The main focus of Foundation sponsorship is through our Dame Malvina Major internship programmes in partnership with New Zealand Opera. Dame Malvina is part of the selection panels.
Co-ordinated and administered by New Zealand Opera, the internship programmes offer a unique opportunity for young artists to work with professionals in the opera industry to develop the skills required to prepare for a career in opera.
Each year, early career singers are selected as Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists. They are given the opportunity to take part in main stage productions and receive vocal, stagecraft and language coaching.
The Dame Malvina Major Young Artist or Fellowship programme offers a more experienced singer a principal role in a New Zealand Opera mainstage season as well as tailored vocal and language coaching.
Dame Malvina Major Fellows and Young Artists are selected by invitation only.
“Thank you all so much for your commitment and belief in this wonderful programme... I will forever treasure this special time in my extraordinary journey.”
Dame Malvina Major Young Artist 2019
Joel Amosa, bass-baritone
Lexus Song Quest 2018 Winner, Samoan bass-baritone Joel completed his Music degree and postgraduate diploma under the tutelage of Isabel Cunningham and Frances Wilson at the University of Otago.
In 2012, Joel debuted his operatic career with as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte with both the Auckland Opera Studio and Opera Hawkes Bay. Since then he has performed with Festival Opera, Days Bay Opera, as a guest artist with Motone Productions in their ‘Opera in Rarotonga’ concert series, and in the role of Chief Hongi Hika in a new opera ‘This Other Eden’ by New Zealand composer, Anthony Ritchie during the Dunedin Arts Festival. He has also performed the bass roles for various Oratorios.
Joel attributes much of his musical upbringing and success to his family and to Dilworth School. It was here the foundations for his music were set, and singing became a passion for Joel to pursue to the fullest.
Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artists 2018/19
Pasquale Orchard, soprano
Pasquale is a graduate of the New Zealand School of Music, graduating with First Class Honours in Classical Voice in 2017. She is currently completing her Master of Musical Arts degree in Classical Voice under the guidance of Jenny Wollerman and Margaret Medlyn. Pasquale is a keen dancer and holds her NZAMD Licentiate diplomas for Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop, and her Trinity LTCL diploma in Performance Arts. An alumna of both the IFAC Handa NZ Singing School and the NZ Opera School, Pasquale was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2018 IFAC Handa Australian Singing competition.
In 2017 Pasquale debuted as Mercedes in Carmen with NZ Festival Opera, starred as the Vixen in NZSM’s production of The Cunning Little Vixen and played Susanna in Eternity Opera’s TheMarriage of Figaro. She is also a member of the NZ Opera Chorus.
Will King, baritone
Will is a Wellington-based baritone who is currently in his fourth year studying Classical Voice at the NZ School of Music under Margaret Medlyn. His operatic roles include Lorenzo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Zaretsky in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Valens in a staged production of Handel’s Theodora, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro and Sam in New Zealand Opera’s premiere of Gareth Farr’s Bonefeeder. He was also the bass soloist in the recent epic OrphEus: A Dance Opera choreographed by Michael Parmenter. He came third in the 2017 Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria and was the runner up in the 2018 Becroft North Shore Aria Competition.
Will’s concert repertoire includes Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore and Mass in C Minor, Donizetti’s Requiem, Astorga’s Stabat Mater and Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo. Will is also a member of Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus, Voices NZ Chamber Choir and the NZ Youth Choir.
Angus Simmons, baritone
Christchurch-born and Auckland-based, Angus graduated from University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours in 2017. Angus has been a member of the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus since 2014, performing in La bohème, Madame Butterfly, La traviata, The Mikado, Carmen and The Damnation of Faust. This year, he appeared again with the New Zealand Opera Chorus in Tosca, Candide and The Elixir of Love, as well as Belcore in the company’s Opera in Schools tour performances of The Elixir of Love.
He has performed regularly around Christchurch with the Christchurch Opera Club as well as many other public recitals.
“Learning what is expected of a professional performer is an integral lesson that I will take on my journey...”
2016-17 (as Scholars)
XING XING WANG
JULIA HILL (BOOTH)
SARAH McONIE (now COURT)
APRIL MARIE NEHO
WENDY DAWN THOMPSON
“One of my personal favourite parts of the program was the constant availability to work with visiting artists from overseas.”