Cross-border collaboration encourages art song evolution

A regional conservatorium and a capital city theatre have joined forces to bring the art song tradition into the 21st century.

Nigel Featherstone in rehearsal with James Humberstone at the Sydney Con. Photo credit: Ryley Gillen

From Dubbo to Deniliquin and Wagga Wagga to Wollongong, a network of regional conservatoriums across NSW provides music and arts education and enrichment programs to some 24,000 students throughout the state.

As well as specialist instrumental and vocal training, the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums also run annual performance programs, and provide ongoing employment opportunities for artists and music teachers – including significant commissions.  

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts