Opera scholarship split

WEST Australian Opera has awarded the inaugural Jack Bendat Scholarship for Young Artists to soprano Tamsyn Stock-Stafford and tenor Paul O’Neill.

WA Opera general manager Carolyn Chard said the scholarship played an important role in the growth and development of its young artists program.

"The Bendat Scholarship will enable the two young artists to travel to other Australian cities to participate in national competition and to attend performances by other opera companies," she said.

Ms Stock-Stafford was born in the Cornish fishing port of Penzance and moved to Australia with her family, eventually ending up in Port Hedland.

She was one of four young singers to be chosen by the WA Opera for the 1997 developing artist program.

Ms Stock-Stafford was named the opera company’s young artist of the year in 1998.

Most recently she won the Ralph Thompson Memorial Fund Scholarship and has commenced singing lessons with Megan Sutton.

Mr O’Neill began his performance career in musical theatre and has performed roles in Godspell, Oh! What a Lovely War, Pirates of Penzance and The Pajama Game.

Since focussing his studies on classical music he has completed a Certificate of Music and is currently completing an Advanced Diploma of Performing Arts (Classical) at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.

Mr O’Neill has made three concert appearances with the University of WA Choral Society, making his debut last year in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and performing this year in Handel’s Ode on Saint Cecilia’s Day and Choral Masterpieces.

In other opera news, WA Opera is performing four mainstage productions featuring a strong cast of local, national and international artists.

The program starts with Batavia as part of the UWA Perth International Arts Festival followed by mainhouse productions of Cinderella, Faust and Norma.


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