barker AM, Christine Douglas, Gale Edwards, and Sharolyn Kimmorley AM. I found them to be incredible artists, all at the peak of their profession and all generous enough to offer me guidance which I could not obtain anywhere else. - BLAKE PARHAM (2014, 2015)
My year with Pacific Opera has been wonderful. Having the chance to work with some of the industry's best has been exciting and inspiring. Through coaching, master classes and regular performance opportunities I have grown so much more confident as a singer and what I've learned is invaluable. Every event we have performed at I have felt so incredibly proud to be part of something that looks and sounds so good! Above all I have felt encouraged and supported. Everybody at Pacific Opera really cares about helping us learn and achieve. - GEORGIA HALL (2015)
At the start of this year I moved from my humble home town of Adelaide, freshly out of my music degree, to Sydney. It sure was hard as a young singer to break into the music industry of a new city where I knew no one, but Pacific Opera welcomed me straight in. Through the PO Young Artist Program I made excellent contacts, received valuable training and have made friends for life. I am so grateful for the varied opportunities I have been given, from singing for influential corporations at their private functions, to playing my first ever pants role in an opera. The masterclasses and private coachings I received over the year I have found particularly useful and I feel that I have grown significantly this year as a performer. - KARINA JAY (2015)
Pacific Opera offers the rare opportunity for emerging Artists to hone their craft. It is the only company in Australia that is purely a Young Artist company. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of their program twice.  A program where I have been able to explore my voice and stage craft skills in such a nurturing environment. In particular, the growth I have experienced as a musician under the guidance of Artistic Director Simon Kenway has been the biggest gift of all. His infectious joy and intelligence as a musician has made me flourish. It is so wonderful to feel supported by industry greats, and build a real sense of camaraderie through Pacific Opera. The exposure, contacts, and experiences I have had this year have really helped me gain momentum and poise as an Artist. With the deepest gratitude, THANK YOU. - LAURA KING (2013, 2015)

The Pacific Opera Young Artist programme, in a word, brilliant. The team are with you every step of the way, supporting and propelling you toward success. It was sometimes hectic but always good fun!  I was able to learn more about myself as an artist and understand how to make the most of what I have to offer. These skills were gained through a variety of activities planned by the Pacific opera team, including; weekly masterclasses, coaching sessions, gala events, makeup lessons, photography sessions, drama workshops and performance opportunities, the list could go on.  My Pacific Opera experience was invaluable and to anyone thinking of taking part in the course, I say do it! It is a wonderful stepping stone towards a career in opera. - EMMA HANSEN (2014)

My first experience with Pacific Opera was in 2011, performing Papagena and the chorus in their production of The Magic Flute. It was incredible to work with such a high calibre of singers and production team, particularly director Christine Douglas. Then becoming a Young Artist in 2013 enabled me to have regular performance opportunities at glorious venues around Sydney, such as Government House, St Andrews Cathedral, Parliament House, NSW Supreme Court and Elizabeth Bay House.  I am thankful for the connections I made during my time as a PO Young Artist- professionally and personally. These people remain some of my closest friends and most regular employers! Pacific Opera is a wonderful organisation for anyone wanting ample performance opportunities, introductions to some of Australia's leading performers and a supportive learning environment! - ZOE DRUMMOND (2013)
Pacific Opera's Young Artist Program truly helped me get introduced to the Opera industry in Sydney. Not only had I the opportunity to work with working professionals in the industry on a weekly basis, but I also had the chance to perform in front of them and get their immediate feedback. It also helped me make new connections with young, up-and-coming singers, connections that I have kept 'til this very day. Amazingly, now that I look back, I realise how deeply it impacted my career. I'm now learning with one of the best Opera singers in Australia whom I met during a Pacific Opera master class, and my last concert was organised by a former PO singer! In addition to all of that, I had a blast in the Young Artist Program and got to meet many amazing people! - SEPEHR IRANDOOST (2013)
After leaving university and moving to Sydney, Pacific Opera was an enormous help to me. It provided me with valuable performance experience and introduced me not only to experience industry professionals, coaches and teachers but also to colleagues, singers of a similar age and level, who have been a source of inspiration and support ever since. - JOELENE GRIFFITH (2013)
After struggling for two years to find performance opportunities and connect with other singers and musicians in Sydney, I had the good fortune to become a Young Artist with Pacific Opera. As well as regular coachings there were Masterclasses with Glenn Winslade and Jose Carbo to name a few and an unforgettable stagecraft workshop with Christine Douglas. My two years as a Young Artist changed the course of my singing in more ways than I could ever have known. I gained so much insight into my craft and the industry itself through the guidance and generous sharing of knowledge by the many professional singers and coaches I met through the Pacific Opera program. I will always credit my time at a Pacific Opera with giving me great contacts, confidence and inspiration to push myself further. I have since gone on to work on some amazing collaborations with fellow young artists including recently performing a new Opera written by PO alumnus Paul Smith. Open yourself to the opportunities available and you never know where you might end up. Thank you, Pacific Opera. - TARYN SRHOJ (2011, 2012)
Another busy year for Pacific Opera is “just passing by” and as I see more into the workings I see both how much there is to do and also how much can be achieved. I’m sure you’re all aware of the profound impact Pacific Opera has on us young singers and I hope you’re all proud of your role within it. Indeed for me, as I head off to the Con next year (fingers crossed!) it has been literally a life changing encounter. So, thank you all, and looking forward to next year! - DAVID HIDDEN (2010)
I’d just like to thank you for giving me the opportunities to sing for you in the first place, when I’ve had practically no experience compared to other singers and still have a million things to learn. I do understand that I am still very, very young and have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I will always try my best. It might not be a big deal for other singers who are a little more experienced and older than me but everything I’ve done with Pacific Opera this year have all been first-time experiences, so everything was a HUGE deal in my eyes and I will never forget them. Without everything that’s happened with Pacific Opera this year, I would definitely not have improved as much as I have! Thank you both so much for everything and for being nice to me! - CATHY ZHANG (2010)

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