Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme

Helping emerging singers make the transition to professional performance careers

The Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme has been created to honour the memory of one of Australia’s most lauded conductors, Maestro Richard Divall, supported by a generous bequest made by Melbourne born international soprano, Sylvia Fisher. Upon her death, Sylvia Fisher made this bequest to ensure the continuing support of the development of new artists of operatic excellence in her hometown, Melbourne. Before Maestro Divall’s death in early 2017, he was closely involved in the planning and creation of this program in collaboration with Melbourne Opera.

Managed by a committee of professional opera artists through Melbourne Opera, The Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme aims to develop singers of great potential to a performance-ready standard. It will focus on providing opportunities for emerging opera singers to experience the pressure of intensive role preparation, rehearsal and performance in a professional setting whilst continuing artistic development with tailored high quality coaching, workshops, master classes and mentoring.

RDEAP Provides:

  • Financial assistance with artistic development expenses.
  • Opportunities to perform and understudy main stage roles in a professional environment.
  • High level coaching for roles being performed and understudied as well as general repertoire.
  • Professional rehearsal conditions.
  • Exclusive opportunities to participate in master classes with visiting artists, conductors and directors.
  • Weekly language classes (Italian at IIC, German at Goethe Institute).
  • Specific instruction in role preparation, & stagecraft (16th street actors studio & guest professionals).
  • Professional practice instruction.
  • Mentoring from senior colleagues.
  • Performance opportunities.

Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme Auditions 2021

Key Dates

  • Stage One Applications open in  March 2022.
  • Stage Two Live Auditions dates tbc 2022.
  • New programme to commence in July 2022.


  • This is an open age programme.
  • Singers selected for The Richard Divall Emerging Artist Programme must be full time residents of the state of Victoria throughout the programme as it is intensive and runs throughout the whole year.
  • No relocation or interstate travel costs are provided.
  • The programme runs part-time over one year and applicants are welcome to reapply.

NB. The programme is flexible enough to accommodate successful candidate’s other work commitments (within reason). It is hoped the successful candidates will be able to commence the programme immediately, in certain circumstances late commencement will be considered.

Stage One – Written Application

Applications are to be made only on the application form provided by the programme director. Please request an application form by email to:

The form requires the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Voice type
  • Phone Number/s
  • Email address
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • Biography (300 words maximum)
  • Outline of how you will benefit from the programme & career goals
    (350 words maximum)
  • Details of availability and any other programmes you are part of OR are applying for
  • Provision of two Youtube, Vimeo or audio recording links of you singing opera arias in original languages.

Candidates will be advised whether they will be proceeding to Stage Two, the live audition, via email on May 31st 2021.

Stage Two – Live Audition

Live auditions will be held in Melbourne in May/June.  The exact date will be advised with the Stage One outcome results.

Those selected for live audition will be required to have two (with an optional third) arias prepared and performed from memory. There will also be an interview as part of this audition.

Please note: no feedback will be given.


RDEAP Newsletter — Issue Six

RDEAP Newsletter — Issue Six

After the difficulties of 2020 the Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme members are very happy to be back at work and continuing to develop...

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RDEAP Newsletter – Issue Five

RDEAP Newsletter – Issue Five

Entering a third year with ever growing momentum, the Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme began with a bang in 2020 and was absolutely chock...

read more

Programme Members

2021-2022: Alastair Cooper-Golec (tenor), Naomi Flatman (mezzo-soprano). Eleanor Greenwood (soprano),Teresa Ingrilli (soprano), Adam Jon (baritone), Jordan Kahler (soprano), Amelia Wawrzon (soprano).

2020-21: Eleanor Greenwood (soprano), Jane Magao (soprano), Darcy Carroll (bass-baritone), Louise Keast (soprano), Michael Dimovski (tenor), Georgia Wilkinson (soprano).

2019-20: Louise Keast (soprano), Jane Magão (soprano), Shakira Dugan (mezzo soprano), Chloe Harris (mezzo soprano), Michael Dimovski (tenor), Louis Hurley (tenor), Darcy Carroll (baritone) and Associate Artists,  Rebecca Rashleigh (soprano)  and Stephen Marsh (baritone).

2018-19: Rebecca Rashleigh (soprano), Alison McIntosh-Deszcz (soprano), Shakira Dugan (mezzo soprano), Michael Dimovski (tenor), Michael Lampard (baritone), Darcy Carroll (baritone)and Stephen Marsh (baritone).

Programme Director

Suzanne Chaundy:

Programme Committee

Raymond Lawrence (Head of Music), Greg Hocking AM, Margaret Haggart, Geoffrey Harris and Roger Howell.



The Richard Divall Emerging Artists are extremely grateful to their supporters: The Ian Potter Foundation, Friends Of Melbourne Opera, Allan Myers AC and Maria Myers AC and the Sylvia Fisher Fund.


16th Street Actors Studio
Italian Institute of Culture
Goethe Institut Melbourne

Associate Artists

Stephen Marsh

Stephen Marsh


Shakira Dugan

Shakira Dugan


Louis Hurley

Louis Hurley


Chloe Harris

Chloe Harris


Rebecca Rashleigh

Rebecca Rashleigh


German Exchange Scholarship

The Richard Divall Programme in association with Rotary Central Melbourne through the New Generations Service Exchange, Rotary International; offers an annual German scholarship  (July to September, with some flexibility) providing travel, accommodation and living expenses in Germany for three months allowing singers to pursue their own development interests in a supported environment.

This is opportunity is exclusively open to current and past members of the Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme.  Recipients to date are Michael Dimovski and Louise Keast, with the hope that travel will be allowed throughout 2022.

Applications for 2022 exchange will be announced once there is greater clarity around international travel in a time of Covid-19.

Due to Rotary rules applicants must be under 30 years of age.