Te Pae Kōkako - The Aotearoa New Zealand Opera Studio

What is Te Pae Kōkako - The Aotearoa New Zealand Opera Studio (TANZOS)?


TANZOS is a highly immersive MMus programme which provides exceptionally promising young opera singers with international-level training and experience from both national and visiting international tutors, as well as industry residencies in New Zealand and abroad, including an annual two-week residency with Opera Australia.

It is the only one of its kind in Aotearoa and is open to a maximum of six singers each year. It encompasses all the necessary elements required to give singers the best start on the global stage.

For questions about TANZOS, you can email us with your enquiry.

Auditions for 2024
Auditions are on the 14th and 15th of October. Applications for the MMus in Opera close on the 15th of September.

Be part of something incredible

The University of Waikato is proud to launch TANZOS, a springboard for our brightest opera stars and continuing the work and legacy of Dame Malvina Major.

This MMus Programme is the first of its kind in Aotearoa, and combines international connections and training with a solid foundation in all the necessary skills to succeed in a career in opera.

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A degree with a difference

TANZOS is an extended programme with five places, each of which is supported by a significant grant to support the specialised nature of the programme - travel, international coaches, residencies - and will be based in the world-class facilities within the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on our Hamilton Campus.

During this unique MMus programme, you'll be forming connections with companies from all over the world, and have experience of what it's like in the career as an opera singer. It will also equip you with extra skills like self management, languages, musicianship, stagecraft and many more designed to give you the best start possible.

Filipe Manu
2017 Graduate - Bachelor of Music

A word from our alumni...

"This programme is such an exciting opportunity for Aotearoa's young singers. International connections and honing of roles are priceless when you're starting your career as an opera singer, and would normally only happen with the extreme financial commitment of overseas study".

What does the programme involve?

We are providing an enhanced MMus in Opera Studies, which will be full-time and based at our Hamilton Campus. You'll have 'normal' weeks on campus with weekly masterclasses, regular lessons and repertoire coaching as well as special residencies with opera companies and professional orchestras offsite.

Assessment will incorporate recitals, role preparation and musicianship and you'll also get the opportunity to audition for and work with a number of international guests.

What sets this programme apart from others of its kind in New Zealand is the multi-faceted approach to vocational training, and the amount of professional experience you'll have before embarking on an international career.

What will I study?

The teaching programme will focus on holistic training, drawing upon local and international teachers as well as input from the faculty staff. The course will focus on these areas:

  • Vocal technique and performance – operatic singing with one primary teacher
  • Vocal and stylistic coaching – with visiting and faculty vocal coaches
  • Repertoire knowledge: Preparing vocally-suitable roles in their entirety – necessary for industry entry auditions
  • Musicianship – sight-singing, keyboard skills, score-reading
  • Recital programming – lieder and art song
  • Oratorio preparation
  • Audition technique
  • Stagecraft
  • Language coaching
  • Resilience programme: performance psychology, practical and pastoral support, career advice, management advice

For more information download the information booklet.

Other aspects of the programme include:

  • Regular masterclasses
  • Community outreach
  • Auditions for external national/international companies and artist managers
  • Regular performance opportunities
  • Offsite company residencies

Assessment will include:

  • Staged opera scenes, whether during a company residency or public performance on-site
  • Two solo recitals
  • Preparation of three full roles
  • Performance of a contemporary work – this could be in collaboration with the composition department within the faculty.
  • Musicianship/Viva Voce test and career plan

Our Partners

We're establishing a collaborative and open relationship with other opera practitioners and educators throughout Aotearoa, so we can provide the best possible atmosphere and opportunities for our students.