Eilert Hasseldal (til høyre) som Valentine i fremføring av "Faust" av C.Gounod på Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo vår 2016. Foto: Stephen Hutton.

New mentor scheme for the opera students

- Det er en helt unik mulighet vi har fått nå, sier operastudent Eilert Hasseldal (bildet). Han er en av fem studenter som nå har fått sin egen mentor ved Den Norske Opera, og skal veiledes av en profesjonell stjerne.“This is a unique opportunity we’ve been given,” says opera student Eilert Hasseldal (pictured). As one of five students to be assigned their own mentor at the Norwegian National Opera, he will now receive guidance from a professional star.

The new mentor scheme aims at reinforcing the connection between the Norwegian National Opera and the Academy of Opera and making the transition easier for opera students when they try their luck as opera singers. The five mentors who will be guiding the opera students include two female singers (Eli Kristin Hansveen and Ingebjørg Kosmo) and three male singers (Espen Langvik, Thorbjørn Gullbrandsøy and Jens-Erik Aasbø).

“We have a good environment here and wonderful teachers at the Academy, but many of the teachers are not themselves active opera singers,” notes Hasseldal. “But those who work here at the Opera are! And now we can learn from their experience of what it’s like to work here and be part of the opera community.” The four other students to be assigned mentors at the Opera are Emil Havold Næshagen, Marcela Randem, Nora Oleanne Sårheim and Tina Therese Tuven.

“I understood that we had to strengthen the ties between the Opera and the Academy of Opera, because those who are in the middle of their career can really help the students,” says Mira Bartov, dean of the Academy of Opera. “The mentors and their students will now follow each other. And of course, whatever enhances the quality of our education also makes it more attractive to new applicants.”

Espen Langvik, a singer at the Norwegian Opera, explains why he has offered his services as a mentor. “There is a lot of energy in interacting with the new students, because they have such high ambitions and are just so full of gusto! And we love being reminded of this energy and of why we’re doing this.”

Langvik has one piece of advice to the young students:

“My advice is really to find a chord that resonates within yourself and to know what you’re capable of, what you’re worth and who you are. Then the storm can rage as much as it will around you.”