Veronica Dunne Bursary for Young Opera Singers Announces Six Recipients

Aebh Kelly – one of the six recipients of the bursary. (Photo: Mark Stedman)

Veronica Dunne Bursary for Young Opera Singers Announces Six Recipients

Twenty-six singers were shortlisted and invited to compete for the award at the Museum of Literature Ireland in Dublin.

The inaugural Veronica Dunne Bursary, named after the renowned Irish singer and vocal teacher, has been awarded to six young singers to support them in developing their musical careers. The fund is worth €15,000 overall and will be distributed among the six recipients, contributing to their development through musical or language coaching, stagecraft classes and masterclasses. 

The six singers are Ava Dodd, Jade Phoenix, Karla Tracey, Carolyn Holt, Aebh Kelly and Anna Helena MacLachlan.

Commenting on the announcement, Veronica Dunne said: 

We’re excited about this initiative which we’ve created to develop the potential of our young singers. We look forward to mentoring them in vocal and technical training, and to help guide them towards achieving their particular career goals… I want this bursary to be my legacy to future young Irish stars of opera.

The Veronica Dunne Bursary was established in 2020 with funding from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and MediaSingers who applied for the bursary submitted a video recording of two arias. The competition was open to singers born on or after 1 February 1989 who live in Ireland or abroad, and to singers of any nationality who are resident or studying in Ireland. 

An artistic panel including mezzo Tara Erraught; Mark Shanahan, conductor and Head of Music at London’s National Opera Studio; and Tobias Truniger, Director of the Opera Studio, Bavarian State Opera, assessed the applications. Twenty-six singers were shortlisted and invited to compete live in front of the panel on 7 November at the Museum of Literature Ireland in Dublin. 

For the first round, competitors sang two contrasting operatic arias. Ten singers were then selected to compete in the second round the following day. The winning singers were selected based on their performance and an interview with the artistic panel.

Commenting on the bursary announcement, Diarmuid Hegarty, President of Griffith College and Chairman of the bursary committee, said: 

The distinguished international jury was certainly impressed with the calibre of contestants. It is appropriate that Tara Erraught should sit on the jury panel as she has been such an exemplar to these young singers. I thank Tara, Mark Shanahan and Tobias Trungier for their advice and encouragement to our competitors.

The Chairman also thanked Minister Catherine Martin for her support for the bursary and said, ‘I know her Department will join with these singers in encouraging them to take full advantage of this bespoke programme to improve their skills and confidence in pursuing fulfilling and successful careers.’

For more, visit:

Published on 10 November 2020

comments powered by Disqus