New Zealand Opera School

The New Zealand Opera School was established 1994. Seen as a place where opera students can extend their operatic and vocal abilities, the School has attracted New Zealand's best opera singers as both students and teachers.

Dame Jenny Gibbs selected the School as recipient of one of four $10,000 donations made as part of the 2007 Arts Foundation Award for Patronage

"Since its inception in 1994 the School has been wonderfully supported by Dame Jenny Gibbs, not only financially, but through her presence over the years at the annual School in Wanganui. To now receive a further marvellous gift, through the Arts Foundation Award for Patronage, is testimony to her enduring support for the world of opera, particularly young singers. Everyone involved at the Opera School salutes Jenny for her extraordinary generosity, passion for the arts and of opera in particular."
- Donald Trott, Founder/Director, New Zealand Opera School

The School runs a summer programme in January every year and is the country's only intensive and dedicated residential summer school for aspiring young opera singers. There is a limited enrolment of 22 students a year and placements are highly sought after. The School uses the facilities of the Wanganui Collegiate School. Open master-classes, individual tutorials in voice, acting and languages comprise each day and recitals around the city of Wanganui provide the chance for the public to hear some of the country's most promising opera talent. A chapel service In Praise of Music is also a very popular event with singers and audiences; as is the final concert Great Moments of Opera in the Royal Wanganui Opera House.

Over the years a "who's who" of young New Zealand opera performers have attended the School, including Arts Foundation Laureate Simon O'Neill.

The opportunity to work closely with and learn from top opera professionals encourages excellence from New Zealand's burgeoning opera talents. The New Zealand Opera School offers a ten-day course of master-classes, one-on-one classes and workshops with top vocal tutors, coaches and repertoires. Tuition from world-class international and New Zealand tutors includes vocal technique, repertoire, languages, movement and stagecraft, and also support and advice on developing performance, study and professional career opportunities.

The School is open to singing students intent on pursuing an opera career and those young performers who are already on the way towards this and who want to further refine their skills.