Opera Australia Blog

Opera-Critic-in-training: Professional Development Opportunity

George Bernard Shaw writes in a notebook. Photo: public domain.

George Bernard Shaw writes in a notebook. Photo: public domain.

Opera Australia is establishing a new mentorship for budding opera critics. The program offers master classes with professional critics, combined with ‘insights’ sessions with Opera Australia artistic and communications staff, and opportunities to watch and review opera performances in Sydney and Melbourne. It is an unpaid position, designed to help a developing writer hone skills in critical writing about opera.

  • The Critic-in-Training will have the opportunity to be published on The Opera Blog. Professional writers will help guide them in writing for these platforms.
  • Opera Australia artistic staff will offer ‘insights’ sessions, giving the Critic-in-Training some assistance in preparing to critically observe the performances. This will include briefings on the history of the opera, backgrounds to the performers, and insights into the individual production. The purpose of these is to encourage research, and help set up frameworks for understanding the works.
  • Professional critics will give guidance and assist in workshopping reviews.
  • OA’s Digital Journalist will act as editor, giving guidelines and feedback, and doing any final edits prior to publishing the reviews on The Opera Blog.

The mentorship runs March – November 2014 and will cover a variety of operas, including Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour: Madama Butterfly.

Prior to seeing each opera, the Critic-in-Training will be offered 30-45min sessions with a member of OA Artistic Staff, a Professional Critic, and OA’s Digital Journalist. The timing of these sessions will be flexible to suit the individuals involved but will mostly be held within business hours.

The program is open to applicants in either Sydney or Melbourne. Opera Australia will cover the cost of all workshops and opera tickets based on agreed schedule. As this is an opportunity for an emerging writer, applications are restricted to those not currently working as a professional writer for a major media outlet. However those writing for blogs or smaller websites are welcome to apply.

To apply, applicants should send two recent examples of writing about classical music, music theatre or opera, together with a letter outlining how thementorship will help in the applicant’s professional development. Applications to: Imogen Corlette e: imogen.corlette@opera.org.au

Applications close Tues 25 March 2014.

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