Given the rapidly evolving situation and extensive COVID-19 restrictions in place at this time, we are not able to proceed with the commencement of our inaugural opera academy from 5 – 16 July 2021.

It is a deeply disappointing moment for us all, but from disappointment springs opportunity and innovation. So, we are taking a moment to do more than reschedule this vital program; we want to re-imagine it.

Following a brief period of planning by our artistic leadership team, we look forward to making an exciting announcement in the coming weeks of a more expansive, flexible, and bespoke program which will deliver exceptional individual outcomes for our emerging artists.



As part of its commitment to providing career pathways for Australian operatic talent, State Opera has established an annual Opera Academy. Running full time over two weeks, the Academy provides a dedicated opportunity for emerging artists from across the country to experience an intensive professional development with some of Australia’s finest coaches and educators. The program is intended for singers who are already undertaking advanced studies or have recently completed formal training.

The highly selective Opera Academy is an opera development program providing practical professional instruction to emerging artists with a view to creating sustainable careers.


The Academy is led by an exceptional faculty from around Australia, brought together for the very first time.

Anthony Hunt – Head of Music, State Opera South Australia
Stuart Maunder – Artistic Director, State Opera South Australia
Nicholas Cannon – Director (SA)
Jennifer Marten-Smith – Coach (TAS)
Sharolyn Kimmorley – Coach (NSW)
Donna Balson – Coach (NSW)
Teresa Desmarchelier – Language Coach (QLD)
Tahu Matheson – Head of Music, Opera Australia


Cameron Sibly – Tenor (VIC)
Gabrielle Penney – Soprano (NSW)
Kim Worley – Tenor (SA)
Stella Hannock – Mezzo (NSW)
Kiran Rajasingam – Baritone (VIC)
Esther Counsel – Soprano (VIC)
Kristin Astouroghlian – Mezzo (VIC)
Zachary McCulloch – Tenor (VIC)
Sara Donnelly – Soprano (QLD)

Further we welcome trainee repetiteurs Kyle Fraser and Haowei Yang from South Australia who will accompany our singers. They are both supported by scholarships provided by the generosity of the Accompanists’ Guild of South Australia, Inc.