Bronwyn Douglass' dreams are coming true.
The Milton born Soprano will make her main stage debut with Opera Australia in January  as Donna Elvira in David McVicar's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni.
She is both humbled and grateful for this "incredible opportunity".
"When you hear the word 'Opera", what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I think for most Australians' it would be the Sydney Opera House. It's an iconic landmark with an incredible history," she said.
"Ever since I was a little girl, on trips to Sydney to see family and friends, I would see the Sydney Opera House and dream of performing there for Opera Australia."
Bronwyn has worked hard to get this opportunity.
"As I got older and I started my studies I began to understand how much time, sacrifice and dedication it would take to get there," she said.
"To achieve this dream seemed so far away, but I always hoped if I worked hard enough I could get there.
"To now be cast in a main role, and a fabulous role at that, is a dream come true. I hope that this is only the beginning of an exciting career."
She was always determined to follow her dreams.
It's not often you hear the term 'bucket list' and opera' going hand-in-hand.
"I have been working towards this opportunity for quite a while. I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful organisations in both opera and concert, but Opera Australia was always a big tick on my bucket list," she said.
The former Milton resident has an impressive list of credentials and achievements.
She completed a three year undergraduate degree in Classical Voice Performance at The Australian National University School of Music and a Masters in Music majoring in Opera at Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium.
"I then became a scholar with the Melba Opera Trust for two years 2016-2017, before undertaking significant private studies overseas after winning two of Australia's most prestigious opera competitions," she said.
She won the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award and The Opera Foundation for young Australians Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship.
Bronwyn even used COVID-19 as a lockdown challenge for her voice.
"I had just begun working with Opera Australia in the chorus when we first went into lockdown in 2020," she said.
"We had, in fact, just performed Don Giovanni at the Sydney Opera House, which was my Main Stage chorus debut.
"I had been thinking about switching to Soprano from Mezzo-Soprano [Soprano is higher] but was unsure about navigating this change whilst working as a Mezzo."
Then her 'lockdown project commenced and the results were strong.
"In March 2020, I started working on Soprano repertoire. I re-auditioned for Opera Australia in November 2020 as a Soprano and I began working with the chorus more regularly," she said.
"Since late last year, I've been working for the company on a full-time basis in the chorus.
"Earlier this year I had the chance to step in and perform a solo role for Opera Australia for the first time - Anna Kennedy in Maria Stuarda in Concert."
Her preparation for her main stage debut is well underway as there is "so much involved in learning an operatic role".
"The opera is in Italian, so there is a lot of language work involved. Translation to understand exactly what is being said by me and everyone else and transliteration to understand the pronunciation and cadence of the language," she said .
"Then you have to work on the music, there are quite a few notes to learn.
"Then comes the memorisation work and 'getting it into the body', meaning that you want to know the role well enough to be able to inhabit the character with ease."
Her voice is in great shape and will even get better in the future.
"I have heard dramatic sopranos continue to mature until at least their early 40s, if not longer. So I look forward to all that's to come," she said.
She gets back home to see her parents as much as she can and still loves the area.
The opera singer performed for the Milton Ulladulla Music Association in 2018, and is looking forward to doing a concert in Batehaven for the South Coast Music Society in August 2023.
Now she can look back and reflect on her amazing journey.
"I had plenty of dreams when I was growing up, I always had my head in the clouds, but I don't think I really 'expected' anything," she said.
"I didn't have enough confidence for that. I hoped that I could work in a field where I loved what I did and I could keep challenging myself, and I'm thrilled that I've found that."
Bronwyn is happy to give young performers some advice
"My main piece of advice for young performers wanting to follow a career in classical music is to have faith in yourself," she said.
"As a young student, you spend so much time practicing, learning, and correcting mistakes. When it comes to performance it's hard to look past those things.
"It's important to also take the time to look at what you do well and focus on that, because when you perform you want to be thinking about what you do well, not what you'd like to do better."
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