Young Artists

Pacific Opera aims to promotes the growth of Australia's budding opera talent by providing professional development activities and a series of concert and corporate events and, importantly, performance opportunities in our annual program.

From left to right: 2015 Young Artists Jessica Harper, Jared Lillehagen, Sarah Wang, Karina Jay, Georgina Hall

Andrew Dickson – Baritone

Andrew is a baritone who began his career performing music theatre. He is currently studying for a Graduate Diploma in Classical Vocal at the Australian Institute of Music. In 2016 Andrew won the Penrith City Aria Prize. That year he also placed second in the Penrith Eisteddfod Lieder Prize and 3rd in the Art Song Prize.

Andrew has performed with the Armenian Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre Orchestra,as a principal artist for Willoughby Theatre Company, Chatswood Musical Society, Mosman Musical Society and Riverside Lyric Ensemble. Roles include 'Skye Masterson' in Guys and Dolls and 'The Pirate King' in The Pirates of Penzance, for which Andrew was described as “most electricon entry and with magnetic performance maintained throughout” by Sydney Arts Guide.

For the past four years, Andrew has studied privately with legendary Armenian Soprano Professor Arax Mansourian.

Michaella Edelstein - Soprano

Soprano Michaella completed her Performance Degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as a recipient of the Dr Greenberg & Gurney-Jensen Scholarship for opera.

She pursued her love of music from an early age, performing in Opera Australia’s Werther (2009) and Der Rosenkavalier (2010), as well as other productions ranging from Carmen (2007) to Dead Man Walking (2007) with Alexander Productions.

International credits involve excerpts from Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart) during the Bel Canto Summer School program in Munich. She was was awarded the prestigious Estivo Chamber Music Summer School scholarship in Verona, Italy (2016) where she worked with international coaches and performed in several locations including the San Fermo Inferiorie and Conservatorio di Verona.

Most recently, Michaella was awarded a sponsored position as a 2018 Pacific Opera Young Artist.


Rebecca Hart - Mezzo-soprano

Rebecca Hart is a young French/Australian mezzo-soprano. She is currently a Pacific Opera 2018 Sponsored Young Artist and the Alto Scholar at St Stephen’s Uniting Church. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2016, under the tutelage of Dr Narelle Yeo.

Roles include Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus  (Operantics), Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera (Operantics), Endimione in La Calisto (Sydney Conservatorium Opera Studio), Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte (Sydney Conservatorium Opera Studio) and Lady Jane in Patience (Gilbert and Sullivan’s Opera Society). Rebecca has featured in numerous solo recitals, concerts and orchestral works such as Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s Missa Brevis in A Major and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle.

Rebecca was awarded the Evelyn Hall de Izal Memorial Award for Mezzo- Soprano/Contralto voice at the 2016 Sydney Eisteddfod and was a finalist in the 17-20 Vocal Scholarship in 2016. 

In 2017, she started completing her Master of Music (Opera Performance) at the Conservatorium where she received the Dr. Harris Philip Greenberg and Olav Gurney-Jensen Scholarship, and the Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Scholarship. 

Victoria Hodgkinson - Mezzo-soprano

Victoria Hodgkinson studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she completed a Graduate Diploma in Opera Performance and Bachelor of Music under Dr Rowena Cowley. Here, she was the recipient of the Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Scholarship and the esteemed ESTIVO Chamber Music Festival scholarship where she had the opportunity to study at the Conservatorio di Verona.

Victoria has appeared in the ensemble for Opera New England’s productions of Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s La Traviata and played the role of Mrs Ott in Floyd’s Susannah. She also performed in the Sydney Spectrum Now Festival in the chorus of Gluck’s Orfeo and Euridice at the Art Gallery of NSW.

In 2016 she was awarded the place as Adjunct Artist with Pacific Opera where she performed as a soloist in Vaughn William’s Serenade to Music at the Concourse in Chatswood alongside the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.

Victoria will be heading to the UK this year to complete her Masters. 

Joseph Kim - Baritone

Jae Kwon (Joseph) Kim finished his Bachelor of Music Performance (Classical Voice) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2017 with the Helen Myers Scholarship. During his time at the Conservatorium, he gained extensive and varied performance experience by actively participating in multiple productions.

Most recently, he understudied Don Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte for the Conservatorium Opera Studio. Other performance highlights include featured soloist in Bernstein's Mass: A Theatre Piece at the Sydney Opera House, and Bass in the featured Quartet in Williamson's English Eccentrics. An experienced performer on the concert platform, Jae Kwon has performed as a bass soloist with many choirs, including the Voces Caelestium and The Taverner Consort.

Jae Kwon has also been the recipient of multiple scholarships and prizes outside of the Conservatorium, including "The Rising Opera Star Award" and "German Lied" prizes at Ryde Eisteddfod (2016). In 2017, Jae Kwon was named a semi-finalist at the IFAC Australian Singing Competition, where he won the Ingrid Davidson Award. He was also awarded the wonderful opportunity to participate in masterclasses with Dr. Graham Johnson and Dennis O’Neill at the WAAPA International Art Song Academy.


Rebecca MacCallion - Soprano

Rebecca MacCallion holds a bachelor of music from the Australian National University. During her studies, Rebecca took masterclasses with Barbara Bonney, Gerhard Kahry and Andrew Lawrence King. She is currently a student of Christine Douglas and Simon Kenway.

Rebecca featured as a soloist with Melbourne Opera’s touring production of Tosca, and sang the role of Musetta in excerpts of La Bohème in the company’s “Italian Opera Gala” concert in Canberra. As a recitalist, Rebecca has performed in the prestigious Resonate series at the AGNSW, and has given nationwide broadcasts in ABC Classic FM’s Sunday Live series.

Internationally, Rebecca has appeared as a featured artist at the Project Cancíon Español (Granada, Spain), the Accademia l’Ottocento (Lecce, Italy), and the Nikši? International Guitar Festival (Montenegro). In 2017, Rebecca released a CD of songs with guitar accompaniment on the acclaimed Tall Poppies label.

Rebecca is a recipient of The Australia-Britain Society Award for Voice. She also holds a Master’s degree in speech pathology from the University of Sydney.

Imogen-Faith Malfitano - Soprano

Imogen – Faith Malfitano recently completed her Masters in Music Studies (Opera Performance) at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In 2016, Imogen performed the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (SCM), was a finalist in The Opera Foundation’s Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship, Joan Sutherland Memorial Award and reserve finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship. 

Opera experience includes; Susannah (Floyd: Susannah), Titania (Purcell: The Fairy Queen), Mme Silberklang (Mozart: Der Schauspieldirektor), Miss Tylney Long (Williamson: English Eccentrics), and soloist (Bernstein: Mass) Sydney Opera House. Imogen has broadcast for Fine Music 102.5, been a featured soloist for the Sydney Mozart Society and in 2017 performed for His Excellency General, The Honourable David Hurley.

Last year, she was awarded Second Place in the Sydney Savage Club competition and the Gordon Aikin Memorial People’s Choice award. Imogen was also a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, Fine Music Young Virtuosi Award and Semi-Finalist in the prestigious IFAC Handa, Australian Singing Competition, receiving the Instituto Italiano di Cultura prize. 

Ayako Ohtake - Soprano

Soprano Ayako Ohtake is currently based in Sydney and a member of the Pacific Opera Young Artist Program in 2018.  Recently Ayako completed her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK.  Prior to this, Ayako had been studying in Tokyo, Japan where she obtained her PhD in Musical Arts at the Kunitachi College of Music with the highest honours for her performances and thesis on 4 heroines of Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann.

For the last few years Ayako has been performing in Japan and the UK.  In Japan, Ayako has performed on many stages and won competitions prizes.  In London, she has appeared as a concert soloist including Handel’s Messiah.

Ayako made her professional opera debut as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte in Japan in 2015 and she recently completed another engagement for the same role.  Other operatic roles include Pallade in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Eurydice in Orphée aux Enfers and Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.

Sophie Salvesani - Soprano

A current Young Artist with Pacific Opera, Sophie made her stage debut in a production of West Side Story in the role of ‘Consuelo’, whilst understudying ‘Maria’. She has since gone on to perform the role of ‘Christine’ in The Phantom of the Opera, and was involved in Puccini’s La Bohème with Opera Queensland. Sophie has also appeared as ‘Pearly Blossom’ in The Spring Heeled Terror of Stepney Green, as well as ‘Cosette’ in Les Misérables. Sophie received praise from critics for her part in the duet A Heart Full of Love, for giving “the number the nuance and lift it needed to deliver”. Most recently, she has played the role of Mabel in the Toowoomba Empire Theatre’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. Again receiving praise from critics for her “effortless soprano trills in Poor wandering One…that brought thunderous audience applause”. Having made her Sydney Opera House debut earlier this year with Pacific Opera (PO), Sophie further relished the opportunity to perform as a soloist for PO’s A Mother’s Day Concert at the Independent Theatre. She now looks forward to continued performance opportunities with PO across Sydney and again performing as a soloist for IMTC’s annual Live at the Courthouse concert.

Caleb Son - Tenor

Tenor Caleb Son first studied singing in high school, later graduating from the Korea Conservatory. After taking supporting roles in the musicals Hwang Jin Yi and Time Goes By, Caleb went on to study at the Graduate School of Music, Gakcheon University, where he played a leading role in the Korean opera Chuanghyangjeon.

Caleb made his professional stage debut in Menotti's Chip and His Dog in 2012. Following a move to Australia, he has sung as a member of chorus in La Boheme with Opera Australia and participated in the creative opera Water Babies by Australian composer Freddie Hill. Caleb became a member of the Pacific Opera Young Artist Program in 2017, performing in numerous concerts and events from rural Victoria to the Sydney Opera House. He will take up a position as a Pacific Opera Young Artists again in 2018. 

Caleb has studied with Tenors Ahn Byung-hun, Kim Ji-hong, and Lee Hyun-soo. Caleb aspires to the Italian 'bel canto’ style and enjoys analysing the voices of many Italian classical singers. Since Caleb came to Australia, he has been trained by Professor Rowena Cowley, Senior Lecturer in Voice and Opera, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Emily Turner - Soprano

Emily Turner has performed in Opera Queensland’s production of Mozart Airborne, and in the chorus for Madama Butterfly, La traviata and The Perfect American, and as Harry in Queensland Conservatorium’s Albert Herring. Her other operatic roles include Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Yum Yum in The Mikado, Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel and Frantik in The Cunning Little Vixen.

 Emily was a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod’s Open Age Opera Awards in 2016. In 2017, she attended the Opera Scholars Australia Summer School, and with them performed alongside Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Alexandra Flood and Shanul Sharma.

Emily is thrilled to be a Young Artist for the Pacific Opera Program in 2017 and 2018, and with them has performed in a variety of concerts, including three performances in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House. 

Emily holds a Graduate Diploma of Music Studies (Opera) from the Queensland Conservatorium.

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