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Young Artists, 2024

Aidan O'Donnell,  Bass-Baritone

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Sydney Savage Club Scholarship and the John Germain Memorial Award

Bass-baritone Aidan O’Donnell is a passionate and animated performer whose love for storytelling is conveyed through his singing. Aidan is proud to say he has attained a BMus degree majoring in classical vocal performance, and an MMus degree majoring in opera performance, both at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM). 

Featured as one of the young stars of Australian Opera in the Carols in the Domain in 2020, 2021 and 2023, Aidan has already worked with  the Choir of St. James’ King Street, the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Castalia Vocal Consort, The Song Company, and Bach Akademie Australia. He has also  been involved in masterclasses including ‘Melbourne International Festival for Lieder and Art Song’ (2019) with Graham Johnson, and through SCM with Paul Fitzsimon and Matthew Barclay (SCM).

Aidan has performed the roles of Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Britten (SCM), Leporello in Don Giovanni by Mozart (Prague Summer Nights), Sarastro and Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte by Mozart (Berlin Opera Academy) and Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi and Kats-Chernin (SCM x NIDA).

AiLing Huang, Soprano

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Justice Kunc & Felicity Rourke Scholarship

After completing her undergraduate degree in 2020 at the Chinese Conservatory of Music, Soprano AiLing Huang went on to study her Masters of Vocal Opera under the guidance of Professor Han Yanwen. She received the honour of Outstanding Student in the annual scholarship awarded by the college. Following her graduation,  AiLing Huang and her family moved to Australia to embark on a new journey.

She has performed Ethnic and Opera excerpts in various provinces and cities throughout China and has also given solo recitals. AiLing has performed numerous roles in Chinese and Western operas including Mimi in La Boheme, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Liu in Turandot and Jinzi in the Chinese opera The Savage Land.

She is currently studying with Cheryl Barker AO, AiLing is experienced in Musical Theatre and is interested in Chinese classical poetry, art songs and ethnic music as well as Western music, opera and lieder.

Amelia Bland, Mezzo -Soprano

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Violet Fletcher Memorial Scholarship
Amelia recently graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice, under the tutelage of Donna Balson. She was awarded several scholarships throughout her studies, including the Opera Australia Regional Vocal Scholarship and the Florence Wenban Memorial Award.

Amelia's repertoire as a soloist spans a variety of works, including Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Hildegard von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum, and Rheinberger’s Requiem.

Her opera roles include Didymus in Handel’s Theodora, Iris in Handel’s Semele, Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Zanetto in Mascagni’s Zanetto, and Gertrud in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Amelia is very much looking forward to continuing her journey as a Young Artist with Pacific Opera Studio in 2024.

Angus Ledgerwood, Tenor

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Loz Copley Scholarship
Angus Ledgerwood has recently graduated with a Masters of Music Studies (Opera Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. 

In 2023, Angus won the George Henderson Scholarship and travelled to the historic Estates Theatre in Prague to perform the role of Figaro in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro as part of the Prague Summer Nights Festival. He also played the role of Nutrice in Elena Kats-Chernin’s reimagining of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, a production partnering with Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA).

Angus also had his national television debut in 2023, performing as one of ‘Young Stars of Australian Opera’ in the Woolworths 2023 Carols in the Domain. Angus has already had the pleasure of being a Pacific Opera Young Artist in 2022, performing the roles of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, The Vicar in Britten’s Albert Herring and Yamadori in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Handel’s L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato in concert (also with Pacific Opera). 

Ellena Hicks, Mezzo-Soprano

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Pam & Ian McGaw Scholarship

Ellena is a mezzo-soprano and a recent graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she studied with Dr. Rowena Cowley. She has performed the role Ottone in Monteverdi/Kats-Chernin’s L'incoronazione di Poppea, and roles of Secrecy, Mopsa and Summer in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen.

She was a finalist in the 2023 IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition receiving both the Royal Northern College of Music Award and Pasqualina Lipari Prize. 

Her solo performances include Leonard Bernstein’s song cycle I Hate Music with the Orange Youth Orchestra and an excerpt from Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo in the Spanish Music Festival Encuentros Espanoles (2022).

She has been excited to return home to Orange to perform as the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasia with the Orange Symphony Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Allegri Singers and Orange Regional Conservatorium.

She has also performed as an alto soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the Sydney Conservatorium Big Choir and Handel’s Messiah with Radio Community Chest in Sydney’s Town Hall.

Hannah Burton, Soprano

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Chang Family Scholarship

Originally from Kootingal in rural NSW,  Hannah is a graduate of the  Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Classical Voice Performance, Honours) with Maree Ryan AM. She received a scholarship for merit from the SCM. In addition to her work with Pacific Opera Studio, Hannah is currently completing her Diploma of Languages  and a Graduate Certificate in CrossCultural and Applied Linguistics at the University of Sydney. 

Hannah has always loved performing with her first classical performance being with Opera Australia in The Magic Flute and then as a Young Artist Regional Vocal Scholar. Hannah has performed the title role in Kaija Saariaho’s Emilie understudying Susanna in Mozart’s  Marriage of Figaro, she has been a Featured Artist in the Schools Spectacular, the First Witch in Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, The Governess Cover in Benjamin Britain’s Turn of the Screw, Dew Fairy and Gretel cover in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and the Soprano Soloist in Sydney Conservatorium Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.

Leon Vitogiannis, Baritone

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Philip Bacon Scholarship

Leon Vitogiannis is establishing himself as an emerging artist with a wonderful baritone voice and a strong commitment to a wide variety of music. After completing degrees at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with Andrew Dalton and David Greco, Leon has performed roles including Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Mr. McC. in Foss’ Introductions and Goodbyes.

Leon held a position as a Young Artist with Pacific Opera Studio during 2023,and he returns in the  2024 program as Eisenstein in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus and Il Conte in The Marriage of Figaro.

Among other musical interests, Leon studied conducting with George Ellis and John Lynch during his time at the Sydney Conservatorium. Leon is establishing himself as a scholar of Classical Greek Music. He conducts, sings, and researches the repertoire and has a keen interest in the genre of Greek Art Song.

Lucy Vallely,  Soprano

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Pacific Opera Growth Scholarship

Lucy Vallely is an Australian lyric soprano. A graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, she holds a Postgraduate Diploma (Opera Studies) and studied with Neil Baker.

During her studies, Lucy’s operatic role highlights included Perdita in Strozzi (Premier, 2022), Despina in Così Fan Tutte (2019) and Zerlina in Don Giovanni (2019). Lucy continued her studies at Morley College Opera School in London where she performed the roles of Alice Ford in an opera extract from Verdi’s Falstaff, and Ghita in a scene from Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, as well as opera choruses (2022). 

In 2022, Lucy travelled to Montepulciano, Italy for an intensive program with OperUs, receiving a full scholarship for the Il fraseggio italiano workshop with Prof. Antonella Costantini at the Royal Academy of Music. 

Lucy also holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) with Distinction from the University of New South Wales where she performed leading roles in musical productions including April in Company (2017), Cinderella in Into The Woods (2016), Mrs Nordstrom in A Little Night Music (2015) and Mimi in Guys And Dolls (2014). Lucy was a member of the Burgundian Consort where she featured as soloist and ensemble member in numerous concerts at the UNSW Sir John Clancy Concert Hall. 

Sophie Mohler,  Soprano

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Philip Bacon Scholarship

Swiss/Australian soprano Sophie Mohler received a Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2023. In October that year she performed Ottavia in the Sydney Conservatorium’s production of Elena Kats-Chernin's reimagined L’incorinazione di Poppea. She also performed the role of Sam in Sydney based theatre company BBT’s pastiche opera Trackworks.

Her other roles include Erste Dame in Lyric Opera Studio Weimar’s production of Die Zauberflöte in Weimar, Germany and the role of Alfhild in the premiere filming of Australian opera Percy – The Opera by John Matthews and Margery Smith. Sophie is currently enrolled in a Diploma of Languages at the University of Sydney and is delighted to be a Young Artist in Pacific Opera Studio’s 2024 season, appearing as La Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro and Roselinde Die Fledermaus, along with various concert performances.

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