Directing & Designing for Opera

6-Week Masterclass Series with Zoe Atkinson and Brendan Hanson

WA Youth Theatre Company in collaboration with West Australian Opera are calling for expressions of interest from young WA theatre directors and designers to participate in one of two 6-week masterclass series - Directing for Opera and Designing for Opera.

Masterclass participants will be familiarised with all aspects of directing and designing for professional opera. At the conclusion of each course participants will make a presentation of their vision for of WA Opera’s production of The Nightingale by Imant Raminsh (October 2020, His Magesty’s Theatre). From these presentations a director and a designer (or a collaborating team) will be selected for these paid positions on this main stage production under the mentorship of Brendan and Zoe.

Successful applicants will need to be able to commit to the full training course and rehearsal and production schedule.

Limited places available by Expression of Interest - please email James Berlyn with a cover letter detailing your interest in the design or direction course and a short biography of relevant experience by 14 July. You do not have to have previous opera direction or design experience to apply and you do not have to be able to read music (but it is advantageous).

Cost: $250 for 6-week masterclss (27 hours)

To submit you EOI or for furhter information please contact James:


Course dates:

Designing for Opera with Zoe Atkinson

Full and half days Saturday 25 July - 29 August

Directing for Opera with Zoe Atkinson

Full and half days Saturday 25 July - 29 August


Saturday 29 August - all participants Monday 31 August - selected finalists

Production (for appointed director and designer):

Part-time early September Full-time 21 September - 4 October

About The Nightingale

The Nightingale is an opera for young people, performed by young people, for all to enjoy. Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen the opera tells of an Emperor of China who is enchanted by the singing of a nightingale in his garden.

The Emperor of China convinces the nightingale to sing for him but when the Emperor of Japan arrives with the gift of a mechanical nightingale, he becomes obsessed with his new toy and the real nightingale flies away.Struck down by illness and with his mechanical nightingale now broken, the Emperor begs the nightingale to return and sing for him again. She agrees, but on the condition that she is allowed to sing for all the people, both the high and low born.

In an exciting and unique collaboration between six companies, WAO is proud to present this work with Co:3 Australia, WA Young Voices, WA Youth Orchestra and WA Youth Theatre Company as part of the AWESOME Festival.

If you are unable to afford the course fee please email to disucss scholarships