Alum | Gemma Nha

Gemma Nha, an esteemed alumna of The McDonald College Performing Arts, is a Korean-Australian soprano whose journey in the world of classical music has garnered international acclaim. Graduating from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna with a Bachelor of Arts Gesang (Honours) under the guidance of Peter Edelmann, Gemma has continued to shine in the realm of opera and vocal arts.

In her expansive repertoire, Gemma has debuted in prominent roles, including Ruth Baldwin in John Musto and Mark Campbell’s Later the Same Evening and Flerida in Cavalli’s Erismena, both with Juilliard Opera. Her achievements include winning First Prize at the 18th Seoul International Music Competition, where judges praised her impeccable diction, vocal color, and interpretation.

Gemma’s operatic journey has seen her perform at distinguished venues such as the Volksoper Wien, Santa Fe Opera, and the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn, showcasing her versatility in roles like Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel.

Beyond opera, Gemma has left an indelible mark in musical theatre, making her professional debut in The King and I Seefestspiele Mörbisch and performing in productions like The Drowsy Chaperone and 7 Little Australians Opera Carnivale. Her foray into the musical theatre scene also includes sharing the stage with Patti Lupone on her 2018 Don’t Monkey with Broadway tour at the Sydney Opera House.

Gemma’s accolades include the Liederkranz Foundation Second Prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation Lieder/Song Competition in 2023, an Encouragement Award at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, and the Margreta Elkins Encouragement Award at the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Award in 2022. She was also a finalist in the 2020 Lotte Lenya Competition and has achieved success at The Sydney Eisteddfod in various categories.

As a testament to her early passion for the arts, Gemma began her journey at the age of eleven and honed her classical singing skills under the mentorship of Dr. Rowena Cowley at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. A recipient of The Olive Margaret Stewart Bequest, The Patrick Lucas Music Achievement Scholarship, and the Vice Chancellor’s Global Mobility Scholarship, Gemma’s commitment to excellence has taken her from televised singing competitions such as The Voice Kids Australia and KpopStar Season 4 to international stages and prestigious competitions.

Peter Jarolin, writing for Kurier, describes Gemma’s performances as “perfekt Komödie” and “perfect comedy,” capturing the essence of her artistry and the impact she continues to make in the world of performing arts.