Scholarship Winners

Andrew Moran Andrew Moran


Australian baritone Andrew Moran is best remembered for his portrayals of Marcello (La Boheme), Sharpless (Madama Butterfly), Ping (Turandot), and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), for which he was nominated for a Green Room Award.

Born and raised in Melbourne, Andrew holds a Bachelor of Music from WA Academy of Performing Arts, and a Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Studies) from Sydney Conservatorium.  He is currently based in Sydney, and is a Principal Artist with Opera Australia.

He has performed over 50 roles with that company, including Bartolo (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Geronio (Il Turco in Italia), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Ned Keane (Peter Grimes), Amantio di Nicolao (Gianni Schicci) and Fra Melitone (La forza del destino).  His roles with other companies include Zurga (Les pecheurs du perles) and Morales with WA Opera, and Pooh-Bah (The Mikado) with Opera Queensland.

He has been a finalist in many major singing competitions, and has won numerous scholarships and prizes, including the Phoebe Patrick Award, the Royal Overseas League Music Bursary, the Britten-Pears Aldeburgh Young Artist Program Award, and the Glyndebourne Festival Prize.

Siobhan Stagg - SopranoSiobhan Stagg


Siobhan Stagg is a young artist at the outset of an exciting career. As recipient of the 2012 Australian International Opera Award, Siobhan moved to the United Kingdom to study at the Wales International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill OBE and Honorary President Dame Kiri te Kanawa. She later joined the young artist programs at the Salzburg Festival and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Her debut album ‘Hymne à l’amour’ was released in Australia in April 2013.

Siobhan performs regularly as a soloist with some of the Australia’s finest ensembles. Highlights include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Northey, Bach’s St John Passion with Stephen Layton at the Melbourne Recital Centre, a national tour of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Paul Dyer and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra, Ravel’s Sheherazade with Paul Daniel and the Orchestra of the Australian National Academy of Music and Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder with chamber orchestra conducted by Paul Dean. International concert highlights include a solo recital in New York with pianist Miloš Repický (Assistant Conductor, Metropolitan Opera), Faure’s Requiem with Wales Camerata at St. David’s Hall, ‘Ultimate Gala 2013’ with Cardiff Sinfonietta at the Wales Millennium Centre, Haydn’s Creation at St Donat’s Castle in Wales and a concert with La Compañia at Tage Alter Musik Regensburg in Germany.

Siobhan completed a Bachelor of Music with Honours and Master of Music (Performance) at the University of Melbourne and furthered her studies in Australia on the Amelia Joscelyne Memorial Scholarship from the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust. Siobhan studied privately in New York on the Donovan Johnston Memorial Scholarship (2012) and at the AIMS in Graz Opera Studio on scholarship from Opera Foundation Australia (2011). In 2013 Siobhan completed a Masters of Advanced Vocal Technique at the Wales International Academy of Voice and spent time studying in Italy as winner of the 2012 Italian Opera Foundation Australia Scholarship.

Other successes include First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2012 Mietta Song Competition as well as First Prize and the Audience Choice Award in the 2011 Meistersinger Vocal Competition in Graz, Austria.

In July 2013 Siobhan joined the Salzburger Festspiele Young Singers Project where her roles include Pamina in The Magic Flute for Children, Konstanze in Il Seraglio for Children and concert performances of Der Schauspieldirektor and Jeanne d’Arc with the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester, Vienna. Since September 2013 Siobhan has joined the Deutsche OperBerlin as one of five young artists where she will perform several principal roles including Pamina and First Lady in The Magic Flute, Frasquita in Carmen, Woglinde in Das Rheingold and Waldvogel in Siegfried as part of the Wagner Ring Cycle conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

natalie aroyanNatalie Aroyan


Natalie Aroyan is an Armenian-Australian Soprano. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma of Opera from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and a double-degree in Business and I.T. from the Australian Catholic University, Sydney.

In 2008 Natalie was awarded first place in both The Opera Foundation New York Competition and the Herald Sun Aria Competition. She commenced her Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College, New York, in 2009 studying with Soprano Ruth Falcon and in January 2010, performed the role of Amelia, in the Opera Studio Scenes Production of Un Ballo in Maschera, as well as the role of Fiordiligi in their Main stage production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte conducted by Maestro Colaneri. In her final year at Mannes she sang Annina in Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street and Alice in Verdi’s Falstaff, also under the baton of Maestro Colaneri.

As well as attending the “Solti Te Kanawa Accademia” program in Tuscany, Italy where she worked with both Maestro Richard Bonynge and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Natalie has worked with Maestra Renata Scotto in her 2010 Tampa Masterclass and participated in The American Institute of Music (AIMS) in Graz, Austria, where she won first place and was also awarded the audience vote in the 49th Meistersinger Competition Finals.

On her return to Australia in 2011, she was awarded first place in The Italian Opera Foundation competition which enabled her to spend a year in Italy studying with soprano, Mirella Freni in her studio at the Accademia of Bel Canto in Modena, Italy. Following this Natalie was invited as a Guest Artist to cover the title role of Gluck’s Armide for the joint Lindemann/ Juilliard Production in New York, USA.

Natalie is now a member of Opera Australia’s Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program where her roles have included Mimi (La bohème), High Priestess (Aida) and Annina (La Traviata). She has also recently performed Mimi (La bohème) for West Australian Opera. In 2014, Natalie’s roles for Opera Australia will include Mimi in La bohème, Micaela in Carmen, Pamina and Second Lady in The Magic Flute for Opera Australia’s OzOpera Tour.

Michael Vaiassini - TenorMichael Vaiasinni


Michael Vaiasinni has been studying opera and classical music since 2006, and an enthusiastic performer since the age of 7, achieving his AMusA Diploma of Music in Classical Voice.

He has been a part of the NSW Department of Education and Training’s Talent Development Project and Performed as a Featured Artist in the Schools Spectacular.

He has performed principal roles in Alexander Production’s, Carmen, Les Miserable and  Dead Man Walking. He was selected into Pacific Opera’s Young Artist Program and performed the role of Alessio in La Sonnambula.

In 2010  he was the recipient of the Italian Opera Foundation Scholarship and also received a 6 month scholarship to study Italian at the Institute Of Culture.  He was invited to sing at the world  famous Verdi Festival and at the opening of the Pavarotti museum in Modena, Italy. He also performed the role of il Messaggeroin the Fossano production of Aida. In 2011 he studied in Torino, Italy with renowned Soprano Norma Fantini, and former Music Director of Teatro Regio’di Torino, Maestro Andrea Genovese. He also studied repertoire with conductor, Paolo Fiamingo, at the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi’ in Torino.

In 2012 he travelled to  New York  for 15 months to study with world renowned tenor, Rockwell Blake. He also returned to Italy with Blake to participate in Master classes held at ‘Santa Cecilia di Roma’.  Since returning to Australia last  December he has  continued studies with his former teacher, renowned tenor, Glenn Winslade, and plans to return to Italy.

Katharine Tier - Mezzo SopranoKatharine Tier

Mezzo Soprano

A former member of both the prestigious Merola opera program and the Adler Fellowship Program of the San Francisco Opera, Katharine Tier has achieved considerable recognition as a young artist in Australia and abroad. She has performed with San Francisco Opera, Opera North (USA), Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Australia, State Opera of South Australia, the Saito Kinen Festival (Japan), the Sydney, Melbourne and West Australian Symphony Orchestras, the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, the American Philharmonic, the UC Davis Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony, Empyrean Ensemble, Macquarie Singers and Earplay. She has given numerous recitals and participated in concerts both for charity and for organisations such as the National Lieder Society and the Joan Sutherland Society.

In 2011 Katharine joined the Badisches Staatstheater in Karlsruhe where she is currently a principal artist. Her roles in Karlsruhe have included Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), Didon (Les Troyens), Carmen title role, Flora (La Traviata), the Grande Vestale (La Vestale), Waltraute, Flosshilde and Zweite Norn (The Ring Cycle), Kitty (Dr. Atomic), Clementine (Barbe Bleu) and her upcoming roles will include the title role in Iphigénie en Tauride.

Further opera credits include Brigitta (Die Tote Stadt), Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Suzy (La Rondine), and Kate Pinkerton (Madame Butterfly) all for San Francisco Opera as well as covering the title role of Dalila in their 2007 production of Samson et Dalila; Annina (La Traviata), Flosshilde (Die Götterdämmerung), Waltraute and Erda (Klein-Siegfried), and Third Lady (The Magic Flute) for Deutsche Oper Berlin; her Japanese debut at the Saito Kinen Festival as the Page in Salome; the title role in Carmen for Opera North; Dorabella (Così fan tutte) with Virginia Opera, USA; Mary (The Flying Dutchman) for State Opera of South Australia. 2014 sees her debut with Dallas Opera in the role of Brigitta in Die Tote Stadt.

An avid concert performer and recitalist, Katharine has performed the Shostakovich song-cycle From Jewish Poetry,Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the Duruflé Requiem, Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Mozart’s Requiem, George Crumbs’ song cycle Night of the Four Moons, James H. Carr’s song cycle for mezzo soprano and clarinet Four Wilde Aphorisms, and concert performances of Puccini’s La Rondine and Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortiléges.

As winner of the Opera Foundation Australia Barilla Award, Katharine spent several months studying in Italy. Following her return, she travelled to Germany as Australian finalist in the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition. In 2009 Katharine was chosen to represent Australia as a finalist in the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.  Other awards she has received include the Marianne Mathy Scholarship at the Australian Singing Competition in 2002, second place Encouragement Award in the McDonald’s Operatic Aria Competition in 2003, the Operatic Voice section of the McDonald’s Performing Arts Challenge in 2002, the Joan Sutherland Society of Sydney Scholarship in 2001 and Opera Foundation Australia’s Barilla Award. Katherine is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

David Corcoran - TenorDavid Corcoran


David Corcoran won the Opera Foundation Australia Italian Award in 2006 which enabled him to travel to Pisa in 2007 to work at the Accademia di Musicale di Pisana followed by a performance of Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore at the Galati Theatre, Romania. David has also won a number of other awards, most notably The Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Aria Award in 2007.

David has been a member of the Ensemble of Opera Australia for the last 4 years. Prior to this he was a Member of the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program and the Opera Australia Chorus. His roles have included Lieutenant Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Rodolfo in La Bohème, The Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Borsa in Rigoletto, Nick in La Fanciulla del West, Giuseppe in La Traviata, Bob Boles in Peter Grimes, Carlson in Of Mice and Men, David in Bliss, Zinovy Ismailov in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Narraboth in Salome, Captain/Narrator/Hippolytus in Love of the Nightingale, Pong in Turandot and Victorin in Die Tote Stadt.

In 2013, David covered the roles of Don Jose in Carmen (Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour), Froh in Das Rheingold and Siegmund in Die Walküre for the Melbourne Ring Cycle. In 2014, David is covering Don Jose for the mainstage Opera Australia performances in Melbourne and Sydney and will be performing Borsa in a new production of Rigoletto as well as Rodrigo in Otello.

David has also performed many Oratorio and concerts works most recently with the Sydney Philharmonia in their Rogers & Hammerstein program, Something Wonderful. He is also an Ambassador for the Asthma Foundation Australia.

Christopher Tonkin - BaritoneChristopher Tonkin


Christopher won the OFA Italian Opera Award in 2005, a prize which took him to Europe the following year to study in Pisa, Italy, for 2 months and then to Romania, where he performed the role of Silvio in the Galati Theatre summer production of I Pagliacci. He then relocated to London to study at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, where he was supported by the Kohn Foundation and the Josephine Baker Trust. His principal voice lessons were with Raymond Connell, and masterclasses with celebrated professionals including Alan Opie, John Mark Ainsley and John Graham-Hall.

While at the Royal Academy Christopher sang principal roles in six Academy productions, a highlight being Le nozze di Figaro, in which he performed the role of Count Almaviva in a production directed by John Copley and conducted by Sir Colin Davis. Upon graduation, as well as receiving his Postgraduate Diploma, Christopher was awarded the coveted ‘Diploma

of the Royal Academy of Music,’ granted for performance excellence and distinguishing him as one of the Academy’s top graduates.

During his time in the UK, Christopher was also engaged to sing at venues including Chichester Cathedral, the Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on several occasions.

Christopher is currently engaged as resident principal baritone with Hannover Staatsoper, where he has performed Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pollux in Castor et Pollux, Harry Easter in Weill’s Street Scene, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Schaunard in La Boheme, Ping in Turandot, Delirio in L’Opera seria, as well as Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Valentin in Faust.

Repertoire performed in Australia has included The Count in Capriccio, Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd and Antonio in The Gondoliers for Opera Australia, Happy in La Fanciulla del West (South Australian State Opera), the Black Minister in the La Fura dels Baus’ internationally renowned production of Le Grand Macabre (Adelaide Festival), and for

Victorian Opera the roles of Guglielmo,  Belcore in The Elixir of Love, for which he received a Green Room Award nomination and, most recently, Chou En Lai in Nixon in China (Adams).

Aldo Di Toro - TenorAldo Di Toro


Aldo Di Toro graduated from the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music and made his debut in opera as Oronte in Alcina for the West Australian Opera at the Festival of Perth. Aldo won two awards from Opera Foundation Australia: the 2000 Italian Opera Award which enabled him to study at Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the 2002 Opera Foundation Australia, AIMS Award for further study in Graz, Austria. Aldo now performs internationally with regular annual visits to Australia for performances for Opera Australia and other State Operas. A selection of critics notes from 2006 to 2009 follow:

June 2006. “In the title role of FedoraAldo Di Toro is strongly cast …with a muscular, personable and entirely Italianate tenor voice. Di Toro is indefatigable.” Hilary Finch in The Times.

June 2008. “In Rigoletto for the State Opera of South Australia “….the enthusiastic audience witnessed the coming of age of tenor Aldo Di Toro, who sang a thrilling Duke of Mantua. “His ‘La donna è mobile’ positively rang, with crystal clear high notes.” Vincent Ciccarello in The Independent Weekly, South Australia.

November 2008. In the title role in Fedoraat Opera Holland Park “ …the astonishing Aldo Di Toro … pulled out top notes magically, like silk notes from a conjuror’s sleeve.” Fiona Maddocks in The Evening Standard.

November 2009. In Roméo et Juliette in Innsbruck “Aldo Di Toro’s Roméo is vocally outstanding: his tenor voice has the lyrical, dreamy quality and youthful brilliance that this role ideally requires and seldom receives.” Ursula Strohal in the Tiroler Tageszeitung.

In 2011 Aldo sang Alamiro in Donizetti’s Belisarioin concert with Richard Bonynge conducting at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Elvino in La Sonnambulafor the State Opera of South Australia, Mario Lanza in the musical mystery Who Killed Mario Lanzaat the Riverside Theatre, Parramatta and Gerald in Lakmé in Sydney for Opera Australia.

Significant engagements in 2012 included Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoorfor Opera Holland Park in London and Opera Australia in Melbourne and Opera in the Vineyards. The recording of Opera Australia’s Lakméwas also released on DVD and in cinemas. Aldo’s 2013 roles included Cassio in Otello for Opera Queensland and Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore at Opera Holland Park in London. In the 2014 season Aldo’s performances include his company debut as Ernesto in Don Pasquale for Scottish Opera in Glasgow and Edinburgh, a return to State Opera of South Australia as Alfredo in La Traviata and the role of Nemorino in L’Elisir d’Amore with Opera Australia in Sydney. In 2015, he will make his role debut singing Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera in Braunschweig.

Aldo has also recorded The English Songs by Francesco Paolo Tosti for the National Tosti Institute and Bongiovanni Records, Il Ritratto by Braga for Bongiovanni Records as well as Il Ritratto, I Pagliacci, Rigoletto and La Traviata on DVD for the Tercas Foundation.