Alumni News – Stella Hannock, Mezzo Soprano!

Since graduating from St Columba in 2015, I have been studying at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, and have enjoyed performing every opportunity that I can.

I have recently performed the role of Cherubino at the Prague Summer Nights Festival in the stunning Estates Theatre in Prague, Czech Republic. Cherubino is a 14 year old boy in Mozart’s famous opera The Marriage of Figaro. Cherubino is a cheeky, naive, and impassioned character, who, like a lot of teenage boys is completely infatuated with just about every woman he sees. In opera this role is what’s called a ‘pants role’, which is where a mezzo-soprano plays the role of an adolescent boy who’s voice is yet to crack.

The Estates Theatre is the only theatre still standing where Mozart conducted. This performance was part of a four week young artist program for emerging professional opera singers. There was such a buzz of excitement backstage as we all felt the history of where we were performing.

As well as preparing for and performing Cherubino, I had the opportunity to receive world class music, acting, and language coaching, compete in an operatic competition, perform in a cabaret show and perform scenes from the Czech opera Kát’a Kabanová.

I have also made the semi-finals of the prestigious IFAC Australian Singing Competition. The competition is one of the longest-running events of its kind, offering a range of scholarships, prizes, career and network opportunities, which also makes the competition one of the richest in terms of financial and career opportunities available to opera singers in Australasia. First prize for the competition is $30,000 to assist with a program of study and/or singing activity as well as numerous prizes for coveted performances and auditions. The semi-finals concert will take place on 11th August at The Independent Theatre in North Sydney.

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