Gavin Brown

Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance)
Gavin Brown singing

My audition

I studied Music 2 and Extension in the HSC and used a couple of the pieces I performed for my practical exam for my audition, from memory my own choice and French. On top of that I spent the months after the HSC learning and practising two other pieces to fill out my audition repertoire.

After my undergraduate degree, I took a couple of years off to travel, gig and do shows. I didn't take a gap year after high school so I took these almost as a gap while still working in the industry and building myself as a performer. When I decided to come back to the Con for my master's degree, I contacted my teacher from my undergraduate degree and we spent the months leading up to it preparing my audition program together.

Where I am now

I'm studying Opera because of the theatricality of it. I've always loved being on stage and what better stages can you find than those in the Sydney Opera House?

I chose to study at the Conservatorium because it is one of the best places to hone your craft and grow as a classical musician.

My experience

My highlight was in the final year of my undergraduate degree. It was the 100-year anniversary of the Conservatorium and we were putting on a big celebratory performance of Bernstein's Mass at the Sydney Opera House.

I was awarded one of the lead roles and got to sing solo on the concert hall stage with the amassed orchestras, bands and choirs of the Conservatorium. It was an incredible experience to be a part of, let alone in such a big way.

The lead-up to it was quite intense, but the best part was that it counted towards my credit points!

My favourite subjects

The best thing about studying at the Conservatorium is the variety of things to learn on offer.

While doing my undergrad degree, aside from my core units, I studied subjects that taught me not only how to perform but how to teach singing, the science behind the voice, the fundamentals of sound recording, and how to market yourself as a business in the music world.

My future

Once I've graduated I hope to audition for Opera Australia to get my foot in their door.

I also plan to continue doing what I did after my undergraduate degree, but with more focus and travelling and getting lessons and masterclasses from teachers as I go.

The best part of being a musician is that you should never stop growing and learning and no matter where you go there will always be opportunities both to perform, earn and learn.

My advice

Take advantage of all the opportunities laid out before you.

Practise while you can still get regular lessons – these are the years you'll grow most as a performer, make the most of it. Push yourself to learn new and challenging things while you have the support around you to catch you if you fall.