Our Vision is Creating New Zealand’s Voices of the Future.

Fundamental to achieving this is the recruitment of an exceptional, qualified and experienced faculty.

Students have the opportunity to work with a faculty of national and international acclaim, providing experiences they might not otherwise receive through their regular training.

Our world-class faculty continue to be a key driver to the Singing School’s success.

The NZ Singing School Trust is committed to providing the best tuition possible to New Zealand’s future singers.



Catrin Johnsson ARAM – Principal of Faculty & Curriculum

Catrin Johnsson, mezzo-soprano, was born in Sweden and trained at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and the Royal Academy of Music in London. Awards include the prestigious Christina Nilsson Award. Catrin has lived in London for many years and has recently moved to New Zealand.  Operatic roles include the title role in The Duchess of Malfi for English National Opera, Dido Dido and Aeneas, Medoro Orlando, Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca Gianni Schicchi and Dimitri Fedora for Opera Holland Park., Dorabella Così fan tutte, Carmen,  Meg Page Falstaff, Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Adelberto Ottone and Idelberto Lotario (London Handel Festival), Nicklausse Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Second Lady (NZO) and Third Lady The Magic Flute. She is also active on the concert platform in Europe, Scandinavia, UK and New Zealand. Catrin teaches voice and stagecraft at the University of Auckland, is vocal consultant for Voices NZ Chamber Choir, and was the 2017 National Adjudicator for the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition. In 2018 she was awarded an ARAM from the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Judy Bellingham MNZM – Principal of Faculty & Curriculum

Judy Bellingham currently holds the position of William Evans Associate Professor of Voice at the University of Otago.  Although an accomplished performer internationally in all genres, Judy has now retired from the concert stage.  Judy is a widely respected singing teacher and was President of the Newzats for 6 years. In addition to her university work, she operates a busy private studio. Judy is in demand as an adjudicator of both vocal and choral festivals, and as a vocal clinician. She has worked with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Royal Copenhagen Chapel Choir, the David Jorlett Chorale in the USA and the Dan Laoghaire Choral Society in Dublin. She has taught for Glyndebourne Opera, and from 1998 – 2011 was the Guest Vocal Lecturer at the International Music Festival held annually at Tunghai University in Taiwan.  She is the author of a book on how to learn to sight-sing Sing what you see, See what you Sing, has recorded a CD of New Zealand songs and 2 DVDs Songs of Old Dunedin, and Warm me Up, Judy!

David Harper – Head of Advanced Classical Studies

Born and raised in New Zealand but based in the UK for many years, David has earned a glowing reputation worldwide for his accompanying and vocal coaching skills.  His London coaching clientele includes numerous prominent international artists as well as students and young aspiring professional singers from all points of the globe. Over the last 18 years David has made a conscious effort to reconnect with his antipodean roots, establishing for himself a significant professional profile throughout Australasia to complement his prolific northern hemisphere activities. Biannual visits enable him to fulfill a variety of commitments including private and guest institutional vocal coaching; song recital collaborations; CD recordings; and on-going engagements as official accompanist for the IFAC Australian Singing Competition Semi-finals, as well as for the combined Finals of the Bel Canto Award and the Elizabeth Connell Prize – all three of which occur annually in Sydney.  2017 marks David’s seventh stint as leader of the Specialist Tutor team for the advanced students stream at the biennial New Zealand Singing School.

Dr Irene Bartlett – Specialist Tutor

Dr Irene Bartlett is Coordinator of Contemporary Voice, Head of Vocal Pedagogy and Jazz Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University where her teaching centres on the development of foundational technique, sustainable vocal health and performance excellence for both undergraduate and postgraduate singers. Irene is a past Master Teacher for the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing (ANATS), a consultant to tertiary contemporary voice programmes and a presenter at conferences and symposia both nationally and internationally. She has extensive experience as a researcher with publications in areas of Contemporary Commercial Vocal Performance, Vocal Pedagogy and Specialist Music Teacher Education. Irene’s students work as professional singers in national and international contexts in ‘live’ performance, in the CCM recording industry and in nationally touring musical theatre productions; many are recipients of prestigious awards including multiple Aria Awards, major industry grants, and Churchill Fellowships. In addition to her pedagogical and academic work, Irene has an enduring career as a professional contemporary vocalist.

Andrew Dalton – Vocal Tutor Classical

Andrew Dalton won the ABC’s Instrumental and Vocal Competition (now the Young

Performers Awards) and continued his studies in London. Since then, he has toured extensively throughout Europe, appearing at most major festivals including Munich,Berlin,Paris,Edinburgh and Salzburg,and has undertaken concert tours in Australia, the Far East and U.S.A.(with the Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble). In 1991 Andrew Dalton returned to live in Australia. Since then, he has appeared with Opera Australia in Death in Venice ; Il coronazione di Poppea; A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and in the highly acclaimed production of Handel’s Julius Caesar. He has given concerts with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and performed with all the Symphony Australia Orchestras and has made several internationally acclaimed recordings) including solo recitals of Henry Purcell and John Dowland. His television appearances have included the title role in Stradella’s San Giovanni Battista for Swedish Television; a film on the life of Queen Christina ( which won the Prix Italia Award); a documentary on Handel for Granada Television; and Opera Australia’s production of Julius Caesar.

Pat Wilson – Vocal Tutor

Singer, pianist, actress, singing teacher, vocal coach, author, composer, lyricist and musical director in theatre.  Pat has sung and played in more piano bars than she can decently name, composed much original music for television and theatre, and co-written and performed original satirical revues with her friend and partner, Adrian Barnes. She has a Masters of Applied Science, having undertaken scientific research into singing at the University of Sydney, and was part of a team of singing teachers and scientists who developed the unique singers’ software, Sing&See.  Pat continues to research, write and publish in areas of voice science and rehabilitation. Pat lectures at Flinders University in the Drama Department, as well as teaching in her studio in Adelaide; her specialisation is teaching singers to act and actors to sing  –  preparing performers for professional music theatre.  Pat was part of the Australia-wide advisory committee headed by George Torbay which devised and published the latest Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Syllabus for Music Theatre; she is also a qualified AMEB examiner. Pat is the author of the popular textbook, ‘The Singing Voice: An Owner’s Manual’ (2nd ed.), and co-author with Dr Jean Callaghan of ‘How to sing and see;  Singing pedagogy in the digital era’.

Karen Cummings – Vocal Tutor and Trainee Tutor Mentor

Karen Cummings has a Post Graduate Diploma of Opera and a Masters of Performance (Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Her PhD studies at Newcastle Conservatorium of Music focus on the changing nature of classical voice in response to the microphone. She is the recipient of the inaugural Bushman scholarship for voice and is supervised by Richard Vella, Christopher Allan and Nathan Scott. Karen is commissioning works for her voice and microphone from Australian composers to be performed in 2016. Over the last four years Karen has been a vocal coach and cast member of Pecan Summer, composed by Deborah Cheetham.  She is currently teaching singing to actor/performers at Wollongong University and has taught singing at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, West Australian Academy of the Performing Arts, Australia Institute of Music and Wollongong Conservatorium of Music. Karen has a particular interest in teaching in a group setting.

Jane Keller – Vocal Tutor

Jane Keller graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Vocal Pedagogy. Although classically trained and with over 30 years operatic experience, Jane’s real loves are musical theatre, cabaret and jazz. Since moving to NZ 28 years ago, Jane has concentrated on writing and performing her cabaret shows. Jane’s first two one woman cabaret shows Bigger is better and Do I have to get naked?  were performed in New Zealand and the U.S. to critical acclaim.  Boomers behaving badly had a three week sell out season in Wellington and then a hugely successful 5 week NZ tour. Jane’s most recent cabaret show Yep, still got it !  premiered earlier this year to rave reviews and full houses. Jane will take this show to the U.S. in 2017.  Jane specialises in teaching musical theatre singing styles and repertoire. She has a large private singing studio in Wellington.  Jane also teaches singing on the Musical Theatre Course at Whitireia.

Dr Morag Atchison – Vocal Tutor

 Dr Morag Atchison has firmly established herself as one of New Zealand’s leading sopranos and pedagogues. She studied at the University of Auckland and Royal Academy of Music (London), and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier and Royal Over-Seas League Competitions. Morag’s concert engagements include a recital at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto with the Toronto Children’s Chorus; Mozart Requiem and Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah (Voices NZ and Wellington Sinfonia); Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the NZ Youth Choir and NZSO National Youth Orchestra; Beethoven’s Ah! Perfido (APO and Manukau Symphony), with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in an acclaimed performance of Britten’s War Requiem, and a recital tour with Catrin Johnsson and Rachel  Fuller for Chamber Music New Zealand. Morag teaches voice at the University of Auckland, is a vocal tutor for the NZ Youth Choir, the University of  Auckland Chamber Choir, and the award-winning Choralation from Westlake Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools.

Nick Hollamby – Vocal Tutor

Nick Hollamby is an established vocalist, music director and leading contemporary voice specialist. Nick is a lecturer at the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Art (NASDA) and regular presenter at numerous workshops throughout Australasia.  Previous positions include Coordinator of Contemporary Voice, University of Otago, Sessional Lecturer in Contemporary Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University and Artistic Director for the Youth Performing Arts Company, Queensland. Nick is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University holding a Master of Music Studies (Pedagogy), a Graduate Certificate of Music Studies (Performance) and a Bachelor of Music. Past students include international touring performers, successful recording artists and TV/ Film personalities.

Catherine Norton – Accompanist

Catherine Norton teaches song accompaniment at the New Zealand School of Music, and is the artistic director of Songbook, a new Wellington series of adventurous devised recitals. She studied in Wellington with Thomas Hecht and was an Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera, before postgraduate studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Eugene Asti and Pamela Lidiard, where she was awarded the accompaniment prizes and was appointed a Junior Fellow. She was a 2013 Britten-Pears Young Artist, is an alumna of Austria’s acclaimed Franz-Schubert-Institut for Lieder, and was a member of Graham Johnson’s Young Songmakers’ Almanac. She is the winner of numerous awards, including the Victoria University Concerto Competition and Britain’s AESS National English Song Competition. She has appeared in recital in concert halls including the Barbican Hall, LSO St Luke’s, and at the Oxford Lieder Festival, as well as around England and in France, Germany, Northern Ireland and Malta.

Grant Winterburn – Accompanist

Grant Winterburn is one of New Zealand’s leading keyboard players. His wealth of experience across a wide range of musical genres has made him in demand as a musical director, pianist, accompanist, jazz organ player, session musician and music tutor. Grant has been a Performance Teacher at the jazz department of The University of Auckland School of Music since 2007. As a musical director Grant has worked on many theatre productions including –The Pirates of Penzance directed by Raymond Hawthorne, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris for Unitec School of Performing and Screen Arts, and Richard O’Brien – One Night Only. As a freelance keyboard player Grant’s credits include – Eye TV  “Fire Down Below”, Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, Lady Sings the Blues, NZ’s Got Talent, Stars in their Eyes, Midge Marsden, Carly Binding, The Ladykillers, and Mamma Mia. As an accompanist he has worked with Richard O’Brien, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Helen Medlyn, Jackie Clarke, Tina Cross, Suzanne Lynch and Annie Crummer.  He recently appeared on the CD “Ace Tone”  by Ron Samsom and the Neutrino Funk Experience.

Josh Clark – Accompanist

Josh Clark is a singer, pianist and conductor from Auckland, New Zealand. He graduated from Otago University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music majoring in classical performance for both piano and singing with Professor Terence Dennis and Associate Professor Judy Bellingham, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Linguistics. Josh now works in Auckland as a singing teacher, pianist and conductor. In late 2015, he was a a Professional Teaching Fellow in Contemporary Voice at the University of Otago.  He is Co-Director of Dilworth School’s renowned ‘Fortissimo’ choir, and has been frequently employed by the New Zealand Secondary Schools Choir and many Auckland schools as a guest vocal tutor and accompanist. Josh also works regularly as a pianist and singer in other forums such as Jazz, Musical Theatre, Opera, and contemporary music. He has featured as an accompanist for NZ Opera, Manakau Performing Arts, Dolphin Theatre, The University of Auckland Chamber Choir, Opera Risqué, New Zealand Secondary Students Choir and more.

Rachel Fuller – Principal of Faculty & Curriculum

Rachel Fuller studied at the University of Canterbury with Diedre Irons; and went on to gain her Masters in Piano Accompaniment from the Royal Academy of Music in London. As an experienced vocal accompanist, répétiteur and coach, Rachel has worked at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, at Opera Kristiansund and Opera Nordfjord in Norway, and also with leading British opera companies including Diva Opera, London Festival Opera and London Opera Players. She has accompanied some of the world’s finest singers including tenor Keith Lewis and has worked as a regular accompanist and coach for the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. Rachel has performed as recitalist in leading concert venues such as The Queen Elizabeth Hall and St.Martin-in-the-Fields.

Rachel is an Artist Teacher at the University of Auckland where she teaches collaborative piano and is a vocal coach and accompanist.  Rachel is also a highly sought-after chamber musician and has recently collaborated with cellists Ramón Jaffé, Edith Salzmann and Yelian He as well as violinists Leo Phillips and APO concertmaster Andrew Beer.

Mark Dorrell – Deputy Director Musical Theatre

Mark studied at Cambridge University, the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. After four years on the Music Staff of Scottish Opera he returned to London where he enjoyed a varied freelance career as conductor, accompanist, pianist and vocal coach.  His extensive theatre credits as Musical Director/Conductor at the National Theatre London include A Little Night Music with Dame Judi Dench, Oklahoma with Hugh Jackman , Peter Pan with Ian McKellen, Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Candide, Lady in the Dark and Singin’ in the Rain. The original London productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods, Assassins and Passion were conducted by Mark.  Since settling in New Zealand in 2007 he has enjoyed a busy freelance career ranging from Musical Director of Marat Sade, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee , Company , and Assassins at Toi Whakaari to teaching at  Whitireia Performing Arts Centre and regularly works for the NZ Opera. He is currently a full-time member of staff at the Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music and  Director of Music at St Barnabas Church, Roseneath.

Christine Douglas – Opera Director

Christine has enjoyed a distinguished singing career with Opera Australia, the Victoria State Opera, State Opera of South Australia, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Symphony orchestras and Festivals Australia wide. Christine has directed opera and mentored young artists since the late 1990s. A Churchill Fellowship took her to the UK and USA after which she became founding Artistic Director of Pacific Opera, Sydney – a springboard for many young opera singers who are now enjoying professional careers around the world. Christine has directed for Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, Pacific Opera, the Opera Studio Melbourne and for the NZ National Singing School where she enjoys being a faculty member. In addition to consulting in the opera industry and for stage and television, Christine has a thriving singing studio, gives Masterclasses and Workshops in Sydney and Melbourne, produces corporate events and continues to mentor the next generation of Australasian opera talent.

Conal Coad – Opera Director

International Bass Conal Coad was born in Feilding, New Zealand.  He trained in the NSW Conservatorium before joining Opera Australia.  In Europe he has sung in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal and the Royal Opera House and Holland Park London, Garsington and Opera North.  He has performed in Washington and in New York and also Israel. Conal performs regularly in New Zealand and for Opera Australia and has performed for all the major Australian opera companies. Concerts include major Australian orchestras, Israel Philharmonic, Royal Opera House, Kensington Palace and festivals throughout Europe and Japan. Recently Conal performed in The Turk in Italy, Elizir of Love in Sydney and Don Pasquale in Melbourne, for Opera Australia as well as the inaugural Opera on the Beach, Gold Coast (The Magic Flute), Aida and Turandot for Handa Opera on the Harbour Sydney and in A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Valencia, Spain. Conal regularly adjudicates major singing competitions and has releases on CD and DVD.

Peter Lockwood – Specialist Tutor Classical

Peter Lockwood was born in New Zealand, where he received his initial musical and linguistic training. He continued his studies in piano, continuo work and conducting in London at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio.  Peter Lockwood then joined the music staff of Scottish Opera, where in addition to his work with the main company he also toured Scotland in charge of three productions. He became a member of the music staff of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels in 1983, working under Gerard Mortier, Sir John Pritchard and Sylvain Cambreling. He was invited to join the music staff of De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam in 1993.  He works regularly with young singers at the start of their careers and has given master classes and courses for young singers and repetiteurs in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Great Britain and the United States. He has been a jury member for vocal competitions and conservatory examinations in Holland, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand and Albania.

Jennifer Ward-Lealand ONZM – Specialist Tutor Musical Theatre

Since training at Auckland’s influential Theatre Corporate, Jennifer has worked extensively in theatre, film, television, musical and radio for over 35 years.  Her stage work includes THE GOAT, THAT FACE, BREL and THE BOOK OF EVERYTHING (Best Ensemble & Excellence Awards, Auckland Theatre Awards 2015) for Silo Theatre, LE SUD, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and LYSISTRATA for ATC, and RITA AND DOUGLAS for Armstrong Creative. She has excelled in both dramatic and comedic roles, as well as numerous roles in musical theatre and cabaret. She works regularly as a voice over artist and plays the character of DORABLE DUCK on the children’s television series BUZZY BEE.  Jennifer was a founding board member of the Watershed Theatre and a co-founder of The Large Group and The Actors’ Program. She is currently President of Equity New Zealand, Patron of Q Theatre, and serves as a trust board member of Arts Regional Trust , Silo Theatre, Clarence St Theatre Trust, and Actors Benevolent Fund. In the 2007 New Years Honours List, she was named an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to theatre and the community.

Julie Coulson – Accompanist

Julie performs nationally and internationally as a vocal accompanist, adjudicator at competitions, and presenter of masterclasses for young musicians. Her specialist area of research is French mélodie, arising from interdisciplinary studies which set French Symbolism in context, particularly the interface between belief, poetry and music. She has premiered and recorded a number of New Zealand compositions for solo and combined voices and has worked with many of the choral groups in Wellington. A regular contributor for the New Zealand Association of Teachers of Singing, she sings with the specialist women’s choir Voix de femmes and is an active member of the Wellington Chamber Music Trust. While a lecturer at the New Zealand School of Music she taught vocal accompaniment and published a number of papers on teaching music to children with dyspraxia, also undertaking studies in youth chamber music. She now runs an independent music studio for students of all ages.

Tyran Parke – Ensemble Director Musical Theatre

Tyran is a graduate of WAAPA, and is considered one of the most exciting emerging directors in the country. As a director he has worked on several original productions for the National Institute of Performing Arts, (NIDA), The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and The Australian Institute of Music (AIM) where he has taught acting and directed productions for the past ten years. In New Zealand he has taught for CCMT, The Christchurch International Music Theatre Summer School and Unitech. ‘From Broadway to La Scala’  toured nationally receiving five star reviews and standing ovations. ‘Rob Mills is Surprisingly Good’ also toured nationally and was the most recent in a series of solo shows he directed. The show won rave reviews and Sydney Theatre Critics and ‘Glugs’ nominations for best cabaret. He also directed ‘Follies’ at the Melbourne Recital Centre in May 2016 with an all star cast before taking up a position with The Really Useful Company in China then returning to Sydney with ‘Into the Woods’.

Marina Posa – Language Coach

Marina Poša, born in New Zealand Marina started studying singing at an early age with Dame Sister Mary Leo.  She left New Zealand to graduate at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. where she completed her studies with Margaret Nickson.  She later traveled to London to study with Vera Rozsa then consequently with Magda Laszlo and Maria Repola-Rohrmann in Rome, Italy. In Rome Marina devoted herself to recital work and participated in many concerts including performances at the Vatican.  Marina returned to Australia in 2008 and now lives in Brisbane. Since returning Marina divides her time between teaching singing, coaching Italian and performing.  She is a lecturer at the Conservatorium of Music, Queensland where she teaches Italian phonetics and coaches.  She has returned to New Zealand many times to teach at the NZSS and she delights in helping singers improve their Italian through their repertoire.

Frances Wilson ONZM – Vocal Tutor

Born in New Zealand, Frances won a Royal Schools of Music Scholarship to study Piano and Accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music in London.  After studying there for 5 years she stayed on at the college to teach for a further 5 years. She was sequested back to New Zealand in 1979 to become chief Coach and Repetiteur for the then National Opera Company, under the directorship of Raymond Hawthorne. She held this position with the Company in its various forms for a period of 10 years. In 1993 she and her husband moved to New York where she set up her own private studio as a freelance teacher. During this period she continued to conduct masterclasses whenever returning to New Zealand eventually cofounding the Whanganui Opera School ( now known as the NZ Opera School) acting as is Musical Director and Tutor for a period of 5 years. It is Frances’ aim with all of her undertakings to give “breakthrough” opportunities to emerging New Zealand talent. In many cases it’s by providing singers with first roles in an Opera with Orchestra, being professionally staged, directed and reviewed.

Kay Shacklock – Accompanist

Kay Shacklock is a performance graduate of University of Auckland and the London Guildhall School of Music. She has a firm connection with the UoA School of Music, as an accompanist for over 20 years and currently a support role in the voice department. Kay has been Musical Director for several shows run by the UoA English Department, including the 2014 Summer Shakespeare. She has also written and produced a musical (“Stout Heart”) for Howick Childrens & Youth Theatre in 2015 , with another musical (“The Patch”) projected for performance in 2017. Particularly interested in working with young people, she has a busy teaching studio (The Green Room) and has strong associations with Auckland choral, chamber and drama groups. She enjoys a special performing partnership with noted soprano Gina Sanders and is one half of a piano duo alongside noted musicians Peter Watts and Dr John Wells (separately!). A proud “South-Eastie”, she is pianist for the Manukau Symphony Orchestra.

Fiona McCabe – Accompanist

As an award winning, internationally sought after pianist specialising in vocal repertoire, Fiona has an established reputation as an accompanist, repetiteur, musical director, orchestral, vocal and choral musician. Living for many years in Sydney, Australia and working with many acclaimed musicians worldwide, she brings a wealth of experience and passion to her music making across many genres, performing early music to music theatre and everything in between. Just to keep things interesting, Fiona completed a Masters in Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy in Sydney in 2014.

Susan Melville – Accompanist

Susan Melville, a freelance musician based in Hawkes Bay, has been a faculty member of the New Zealand Singing School since 1999. She has accompanied a number of NZ’s leading musicians in recital, including Jonathan Lemalu, Deborah Rawson, Roger Wilson and Patrick Power, and in 2015 undertook a NZ recital tour for the NZSS with distinguished operatic tenor Keith Lewis. Susan has recorded for Concert FM, appeared as guest artist with the internationally acclaimed saxophone ensemble Saxcess, adjudicated for a number of music competitions societies, and had original compositions performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Berlin. She is currently Director of the Choral Programme at Havelock North High School and Conductor of the Hawkes Bay Youth Orchestra, in which capacity she is part of a young musicians’ cultural exchange to China in April 2016.