W. Allen Ford Masterclass

Supporting singers, repetiteurs, and instrumentalists.

The W. Allen Ford Masterclass is a new, annual event to support the development of talented opera singers, repetiteurs, and instrumentalists.


Check out the highlights from our 2023 Masterclass

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(from left to right)

Bradley Gilchrist, Eklavya Mudgil, Anastasia Gall and Amelia Farrugia

(from left to right)

Eden Shifroni and Amelia Farrugia

(from left to right)

Jake Cheong and Bradley Gilchrist

(from left to right)

Ziwei Matthew Ren, Jamie-Lee Xu, Bradley Gilchrist and Amelia Farrugia

(from left to right)

Eklavya Mudgil and Bradley Gilchrist

(from left to right)

Jake Cheong, Bradley Gilchrist and Eden Shifroni.

(from left to right)

Anastasia Gall and Amelia Farrugia

(from left to right)

Amelia Farrugia, Bradley Gilchrist, Ashly Zhang and Eden Shifroni.

(from left to right)

Bradley Gilchrist and Ashly Zhang

(from left to right)

Anastasia Gall, Amelia Farrugia, Eklavya Mudgil and Bradley Gilchrist

(from left to right)

Jake Cheong, Eklavya Mudgil, Bradley Gilchrist, Ashly Zhang and Jamie-Lee Xu

(from left to right)

Anastasia Gall, Amelia Farrugia, Eden Shifroni and Ziwei Matthew Ren.

2023 W. Allen Ford Masterclass

Amelia Farrugia

Maestra (singers)

Amelia Farrugia is a renowned Australian soprano; since her professional stage debut in 1990, she has enjoyed a highly successful international career in opera, operetta, music theater, recital, concert events, television & recording. Amelia’s singing career has taken her around the world; she was honoured to join the roster of soloists at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, covering Renee Fleming as The Merry Widow & Anna Netrebko & Diana Damrau as Manon. This incredible opportunity enabled her to work alongside the world’s best singers, conductors & directors.

On the concert platform, Amelia produced & starred in her very own show, Diva! Featuring music by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin. She has performed with all the symphony orchestras and in many large-scale televised events; she has performed for Crown Prince Frederick & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and she was privileged to be chosen as a soloist in the World Youth Day final mass for Pope Benedict XVI. Amelia Farrugia’s auspicious debut solo recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Joie de vivre! was recorded in London and released by Universal Music Australia & UK. She became the first Australian solo artist to record on the prestigious Decca label since Dame Joan Sutherland in 1959.

Amelia Farrugia is the owner of Sydney Sings Pty Ltd. She teaches singing in Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation’s library in Neutral Bay and is a vocal tutor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School. On the Board of The Opera Foundation for Young Australians, she also acts as an Ambassador of The Sydney Eisteddfod.

Last year, Amelia performed in a national tour, “The Maltese Tenor” with international sensation, Mr Joseph Calleja.

Amelia would like to express her deep gratitude for the support of S,B&W Foundation and The Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust in her ongoing research.

Bradley Gilchrist

Master (répétiteur)

Bradley Gilchrist completed undergraduate piano studies in Perth and post-graduate studies in piano accompaniment and piano performance in Sydney and Madrid. Bradley is and in-demand accompanist, chamber musician and vocal coach based in Sydney.

Bradley has been a concerto soloist with the Slovakia Philharmonic and the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestras and has given numerous solo and chamber music recitals across Australia and New Zealand and in South Korea, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom. Bradley has broadcast for the ABC Young Australia programme, ABC Classic FM, Radio National and Fine Music FM. Bradley enjoys chamber music and has performed in a variety of ensembles, particularly in flute and piano and piano trio repertoire.

As repetiteur, Bradley’s early experience in ballet repertoire extended to opera and he has been repetiteur and pianist for WA Opera, Opera Australia as well as many chamber and emerging opera companies. Bradley has also worked in musical theatre and cabaret, as a pit musician, vocal coach and musical director.

Bradley leads a busy life as a freelance accompanist and vocal coach for auditions, recitals, recordings, broadcasts, examinations and concert performances. Bradley works extensively as a mentor for young vocal and instrumental Artists. He is Music Director of the Young Artist Programme at Pacific Opera and Music Director at Australia’s oldest Music Club, Music at Manly. Bradley was thrilled to be the Official Accompanist for the 2022 & 2023 Australian Singing Competition.


Anastasia Gall


Tasmanian born soprano, Anastasia Star Gall, has been the recipient of the Mary Jane Corderoy Trophy for Lieder Song 2023, John Luscombe Scholarship for Vocal Studies 2022, Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Scholarship 2022, Helpmann Family Fellowship Scholarship 2022, and Opera Australia Regional Student Scholarship 2015.
She has performed in masterclasses with Graham Pushee, Dr Maria Briggs, and Dr Graham Johnson OBE. Anastasia travelled to Vienna to perform as Barbarina in Mozart’s ‘Le nozze di Figaro’ at the Vienna Summer Music Festival 2022. She recently played the Erster Knabe in Mozart’s ‘Die Zauber�öte’ 2022, and performed the role of Drusilla in the Australian premier of Elena Kats-Chernin’s ‘The Coronation of Poppea’ 2023.

Daniel Ott


Daniel Ott is a young baritone from the Hunter Valley. A graduated from Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Daniel is in the final stages of his Masters degree in Opera Performance. He has also performed principal roles in productions of ‘The Coronation of Poppea’, ‘Elixir of love’, ‘Die Zauberflöte’, ‘H.M.S Pinafore’ and ‘L’enfant et les Sortilèges’. Most recently, he was selected as a semi finalist in the IFAC Handa singing competition for the second year in row. Daniel received the Tinkler encouragement award,Goethe institute and Institute di Italia scholarship. In late 2022 he also had the opportunity to perform in the annual ‘Woolworths Carols in the Domain’.Internationally Daniel was also invited as a guest soloist at the Zhejiang Conservatorium of Music in China.

Matthew Ren


Ziwei Matthew Ren is a Chinese-Australian tenor who recently earned his Bachelor of Music Performance (Classical Voice) under the guidance of Dr. Rowena Cowley. Having returned from Europe as a recipient of the Henderson Scholarship, Ziwei has been an active performer at lunch concerts, recitals, and opera performances at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Additionally, he frequently sings in the St Paul’s College Choir as a Tenor Scholar. Notable roles include 'The Teapot' in 'L'enfant et les sortilèges' and 'Chinese Man' in St Paul College Choir’s production of 'The Fairy Queen.' Ziwei eagerly anticipates embarking on his Master of Opera in the upcoming year.

Eden Shifroni


Australian Soprano Eden Shifroni has completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and a Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Her stage roles include Musetta in La Bohème, Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica, and Pamina, Papagena and Zweite Knabe in Die Zauberflöte. In 2023, Eden performed the role of Poppea in the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and NIDA production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, which was the Australian premiere of Elena Kats-Cherni’s re-orchestration of Monteverdi’s work. Eden was awarded the overall winner prize and audience prize in the Demant Dreikurs Lieder Competition (2022), The George Henderson Scholarship (2022 & 2023), was a finalist in the Elizabeth Todd Lieder Competition (2022), and received the Tinkler Award at the Australian Singing Competition (2023). She has participated in masterclasses led by Dr. Graham Johnson, David Miller AM, David Gowland, Graham Pushee and Paul Fitzsimon.


Jake Cheong


Jake is a first-year Masters of Music (Performance) student majoring in Collaborative Piano, currently studying under Dr. Jeanell Carrigan. With a background in Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he received the John and Dorothy Vimpani Pianoforte Scholarship and later the Clarence Addison Turill Scholarship from The University of Sydney in 2020. Jake is a seasoned performer and award recipient, having earned first place in an international music competition, leading to a performance invitation in Vienna. He was a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Kawai Scholarship and secured grants from the Bouddi Foundation for the Arts for four consecutive years. Notable achievements include first prizes in the United States International Music Competition and the Golden Classical Music Awards, leading to a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York.

In addition to his piano accomplishments, Jake is a skilled composer mentored by screen composers Phillip Johnston and Andrew Scott. His winning composition, "Into the Universe," recorded by the Australian Youth Orchestra, was broadcasted in professional venues across Australia. Jake's dedication to his craft extends to international experiences, such as participating in the Ferrol International Piano Competition in Spain and the International Summer Piano Academy in Disentis, Switzerland, funded by the George Henderson Scholarship. He continues to excel in various competitions, most recently achieving second place in the Sydney International Song Prize.

Eklavya Mudgil 


Born in Delhi and raised in Sydney, Eklavya began playing piano at age 12. In 2018, he began studying as a private student with Dr Paul Rickard-Ford. Eklavya continued studying with Dr Rickard-Ford until 2022, when he completed a Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, graduating with First Class Honours. He is currently studying for a Master of Music (Studies) Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium with Dr Natalia Ricci.
Eklavya has received the John and Dorothy Vimpani Pianoforte Merit Scholarship, the Belinda Frances Hughes Piano Scholarship, the Dean’s List of Academic Performance and a Theme and Variations Foundation Grant. He has been a two-time finalist in the Sydney Conservatorium’s Piano Department Concerto Competition and is a three-time recipient of the George Henderson Scholarship for overseas study in Switzerland, Spain and San Francisco.

Jaime-Lee Xu 


Jamie-Lee Xu is a pianist, currently in her second year of the Master of Music Studies (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, after completing her Bachelor of Music (Performance). She was awarded the Keith and Eileen Ong Prize for Piano on entry to her Masters degree. Additionally, she has received the John and Dorothy Vimpani Pianoforte Fund scholarship on entry to the Conservatorium in 2018, as well as the Molly Neale Memorial Award in 2021 and 2022. In 2023, Jamie-Lee was awarded the George and Margaret Henderson Scholarship, allowing her to attend a course at the Collaborative Piano Institute in the US. Jamie-Lee has had successes in 2022, winning both the David Miller Award and the Sydney International Song Prize. She is currently studying with Dr Jeanell Carrigan, specialising in a collaborative piano major. Formerly, she has studied with James Muir, David Miller, Natalia Ricci and has had masterclass experience with Graham Johnson, Christian Müller, Warren Jones, Rita Sloan, Arno Bornkamp and Amir Farid.
Currently, Jamie-Lee has continued to work alongside singers and fellow musicians, rehearsing and performing frequently. She has worked and performed with Rockdale Opera Company in their Der Fledermaus Gala Concert in 2022 and L’Elisir d’Amore in 2023, and is currently a repetiteur for their current production of La Bohème. She is rapidly building a reputation as a very promising collaborative pianist amongst the students and staff at the Conservatorium. Once she graduates, she would like to undertake studies further and continue collaborating with other musicians.

Ashly Zhang


Ashly is in her final year of the Master of Music Studies degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, majoring in Collaborative Piano. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano. Her primary teachers include: Dr Theresa Leung, Dr Jeanell Carrigan and Dr Bernadette Harvey.

As an emerging collaborative pianist, Ashly has voraciously sought opportunities to learn from and perform with singers and instrumentalists, in duo, chamber and orchestral settings. She has participated in many of the Australian Youth Orchestra’s nationwide chamber and orchestral programs from 2020-2023, and performs in vocal and instrumental recitals with students at the Conservatorium.

In 2023, Ashly was a recipient of the George Henderson Travellers Scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, USA as a Collaborative Piano fellow for the eight-week long festival.

Ashly has received guidance from renowned pianists and pedagogues Cameron Stowe, David Miller AM, Konstantin Shamray, Christopher O’Riley, Michael Kieran Harvey, Anna Grinberg, Leigh Harrold, Louisa Breen, and Natalia Ricci.

About W. Allen Ford

W. Allen Ford is first and foremost a music lover. He spent much of his professional life as an Industrial Chemist and carries a lifelong passion for his chosen musical instrument, the pipe organ.
For 25 years, Allen volunteered at Sydney’s Fine Music Station 2MBS 102.5 FM where, for eleven years, he was an integral part of the Young Virtuoso team which gave broadcast opportunities to performers as young as 6 and up to age 30.
Today, Allen's commitment to young artists endures. Through his generosity, we are able to connect young developing artists with practical training experiences that serve as stepping stones toward their chosen careers.

W. Allen Ford Masterclass Programme

2023 W. Allen Ford Masterclass
The inaugural W. Allen Ford Masterclass

2023 W. Allen Ford Masterclass

The W. Allen Ford Masterclass series focuses on the development of not only opera and classical singers, but also répétiteurs and instrumentalists.

In an industry first, Thursday's W. Allen Ford Masterclass featured renowned soprano, Amelia Farrugia, and distinguished pianist, Bradley Gilchrist, working with emerging répétiteurs and singers in the same session.