J E N N A   R O B E R T S O N
ARTIST/PERFORMANCE MAKER    |    ARTS LEADER

BIOGRAPHY

Artist/Performance Maker and Arts Leader

"Jenna's creative, vibrant and considered contribution towards the delivery of our programs was inspiring.  We look forward to ongoing collaboration with Jenna in development of future programs." 

Katrina Torenbeek, Programming Director, Queensland Music Festival, QLD

"Jenna did an excellent job of crafting a high class, quality performance with international, interstate and local artists.  Jenna brings a wealth of talent and musical knowledge to this endeavour." 

Drew Dymond, General Manager, Albany Entertainment Centre, WA

“Robertson made a significant contribution to supporting emerging singers and broadening the operatic repertoire for WA audiences”  

Limelight Magazine

"As a multi-talented multitasker in the arts, Jenna is certainly one to watch. With a level of passion that is inspirational, she remains intent on growing as an artist and as a human." 

We are Gold Coast

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Jenna Robertson is a Scottish-Australian artist living on Yugambeh country in the Gold Coast Hinterland, working at the intersection of opera, community-engaged practice and interdisciplinary performance.   With a background including traditional opera performance, creative producing, arts leadership, chemical engineering and a fascination with spirituality, Robertson's work as a contemporary performance maker leverages diverse knowledge and vulnerability to inspire individual action on complex issues. 

 

Current projects include La traviata: a community-engaged opera project in Western Australia exploring end of life (creative producer and performer), Spirit Orphan: a ground-breaking chamber opera in development exploring identity as a migrant living on colonised land (creator, co-librettist and performer) and Return to Planet Earth: a new work for World Science Festival Brisbane exploring the relationship between our humanity, Earth and the Universe (co-creator, writer and narrator).  Jenna has been a participating artist in creative developments for Liesel Zink’s Us and All of This (HOTA, 2020) and for Bleach* Festival (2019).

Jenna is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, a Board Member of national peak body Performing Arts Connections Australia and one of the 2021 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders cohort.

Jenna was a Generate GC (Situate - Art in Festivals) artist from 2019-2020.  She was one of thirty selected globally for the inaugural Beth Morrison Projects 2020 Producer Academy (global leaders in contemporary opera producing, New York, USA). Other training in dance theatre making was with Danielle Micich and Ghenoa Gela in Force Majeure 2020 INCITE Masterclass and in the NIDA Open Directors Studio (Stage & Film) in Sydney in 2017.

She was Creative Producer and Principal Artist of The Opera Gala for the 2019 Albany Arts Festival, a bespoke operatic gala combining international, interstate, local artists and community participation. As a successful applicant to the City of Gold Coast Producer Placement Program, Jenna worked in the Programming team for the 2019 Queensland Music Festival on Opera at Jimbour and with Festival Directors on outcome reporting.

In 2011, Jenna was a founding member of grassroots opera company, OperaBox, in Perth, WA. From 2014, in addition to Chairman of the Board and Producer positions, she took a leading role in the Artistic Directorship and growth of the company, solidifying OperaBox as “an innovative and professional contributor to the WA opera scene”(Noted, 2016). Through her programming leadership “Robertson made a significant contribution to broadening the operatic repertoire for WA audiences” (Limelight Magazine, 2017).

Jenna is also a chartered Chemical Engineer. Before choosing full-time work in the arts in 2015, she worked part- time in the arts while also working for a decade internationally in the resource sector. There she developed her strength in leading people to deliver large and complex projects. Jenna won some of the most prestigious industry awards (CME Women in Resources Awards, Salters Institute Awards) and is a graduate of Chevron’s international Emerging Leaders Program.  Jenna graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh with an MEng in Chemical Engineering and received a Music Scholarship for the duration of her studies providing tuition and performance experience.

Notable Training Programs

  • 2021 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leaders Program

  • 2020 Producer Academy, Beth Morrison Projects, New York, USA (Global leaders in contemporary opera producing and touring)

  • 2020 Cultural Awareness & Truth Telling, The Wellbeing Connexion, Melbourne. 7 weeks immersive training in the history of colonisation of Australia and continued impacts on indigenous people through to today.

  • 2019 Generate GC, Artist Labs.  2 x immersive labs with some of Australia' s most successful independent artists sharing their practice as part of the Generate GC program.

  • 2017 Directors Studio (NIDA Open), National Institute for Dramatic Arts, Sydney.

To read her performance biography, click here.

January 2021

© 2021 Jenna Robertson

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