Opera Award Foundation announces 2022 bursary recipients

The Opera Awards Foundation today announces 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 their careers in opera.

The 19 recipients represent young professionals from across the industry – 15 singers, 2 writers/directors, 1 conductor and 1 repetiteur, representing 11 countries (Armenia, Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa & United Kingdom).

The recipients were selected for their professional potential, financial need and their drive and determination to make a difference on the global opera scene. 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 recipients with a variety of expenses as they develop their career 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 international network.

Georgia Mae Bishop

The Opera Awards Foundation regularly organises and hosts recitals, masterclasses and other events for its bursary winners, giving them exposure to some of the industry’s top professionals.

In addition to its annual bursary awards, the Opera Awards Foundation responded to the global pandemic by setting up the Artist Hardship Fund to provide emergency grants to artists facing financial crisis and is 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.

Harry Hyman, Chair of the International Opera Awards, said:

“I’m very proud to announce our 2022 Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipients. Over the ten 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.”

Mezzo-Soprano Georgia Mae Bishop, one of this year’s recipients said:

“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!”

Previous bursary recipients have gone on to perform at such world-renowned venues as The Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera, Hungarian State Opera, Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Opera Holland Park among others, and become members of some of the world’s most prestigious young artist programmes including the Opernhaus Zürich International Opera Studio, Royal Opera House Jette Parker Young Artists, National Opera Studio, English National Opera Harewood Artists and Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project.

Previous bursary winners can be found on the International Opera Awards website.

The Foundation invites applications for bursaries annually and these are considered by a panel of specialists.

The International Opera Awards celebrates excellence in opera around the world with its annual awards ceremony – details of the 2022 International Opera Awards will be announced soon. The International Opera Awards also generates funds for the Opera Awards Foundation bursaries.

2022 bursary winners:

Sarah Ampil, soprano, Australia
Laura Attridge, writer, United Kingdom
Megan Baker, mezzo-soprano, United Kingdom
Hannah Bennett, mezzo-soprano, United Kingdom
Georgia Mae Bishop, mezzo-soprano, United Kingdom
Emilia Bertolini, soprano, Australia
Benoît Déchelotte, baritone, France
Katrine Deleuran, soprano, Denmark
Leo Doulton, writer/director, United Kingdom
Mimi Doulton, soprano, United Kingdom
James Ham, conductor, United Kingdom
Hasmik Harutyunyan, soprano, Armenia
Madison Horman, soprano, New Zealand
Charlotte Kelso, soprano, Australia
Thomas Kinch, tenor, United Kingdom
Thando Mjandana, tenor, South Afric
Aleksandra Myslek, repetiteur, Poland
Alan Pingarrón, tenor, Mexico
Nombulelo Yende, soprano, South Africa