So here’s the story. Chris is an early-career operatic bass-baritone and alumnus of the Sydney-based Pacific Opera Young Artist Program. Late last year, he went in search of professional development opportunities for advanced singers. Chris made applications to a number of prestigious American institutions and was invited to give live auditions in Jan/Feb this year. After undertaking a self-funded audition tour Chris scored three incredible offers to amazing schools all on scholarship!
After careful consideration, Chris accepted a Graduate Artist Position at the University of North Texas (UNT) where he is ONE of only FOUR singers selected to undertake 2-years of intensive professional development in opera performance, on full-tuition scholarship.
UNT has an exceptional faculty with international professional opera experience at the highest levels. Chris has been accepted into the teaching studio of internationally-renowned voice teacher and professional baritone, Dr Stephen Austin, who will be his teacher for the duration of the program. Chris has a large, rare, and complex instrument which requires very specific training to fully reach its potential. This program will allow him to work one-on-one with Dr Austin who has experience training big voices for big houses.
In addition to private voice lessons, Chris will also receive individual training in stagecraft from British stage director and Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Opera Festival, Jonathan Eaton, and music and style coaching from music director and Associate Conductor of Fort-Worth Opera, Dr. Stephen Dubberly, who are members of the Opera Faculty.
Over the course of this program Chris will consolidate his vocal technique, develop a core repertoire of works he is likely to perform in professional houses, to network with international professional companies and young artist programs, and ultimately facilitate his entry into full-time employment as a professional opera singer.
Down to brass tax: why Chris needs your help. This opportunity affords Chris 2 years of intensive development, free-of-charge but he needs your help with his modest living expenses. According to his budget, his expenses will only be $26,000 per year. This is where you come in. Chris has applied for every grant that he is eligible for and continues to work hard to earn, scrimp, and save every cent he can in advance of his departure in August. If there is anything that you are able to contribute it will put Chris a step closer to making this goal a reality.