Sydney Eisteddfod alumna Stacey Alleaume is having a fruitful year. She was recently awarded the Joan Sutherland Scholarship for Outstanding Operatic Australian Talent by the Australian Opera Awards Committee and just wrapped up The Opera (The Eighth Wonder) at Sydney Opera House.
The 2012 Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship Winner is now in the middle of a month-long trip to New York where she will further her studies with “voice teacher extraordinaire” Bill Schuman following a recommendation from Opera Australia’s Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini.
Stacey is also hoping to visit the Michigan city of Ann Arbor to study with Martin Katz and Timothy Cheek.
Between rehearsals for The Opera and travelling plans, the Victorian soprano took some time to talk to Sydney Eisteddfod about her upcoming projects.
As an artist, how do you view awards such as the Joan Sutherland Scholarship and the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship which you received in 2012?
They are incredibly important for young developing opera singers because they give you the opportunity to study with highly acclaimed and teachers, coaches and industry professionals across the globe. The funding enables us to create an individually tailored program that is appropriate to our current stage of development, whether it be coaching sessions for role preparation, vocal and language tuition, drama coaching or audition trips overseas for Young Artist Programs or Summer Schools. By studying abroad we also have the opportunity to observe some of the great performers in action on stage, in their element, and we can learn from their example.
While in New York you will be studying with the internationally celebrated opera teacher Bill Schuman. What are you most looking forward to studying with him?
I look forward to exploring new vocal technique ideas with him. You can never have enough tricks in your “tool bag”.
How vital is it for a singer to practice with and learn from other professionals?
As singers it is really important to study with coaches and singing teachers, not only to achieve technique assurance but we often need to rely on a third ear because we cannot hear the true quality of the sound which we produce because it resonates through our facial bones. The industry professionals also have a great wealth of experience and knowledge behind them, they can immediately hear what works and what doesn’t. Each individual expert can help us in different aspects, whether it be characterisation, vocal technique, breathing or musical style just to name a few. The passing on of knowledge from these experts in our field to the next generation of performers is what helps us become better artists and well-rounded performers.
Can you talk a little about what you will be involved with in 2017 through Opera Australia?
Next year’s Opera Australia season has been released and I am so pleased to be performing in two different productions of Carmen singing Micaëla (Sydney Summer Season HOSH, and Melbourne Autumn Season). I will also be performing the role of a Flower Maiden in a concert performance of Parsifal with Jonas Kaufmann as Parsifal, and performing the role of Valencienne in The Merry Widow with Danielle de Niese as Hanna Galwari. I also have a studio recital performance in June of Czech songs and some Great Opera Hits concerts from December to March.
And starting in January I will be covering the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata for Opera Australia.
As a young artist performing with Opera Australia, how do you feel about this achievement ?
I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be performing lead roles with our National Opera Company. It has been one of my biggest goals in life to make this dream a reality and it certainly has been an amazing rollercoaster ride these past eleven months. The time has just flown by but I am absolutely loving it and I am constantly learning new things about the industry and the profession everyday. I am so excited to be continuing into my second year as a Young Artist with Opera Australia in 2017.
Sydney Eisteddfod wishes Stacey Alleaume a world of success in her operatic career.