The Opera Awards Foundation has announced its latest bursary recipients. Established by Harry Hyman in 2012 to help aspiring young artists reach their professional potential, the Opera Awards Foundation is marking its 10th anniversary with increased giving as it responds to the numerous challenges faced by those establishing a career in opera.
The 19 beneficiaries are young professionals from across the industry: 15 singers, two writers/directors, one conductor and one repetiteur. They represent 11 countries: Armenia, Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa and the UK.
Each of the recipients was selected for their professional potential, financial need and their drive and determination to make a difference on the global opera scene. The bursaries are funded through money raised at the foundation’s annual gala dinner and donations from individual supporters and patrons.
The bursary funding will be used to help the winners with a variety of expenses as they develop their careers, such as travel and living costs, course fees, promotional material and professional coaching sessions. As well as financial assistance, bursary recipients benefit from advice and guidance from the team at the International Opera Awards and its global network.
British mezzo-soprano Georgia Mae Bishop, one of this year’s beneficiaries, commented: “This support from the Opera Awards comes at a vital time in my development as a young singer. Dramatic voices take many years of training with specialist voice teachers, coaches and singers of this extremely taxing repertoire.
“The opportunity to study intensely for three weeks with Dolora Zajick and the esteemed faculty at the Institute of Young Dramatic Voices has been the most inspiring and informative experience in my operatic training. The course takes place in Reno, Nevada, so I am incredibly grateful to the Opera Awards for their support in the expensive travel arrangements I had to make. Thank you!”
The Opera Awards Foundation also regularly organises and hosts recitals, masterclasses and other events for its bursary winners, giving them exposure to some of the industry’s top professionals. Previous recipients have gone on to perform at such world-renowned venues as London’s Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera in New York, Hungarian State Opera, Sussex-based Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, and Opera Holland Park in west London.
Harry Hyman, chair of the International Opera Awards, said: “I’m very proud to announce our 2022 Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipients. Over the 10 years that we’ve been supporting artists through the foundation, our work feels more important than ever as they develop their careers in this post-pandemic world.
“It always fills me with great pride to look back at previous bursary recipients, not only to see them grace some of the biggest stages in the world, but also to witness the positive impact they’ve made on the opera scene in general – and I look forward to watching this year’s recipients’ achievements as their careers unfold.”
The foundation invites applications for bursaries annually and these are considered by a panel of specialists. The 19 winners of the 2022 bursaries can be found on the International Opera Awards website, along with details of all previous recipients.
In addition to its annual bursary awards, the Opera Awards Foundation responded to the global pandemic by setting up an Artist Hardship Fund to provide emergency grants to artists facing financial crisis. It is also bringing opera to new audiences with Sing!, a programme for schools to inspire and engage with pupils with the power of the human voice and opera.
British mezzo-soprano Georgia Mae Bishop is one of 19 young people working in opera who have won a bursary from the Opera Awards Foundation.