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BIOGRAPHY


I was born and raised in Scotland and transformed by Australia on Wangerriburra Country (Gold Coast Hinterland), Gadigal Country (Sydney) and Noongar Boodja (Perth). 

I am a woman of many titles, roles and ways of being.  I do not shy away from this or simplify myself to fit into labels or boxes.

I am a multidimensional visionary, a mirror, an inspirer, a maker and curator of creative things, sounds and spaces.

I am driven by a passion for change and evolution.

I love constantly learning , expanding and evolving.

I am a multidimensional Artist rooted in multiple forms of vocal expression:
Soprano | Singer | Storyteller | Writer | Creative Director |
Performance Maker | Filmmaker  | Artist-Researcher

I am an experienced and bold Arts Leader: 
Creative Director | Curator | Creative Producer

Or, if you like, I am the Artistic Director & CEO of Jenna Robertson.

I manage a portfolio of multi- art form creative projects and a Mentoring & Coaching practice for artists & creatives.

Thanks for being here with me. I see you.

 

An internationally award-winning artist, independent arts leader and entrepreneur, Scottish-Australian Jenna Robertson is based on Wangerriburra country (Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia). Her practice spans vocal performance and writing through to the creation and producing of arts projects for stage, screen and audio. Jenna works across opera, film, digital storytelling and multimedia forms.  As an experienced soprano, Jenna has performed fourteen leading operatic roles and has appeared as soloist with Festivals and orchestras Australia-wide.  See her performance biography and CV for details.  

Robertson's current creative practice as a creator, writer, singer, storyteller, creative director and producer leverages her diverse knowledge and vulnerability to change perceptions and inspire individual action on complex issues. Her works include:

  • SPIRIT ORPHAN (chamber opera, short film & feature documentary film, 2019-2025): ground-breaking chamber opera and films in development exploring her recovery from bushfire evacuation through a deep exploration of migrant identity. Jenna’s role in the opera is creator, librettist and performer. The short film, Spirit Orphan, written and produced by Jenna in 2020 and directed by her frequent collaborator Salvador Cantellano has received multiple international awards and screenings. Jenna is the protagonist in the short and feature doco films.

  • UNRAVELLING THE VOICE (2022-3): Her multi-format, multi-genre debut album exploring her relationship with self-expression and her voice over her life. For release in 2023.

  • RETURN TO PLANET EARTH (2021): a multi-media work co-created for World Science Festival Brisbane 2021 exploring the relationship between our humanity, Earth and the Universe (co-creator, writer and narrator)

  • LA TRAVIATA IN CONCERT (Opera, Short Doco, 2021): As creative producer and soprano, Jenna has most recently created this community-engaged opera project in Western Australia exploring end of life and proposing new ways of producing grand opera in regional areas to maximise community outcomes.  She also produced a short documentary about the project.

  • and more in development.


Jenna’s 12 years of arts leadership experience includes working with diverse stakeholders, partners and collaborators to create, curate and produce large-scale socially and community-engaged opera projects, and she has earned a reputation as Australia's leading independent creative producer in opera. 

 

To date, 868 artists, arts workers and community participants have been engaged in Jenna's projects, as well as 7440 audience members across Australia.  

 

Jenna is a current Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, a 2021 Australia Council for the Arts Future Leader and a popular reviewer/writer for The Music Trust (LoudMouth E-Zine).  Jenna was a board member for national arts peak body PAC Australia from Australia 2020-2022 where she advocated for independent artists and producers at the national level. 

 

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. In 2019, Jenna also worked in the Programming team for the Queensland Music Festival on Opera at Jimbour and with Festival Directors on improving outcome reporting.  In 2011, Jenna was a founding member of opera company, OperaBox, in Perth, WA. From 2014, in addition to Chair 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 leadership “Robertson made a significant contribution to supporting emerging singers and broadening the operatic repertoire for WA audiences” (Limelight Magazine, 2017).

Jenna deeply believes in the power of creativity and artists to make positive change in the world and passionately mentors and coaches artists and creatives.  She graduated from the Beautiful You Life Coaching Course in 2022.
 

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). and was a Generate GC (Situate - Art in Festivals) artist from 2019-2020, receiving mentoring support in the creation of new work from Australia's top independent artists.  Other training includes dance theatre making with Danielle Micich and Ghenoa Gela in Force Majeure, Sydney, 2020 INCITE Masterclass and the NIDA Open Directors Studio (Stage & Film) in Sydney in 2017.

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 engineering (2004-2015). There she won some of the most prestigious industry awards and developed her strength and reputation in both leading people to deliver large and complex projects, and in public speaking and facilitation. Jenna is a chartered Chemical Engineer through IChemE and graduated from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh with an MEng in Chemical Engineering as well as receiving a Music Scholarship for the duration of her studies providing tuition and performance experience.

Notable Education & Training Programs

  • 2022 Beautiful You Coaching Academy, Life Coaching Course

  • 2021-2027 Doctor of Musical Arts, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane

  • 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.

  • 2020 Force Majeure INCITE Masterclass in their dance theatre making methodologies.

  • 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.

  • 2006 MEng Chemical Engineering with Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

  • 2006 Diploma in Industrial Training, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK

To read her performance biography, click here.

(C) July 2022