Where are they now – Stephen Marsh

I was in several music ensembles and because of this I had the opportunity to go on amazing music tours to Brisbane, Sydney, Bendigo and Hawaii! I also look fondly back at all the friends I made and how wonderful and supportive my teachers were. I still keep in contact with many of them!

When I finished in 2009, I honestly did not know what I wanted to do. I had applied for nursing and received the score to do it, but in the back of my mind I still wanted to continue with my singing studies. I decided to have a gap year, work full time and continue singing lessons in Melbourne with Susan Breen Clarke – who is (Deputy Head of Junior School) Carla Dunlop’s Aunt.

I took part in my first operatic production in 2011 which was ‘Assembly’. This production was with the Victorian Youth Opera and part of the Melbourne Festival of the Arts. From my lessons with Sue, I already had a really good feeling about singing and the introduction to the world of opera that I had experienced but when I took part in Assembly, I knew then that I had fallen in love with this exciting and adventurous new world.

From that point in 2011, my progression and opportunities have grown consistently over the last 10 years. I have now performed over 20 principal roles with companies such as Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera, Melbourne Lyric Opera, Shoestring Opera and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. I was a scholar with the Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust for two years as well as a Young Artist with Victorian Opera and a member of Melbourne Opera’s ‘Richard Divall Emerging Artist Program’.

The next step for me is to take the big leap overseas and find a full-time contract in Europe. I would love to base myself in Germany. I had the opportunity at the end of 2019 to travel overseas and audition for the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and the Metropolitan opera in New York. These are two of the finest opera houses in the world. It was my first time travelling overseas by myself and it was such an invaluable experience.

I was given many opportunities to perform and develop as a musician while studying at Christian College. Fiona Gardner, Carla Dunlop, David Gardner, Andrew Dunlop, Lesley Walters, Regina Thomae, Carolyn Greedy, Mandy Calderwood and the late Andrea Collins laid the foundation stones for the world of classical music and drama. I was given so much encouragement and often draw upon things that I was taught during my studies. Performing the role of ‘Tevye’ in Christian College’s production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ allowed me to develop a new-found confidence in myself.

Music is the universal language, regardless of who you are or where you come from, everyone recognises is and everyone feels it. I love opera because I have seen it affect people in ways that I have never seen before. I believe that it is an art form that has the complete ability to touch a person’s soul, it allows them to feel emotions and feelings that they may have never experienced, and I think that is truly special.

In years to come, I hope to be working internationally. To be honest, I cannot really say I work a day in my life as I enjoy it so much.