Hänsel with Soprano Chen Reiss (photo by Michael Pöhn) at the Vienna Statae Opera.

Margaret Plummer – 2015 Vienna State Opera Award

I was the recipient of the Foundation’s 2014 Vienna State Opera Award and arrived in Austria at the beginning of 2015. It has been truly an incredible 14 months since then. During the four month period of the scholarship I made my European debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlo alongside an incredible cast of artists including Ferrucio Furlanetto and Dmitri Hvorostovsky.

Shortly thereafter I auditioned officially and was offered a contract to become a full time member of the principal ensemble here at the Staatsoper. Some of the biggest highlights of my first season as a principal here are in December, I sang the role of Hänsel in a new production of Hänsel und Gretel with Maestro Thielemann conducting and in April I will tour with the company to Oman while covering the role of Charlotte in Werther.

The Vienna State Opera Award has changed the trajectory of my career and life so drastically and incredibly, and I am just so grateful. I have had the most challenging and satisfying professional year of my life and continue to grow as an artist every day. Thank you to The Opera Foundation for young Australians for their support and encouragement and gratitude to the late Pauline Johnston for making this award possible.