Pettman DARE Fellowship

Pettman DARE Fellowship in Music Education and Community Engagement Project Management 


A Pettman DARE Fellowship provides a fully-funded year of applied research in Music Education and Community Engagement in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Delivered in partnership between New Zealand Opera, and Opera North and the University of Leeds in the UK.


New Zealand Opera Fellow

A Pettman DARE Fellowship provides a fully-funded year of applied research in the Education departments at Opera North and New Zealand Opera and at the University of Leeds.

One Fellowship for a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident will be awarded for

The programme runs September 2023 – August 2024. You will spend nine months in the UK gaining experience through undertaking hands-on research at Opera North, and studying at the University of Leeds, before returning to New Zealand in June 2024. The remaining three months of the Fellowship will be spent working with the Participation team at New Zealand Opera exploring and supporting the delivery of engagement opportunities with communities in New Zealand.

As leading national cultural organisations, New Zealand Opera (NZO) and Opera North, in the UK, create and tour opera and music of the highest quality. We seek to encourage people of all ages and from all walks of life to explore our work. We are committed to breaking down barriers to enhance the health, wellbeing, and cohesion of communities.

This Fellowship is for emerging arts professionals from New Zealand, who want to gain experience in, and knowledge about, community engagement in music organisations.

One Fellowship will be awarded to a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

What Is It?

  • It is a twelve month, fully-funded programme starting in September 2023, split between Leeds in the UK and Auckland, New Zealand.
  • The first nine months are spent in the Education department at Opera North and at the University of Leeds UK, before spending the final three months at New Zealand Opera.
  • As a Pettman DARE Fellow you are registered as a taught postgraduate student at the University of Leeds, at the School of Performance and Cultural Industriesin the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures.
  • The majority of practical research takes place with Opera North, where you learn about Music Education in the context of a large UK-based arts organisation, and assist in a broad spectrum of initiatives developed and delivered by the Education team including the Adult Programme; Family Programme; Schools Programme; In Harmony; Young Performers Programme
  • At the University of Leeds you will study Masters’ level modules on topics relevant to Music Education and the arts in the UK.
  • At NZO, the opportunity to implement learnings will be further realised. Insight and experiences acquired in the UK will inform the planning and delivery of activities of engagement that will supplement and support the work of the Participation team at NZO, determined through ongoing discussions during the nine-month UK placement.Through this combination of practical experience and academic study, the programme is assessed and accredited as a Postgraduate Diploma in Performing Arts Management.

What Benefits Do Fellows Get From The Programme?

  • A fully-funded professional development opportunity, the only Diploma of its kind in the UK.
  • The chance to learn from leading music professionals and academics when immersed in the artistic and operational culture of leading UK and New Zealand opera companies and in the research and educational culture of a leading UK university.
  • Practical experience of supporting Education music specialists to plan and deliver Opera North’s award-winning programmes.
  • Knowledge of the roles, skills and processes needed to ensure engagement projects of the highest quality.
  • An understanding of the role of music organisations in New Zealand and the UK.
  • Enhanced personal and professional skills to support career development.
  • A network of contacts for the future.
  • Relevant professional training.

How Does It Connect With NZ Opera?

The partnership between New Zealand Opera, Opera North and the University of Leeds has been growing since 2010. We each create and tour award-winning opera and music, and we share a commitment to diversity – internally with our workforce and artists, and externally with our audiences and the communities around us.

In advance of starting in the UK, Fellows spend time with the team at New Zealand Opera, discussing the Company’s ambitions and challenges and identifying a key question to be researched in the UK e.g. How can opera companies use their resources to aid young people affected by social exclusion and/or economic hardship? How can collaboration with other organisations and community groups benefit opera companies? What can opera companies do to assist refugees and immigrants when settling into a new country? How can voices new to this artform be encouraged and developed? What does collaboration in opera look like, and sound like, in contemporary society?

This question informs the research and practical learning for the 60-credit, practice-based project in the UK (see below). Communication with NZO continues throughout, and the learning from the project will inform the development of activity at NZO during the final three months of the Fellowship.


For further information please read the INFORMATION PACK

How To Apply

To apply, you are required to have:

  • New Zealand citizenship or permanent residence
  • a demonstrable interest in project management and arts engagement
  • a Bachelors Degree, minimum B+ average (2:1 at honours degree level UK)
  • evidence of musical understanding and experience; a background in classical music is preferred
  • an active interest in the arts, music education, and their place in society
  • be eligible to apply for a UK Student Visa or have an existing right to study in the UK

The application deadline is midnight BST (UK), Sunday 2 July.

Interviews will take place online in early July 2023.

Download the application form HERE

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