Michael Byrne Vienna State Opera Award

2019 Award – proudly supported by the late Michael Byrne

The Award enables a young Australian singer selected in 2019 to study at the Vienna State Opera, commencing in January of the following year (2020) for a period of four (4) months.

The winner will be an outstanding young Australian professional singer who has had some operatic stage experience with an opera company and who would be capable, should the opportunity be offered, of undertaking minor or understudy roles at the Vienna State Opera.

This Award is valued at up to $35,000 (which includes an international return airfare to Vienna for return within 12 months), a living allowance, coaching by the music staff of the Vienna State Opera and attendance at rehearsals and performances at the Vienna State Opera. Funds will also be made available for Intensive German Language Lessons and repertoire coaching prior to arriving in Vienna.  This Award has been made possible by the late Michael Byrne.

Recent Winners

Olivia Cranwell

Olivia Cranwell is a graduate of the Master of Music (Opera Performance) program, run by Victorian Opera in partnership with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne. Prior to that, she completed her Bachelor of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2009, and her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne in 2010. Olivia attended the inaugural Lisa Gasteen Opera Summer School in 2011.

This season, Olivia performs the roles of The Queen of Hearts/Mary Contrary/The Spider in Opera Australia’s NSW schools tour of By the Light of the Moon and returns to City of Stonnington as Mimi in La Bohème where she sang the role of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly last year. Most recently for Opera Australia, she appeared in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as Queen/Lady/Papagena in Magic Flute on tour, Ortlinde in Die Wälkure in The Melbourne Ring Cycle, as Countess and Bridesmaid/Coro on the Regional Tour of The Marriage of Figaro and covered the role of Mimi in La Bohème. She was also featured as Princess in The Princess and the Pea, Mother in Hänsel und Gretel and at the Murray River International Music Festival in Mildura, all for Victorian Opera.

Olivia made her operatic debut with Victorian Opera playing the role of Gossip in Angelique, and since then she has performed as soloist in the Gala Concerts and the Proms Concert Games of Love and Chance, as well as the roles of Rapunzel in Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, Watkin Wombat/Rooster (The Magic Pudding), Celeste 1 & Waitress (Sunday in the Park with George), Puss (Puss in Boots), Queen Clementine (Sleeping Beauty), Clorinda (Cenerentola), soloist (Assembly), Robber Girl (Snow Queen) and God (Noye’s Fludde). Covered roles include Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro), Sesto (Julius Caesar) and Popova (The Bear) all for Victorian Opera.

She was a guest soloist in a Gala Concert with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and a tour of Ring.Wagner.Animated with More Than Opera. She has also sung Carmen for In Good Company, Papagena in The Magic Flute with VCA Symphony Orchestra, Hansel and Mother/Witch/Sand Fairy for Opera Australia’s Schools Tour of Hansel and Gretel and covered the roles of Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly and Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for Opera Australia.

Olivia’s notable achievements include runner-up in the Herald Sun Aria 2017, and at the 2014 Italian Opera Foundation Awards, winner of the 2011 South Eastern Arts Festival Aria and semi-finalist in the IFAC Australian Singing Competition. Olivia was also recently awarded the Australian Opera Auditions Committee’s Opera Scholarship.

Eleanor Lyons

Australian soprano Eleanor Lyons is the first prize winner of the 2013 international Elena Obraztsova Competition After finishing her studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, she took part of the studio program at the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers in St Petersburg, Russia (2010-2011) and undertook post-graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (2011-2012). Highlights from this season include Verdi’s Requiem and Britten’s War Requiem with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra conducted by Philippe Herrewehe; and the Grafenegg Festival where she will sing Maria in «The Dictator» by Krenek, and in Hindemith’s «Mörder, Hoffnung der Frauen» under conductor Leon Botstein. She will also give a series of gala-concerts in Russia, a Schumann song recital in Vienna with pianist Stanislav Solovev and a chamber music series on the Cote d’Azur. She recently sang Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, Mimi in La Boheme and Berio’s Folk Songs with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra and Ravel’s Chansons Madecasees with the Budapest Festival Orchestra. She collaborated with Iván Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra singing Mahler’s Third Symphony and sang Anne Truelove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Mimi in La Boheme at the Hungarian State Opera, Gala-concert at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow and as Anaide in Nino Rota’s Cappello di Firenze and Second Lady inThe Magic Flute at the Wexford Festival Opera as well as concerts in Sydney, Tokyo, New York, Europe and Russia.

Fiona Jopson

Born in Scone, NSW, Fiona moved to Melbourne in 2007 to commence her studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, where she graduated from in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music Performance (Repertoire).  In 2015 Fiona won the 91st Herald Sun Aria Competition, the widely renowned and oldest competition in Australia.  Fiona has been the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships such as the Amelia Joscelyne Memorial Scholarship (Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust), Opus 50 Charitable Trust and the Thomas Baker Acclaim Opera Fellowship (Acclaim Awards) to study at the Accademia alla Scala in Milan.  Recently, Fiona has performed the roles of Leonora in Il Trovatore (Citi Opera), Ariadne and Prima Donna in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (OperaBox) and is understudying Elsa in Lohengrin for Melbourne Opera’s production in August 2017.  Fiona has had extensive performance experience with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera and Citi Opera. Roles include Mimi (La Boheme), Marzelline (Fidelio), Suor Zelatrice (Suor Angelica), Micaëla (Carmen), Witch 2 and Sorceress (Dido and Aeneas). She has also been part of live broadcasts on 3MBS-FM and ABC Classic FM Melbourne and has performed as a Soprano Soloist in Bach’s Magnificat in D and Mass in F Major.

headshot-a-lcAnna Louise Cole

Anna-Louise Cole was born in Melbourne, and holds a BA Hons in German and a BMus Hons in Music Performance (Voice) from the University of Melbourne. During her degrees, Anna-Louise also studied at the Kunst Universität Graz, Austria and Karl-Ludwigs Universität, in Freiburg, Germany, through scholarships from Melbourne Abroad and the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst.

Having recently transitioned to the young dramatic Soprano Fach, Anna-Louise will sing the roles of Gerhilde in Die Walküre and the Dritte Norn in Götterdämmerung and will understudy Sieglinde in Die Walküre in the 2016 Melbourne Ring for Opera Australia. In 2015, Anna-Louise was the reserve finalist in the Elizabeth Connell International Singing Competition for Dramatic Sopranos, and is currently competing as a semi finalist in the 2016 competition.

Anna-Louise made her debut with Melbourne Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni in 2006, and has subsequently performed roles including Tosca, Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Frasquita (Carmen), Serpina (La Serva Padrona), Suor Dolcina (Suor Angelica), Annina (La Traviata), Johanna (Sweeney Todd) and der Friedensbote (Rienzi), with companies including Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera, Melbourne Lyric Opera, More Than Opera, and the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria.

Anna-Louise has won prizes and been a finalist in a number of major singing competitions, including the Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship, the Audi German Opera Scholarship, the Acclaim Awards and the Herald Sun Aria, and won the American Institute of Musical Studies Award and the Sundell Study Award from Opera Foundation Australia in 2008.

Anna-Louise has appeared in a number of oratorios as soprano soloist, including Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Mozart’sMass in B Minor and was a featured soloist in Stonnington’s Opera in the Park in 2015.

In 2014 appearances included Rienzi and La Traviata for Melbourne Opera and Sharon Graham in Left Bauer’s Green Room Award winning production of Terrence McNally’s Masterclass at 45downstairs. In May 2015 Anna-Louise joined the chorus of Opera Australia as a full time soprano, and in October 2015 sang the title role in Tosca with Sydney Independent Opera / Opera Van Diemensland at the Independent Theatre, North Sydney.


Kathryn Radcliffe (soprano, Vic)

Melbourne and Sydney based soprano Kathryn Radcliffe has recently won the 2014 Herald-Sun Aria. In 2015, she perform the role of Pamina in Opera Australia’s touring production of The Magic Flute.
After earlier obtaining her AMusA in flute, she graduated Bachelor of Music with first class honours from the Victorian College of the Arts. A highlight of her time at VCA was a run of performances as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutee.

Roles performed include: The Governess in The Turn of the Screw (Hawaii Performing Arts Festival); Ernesta in LOL Opera by Nina Sofo (Australian premiere 2010) and Daisy in Contact by Angus Grant (World Premiere 2011). For OzOpera, she has sung Mother/Witch/Sandman in Hansel and Gretel and Queen of Night/Pamina in The Magic Flute.
Kathryn’s many awards include: 3MBS-FM Victorian Young Performer of the Year (2014); Bel Canto Award and Opera and Arts Vocal Scholarship (Finalist 2013); Bel Canto Award (Finalist 2014); the Armstead Singing Award (2014).


Margaret Plummer (mezzo-soprano, NSW)

Margaret Plummer gained a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. During her degree she spent 5 months studying in Germany at the Hannover Hochschule für Musik und Theater. Margaret has been a semi-finalist in the Australian Singing Competition’s Mathy Awards, was awarded 1st prize in the 2007 City of Sydney Opera Awards and recently won the Vienna State Opera Award.

Having performed as a Concert Soloist with some of Australia’s most distinguished choral and symphonic groups including Sydney Symphony, Margaret has also performed Principal roles with Pinchgut, Pacific Opera, Harbour City Opera, OzOpera and Opera Australia. Over seven years with Opera Australia, Margaret performed and covered many principal roles including Waltraute in both Walküre and Götterdämmerung for the Melbourne Ring Festival. Margaret performed the role of Flora in La Traviata in Opera Australia’s inaugural Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. Other role experience includes Hansel and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte, Rosmira in Partenope and Meg Paige in Falstaff. Margaret made her role debut as Charlotte in Werther in October of 2014 for Lyric Opera of Melbourne before covering the title role in Iphigenie en Tauride with Pinchgut.

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David Parkin (bass, NSW)

David is the winner of Australia’s first “Operatunity Oz” competition, a joint production between Opera Australia and the ABC which was televised late in 2006. Other competition successes have included winning the Opera Foundation Australia Vienna Award, the Opera Foundation Australia Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship and being placed as a finalist in the McDonald’s Operatic Aria. David studies vocal technique with Glenn Winslade and Sharolyn Kimmorley AM.

David’s recent engagements for Opera Australia have included Sarastro (The Magic Flute), Raimondo (Lucia Di Lammermoor), Ramfis (Aida), Basilio (Barber of Seville), Colline (La bohème), Commendatore (Don Giovanni), Sparafucile (Rigoletto); with Opera Queensland, Sparafucile (Rigoletto); the King (Aida); Mozart’s Requiem with Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with Canberra Symphony Orchestra; Opera in the Arboretum, Pearl Beach and his debut for the State Opera of South Australia as the King in their production of Aida. David’s engagements with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra have included a Verdi Gala in the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, La Fanciulla del West and the “Classical Spectacular” at the Rod Laver Arena.

He has also performed at Opera in the Vineyard, Stanthorpe Queensland and made his debut in 2008 with Pinchgut Opera in their production of Charpentier’s opera David and Jonathan. This year David will continue as a principal artist with Opera Australia where his roles include Colline in La bohème, Horn in Un ballo in maschera, Ramfis in Aida and Angelotti in Tosca. He will also return to State Opera of South Australia to sing the role of Alcade in La forza del destino.

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Bryony Dwyer (soprano, Tas)

Tasmanian soprano, Bryony Dwyer, graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a Bachelor of Music in Performance and an Advanced Opera Diploma. During her school years Bryony performed in many musicals including The Sound of Music, Peter Maxwell-Davies’ Cinderella and the title role of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate. In 2004 Bryony travelled to Denmark to sing for the celebrations surrounding the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson.

Since moving to Sydney, Bryony has performed solos with many prominent arts organisations, including regular concert series with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Manly-Warringah Orchestra and Choir. In 2007 Bryony returned to Tasmania to perform the role of Belinda in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Tasmanian Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Myer Fredman.

An active member of the Royal Australian Navy Band, Bryony has performed for many Australian and foreign dignitaries, including the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, past and present Governors General and in 2008 Bryony travelled to Tonga, where she performed for the Coronation of King George Tupou V. In 2010 Bryony performed in Turkey, where she sang for the Dawn Service and the Lone Pine Service on ANZAC Day at Gallipoli. For ANZAC Day in 2012 Bryony travelled to the Western Front in France to sing for the Dawn Service at Villers-Bretonneaux.

In the past two years Bryony has appeared as The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Eurydice in Milhaud’s Le Malheurs d’Orphée, Emmeline in Purcell’s King Arthur, Sandrina in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, and The Fox in Janaček’s The Cunning Little Vixen.

2012 has seen Bryony begin work with Opera Australia, appearing in Turandot, Aïda, Lucia di Lammermoor and as a part of Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s La Traviata.
Bryony is the 2011 winner of the Sydney Eisteddfod’s Opera & Arts Support Group Vocal Scholarship and the 2012 Winner of Opera Foundation Australia’s Vienna State Opera Award.

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James Roser (baritone, NSW)

Born in Sydney, James Roser holds a Licentiate in Music Performance from the AMEB and a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours) from the University of NSW. James has been a recipient of the 2010 Mietta Song Recital Award (being also awarded the ABC Classic FM Recording Prize, Tait Memorial Trust Prize and O’Donnell Family Prize), Opera Foundation Australia’s 2011/2012 Vienna State Opera Award and 2012 Britten-Pears Young Artist Award and has been a finalist in most of the major singing competitions in Australia.

He was a participant in the 2012 Oxford Lieder Festival Masterclasses, 2011 Franz Schubert Institut Lieder Kurs and was a young artist with Pacific Opera between 2009 and 2010.

In concert, James has been a soloist in Corrette’s Laudate Dominum, Handel’s Messiah, J.M.Haydn’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel, Mozart’s Great Mass in C minor, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus and a number of J.S.Bach Cantatas. He has performed in recital in Australia, Germany, Austria, Canada and the United Kingdom and has been broadcast a number of times in Australia on 2MBS-FM, 3MBS-FM and ABC Classic FM.

Major stage performances include Don Giovanni, Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte), Il Conte, Antonio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Owen Wingrave, Johann (Werther), Curly (Oklahoma!), Peter (Hänsel und Gretel), Mr.Gobineau (The Medium), Dr.Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Der Feenkönig and Harald (Die Feen).

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Angela Brun (soprano, NSW)

Australian born soprano Angela Brun completed and Advanced Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2008. Specialising in coloratura repertoire, for Opera Australia she has understudied Mabel from The Pirates of Penzance, Tytania from Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Queen of the Night from Mozart’s The Magic Flute. As the winner of Opera Foundation Australia’s Vienna State Opera Award, she worked with the Vienna State Opera from January to May 2011. Recently Angela travelled to Italy to perform the role of Adina in the Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini’s production of L’Elisir D’Amore.