Congratulations on being awarded the German-Australian Opera Grant for 2020, which involved two days of competition. How was that experience?

The experience was quite different to other opera competitions! The first day included an acting workshop where the twelve semifinalists had to prepare a Mozart recitative to be staged with a partner, unrehearsed, as well as preparing a dialogue. We learnt a short ballroom dance routine, which was fun, and [then] sang individually that afternoon. The panel were watching for the duration of the day and conducted interviews during our scheduled singing audition time. My heart skipped a beat when I found out that evening I was one of the four finalists chosen to sing the following day at a pubic recital in Deakin Edge, Federation Square.

Michelle Ryan

What did you sing at the final?

At the final I sang Ruhe sanft, mein holdes Leben by Mozart and Norina’s aria Se anch’io la virtù magica by Donizetti.

It’s quite an extraordinary prize, which will see you spend 12 months with the Hessisches Staatstheater, Wiesbaden from July 2020-2021. How do you feel about this opportunity?

I feel extremely honoured, delighted and also feel a great sense of responsibility....