Aspiring Lower Clarence opera singer, Michelle Ryan, has won a $10,000 scholarship from the NSW Government, to further her opera singing career.
Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said he was “absolutely thrilled that Michelle has been chosen as one of 25 young regional artists to receive $10,000 under the NSW Government’s Regional Artists Scholarship Program”.
“Michelle is a very talented and focussed young lady who is pursuing her dream and this scholarship will support her in furthering her professional development skills abroad,” he said
Ms Ryan is currently in the UK exploring college opportunities.
Mr Gulaptis said she had told him in an email that she was “ecstatic about winning the scholarship and intends to use it towards international opera programs in Prague and Berlin”.
“She will be given the chance to work with renowned conductors, stage directors and vocal coaches as well as meeting agents and directors of opera companies in Berlin,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“What Michelle is most excited about is that with the aid of the scholarship, she will have the rare opportunity to sing in the Estates Theatre in Prague, the last standing theatre today that Mozart performed in.
“Michelle tells me the production will be the famous opera, Don Giovanni, held at the same theatre that it originally premiered at in 1787.
“She is relishing the opportunity to work with professionals and meet singers from around the world, all the while dressed in 17th century costume, and I’m absolutely delighted this scholarship will help Michelle pursue her dream as a professional opera singer,” Mr Gulaptis said.
Ms Ryan has been accepted into the Prague Summer Nights, Young Artists Music Festival, to be held in Prague on June 12, where she will play the role of Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Meanwhile, she performed the role of Despina in a student opera presentation of Cose fan tutte (all sung in Italian) in March, just prior to the performance.
She wrote in an email to her mother, Pearl: “Today was an incredible day. I still can’t sleep because I am on a high.
“I finally did it. The role is in my body. I know all the set changes, stage direction and today I added a layer [producer] Damon didn’t know I had. I always knew I had it. But, he was so surprised after our dress rehearsal.
“He said, ‘I was like the Australian desert for two years, waiting and waiting for that flower to bloom, and then it blooms so exquisitely’, or something along those lines, LOL.
“But I was so overwhelmed.”