New classical training programme seeks vocal talent

Project to provide a pre-conservatoire level of musical education and an international performance platform for emerging classical vocalists.
Gillian Zammit. Photo: Brian Grech

Auditions will open later this month for a new training programme designed to help springboard classical voice students towards the music profession and an international audience.

The Opera Nova Project, spearheaded by Gillian Zammit and Denise Mulholland with the support of Arts Council Malta, Rotary Club La Valette Malta and The Farsons Foundation, aims to provide a pre-conservatoire level of musical education for aspiring classical vocalists.

This exciting collaboration with the office of the Archbishop’s Delegate for Culture is also part of a new vision for the Catholic Institute in Floriana, to create a space where youths, artists and the public can connect with the arts across various disciplines.

While the Opera Nova Project will provide holistic training for young singers to explore classical singing in all its forms, it will also catalyse global performance opportunities for emerging artists, as well as the chance to work with internationally renowned industry experts.

“We will offer students the chance to grow artistically and musically, and as people,” says Zammit, the Project’s Artistic Director. “We aim to help these young artists fulfil their potential and to open their eyes to the possibilities of their future. We will challenge the students to study their craft on all fronts, in an environment in which they can develop as artists. The Opera Nova Project seeks to provide young singers with the musical, artistic, practical and emotional skills they need to prepare for a professional career, both locally and internationally.”

The Opera Nova Project boasts a long list of top tutors, including Head of the International Opera Studio at Opera Zurich Adrian Kelly; Artistic Leader of the Dutch National Opera Academy Paul McNamara; mezzo soprano, vocal coach and international agent Hedwig Fassbender; and vocal coach from London’s Royal College of Music, Joyce Fieldsend.

Open to eager, passionate singers from all backgrounds (aged between 16 and 40), auditions to join the Opera Nova Project will take place between 22-24 March at Teatru Manoel, with the closing date for applications fast approaching on 18 March.

The first academic year of the Opera Nova Project will start in October 2024, covering a broad range of subjects in its weekly classes held across eight months. Students will also benefit from six weekend masterclasses with internationally renowned tutors, as well as performance opportunities throughout a series of planned chamber concerts, oratorios and opera scenes.

“Both Gillian and I are passionate advocates of education and creating a programme of learning for young singers is such a wonderful challenge,” adds Opera Nova Project Artistic Consultant, Mulholland. “We have worked with many young classical singers for whom there are few opportunities or training programmes available. Many choose to train abroad as a result, but find themselves at a disadvantage – not vocally, but in terms of musical education and experience. For those singers who wish to remain in Malta and Gozo, it can prove challenging to find the sort of advanced tuition Opera Nova Project seeks to offer.

“We were inspired to create a programme that will open doors to international tutors and collaborations with established cultural entities, to enable them to grow and develop as musicians and build their musical career.”

Auditions to participate in the Opera Nova Project will take place between March 22-24 at Teatru Manoel, Valletta. Applications for audition information or any queries should be submitted via email to info@operanovaproject.com by no later than March 18. The Opera Nova Project is supported by Arts Council Malta, Rotary Club La Valette Malta, The Farsons Foundation and the office of the Archbishop’s Delegate for Culture.

Related Posts