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Arts Biography

Jenna Robertson is an internationally award-winning singer, creative and former executive arts leader with over twenty years’ experience across opera, music and film.

 

Robertson's trailblazing leadership established her as one of Australia's leading independent creative producers, engaging nearly 1000 artists, arts workers and community participants as well as almost 10,000 audience members.

For 17 years, she has designed, held and facilitated creative, developmental, psychologically safe and life-affirming spaces and experiences through her work in the arts.

A Fearless Singer

Robertson’s vocal practice as a singer is grounded in the classical genre with an extension to folk and contemporary.

 

An experienced operatic soprano, with fifteen leading roles from 2010-2023, from traditional to experimental, she has performed across Australia and the UK.

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A Powerhouse Creative

In 2020, she emerged as a powerhouse creator, writer, director, composer and producer of new voice-centred works in music and film.

 

Her works embody advocacy for regenerative human evolution. She boldly explores the most complex issues of our time and combines her diverse knowledge and personal vulnerability with her creative practice.  

 

Her genre- and form-bending, debut concept album Unravelling the Voice was released in 2024 and her ground-breaking, autobiographical short chamber opera Spirit Orphan: Mountain Fire had its world premiere in the 2021 Brisbane Music Festival..

 

Her multi award-winning short film Spirit Orphan about the creative process of making the opera (directed by Salvador Cantellano) was awarded and/or screened in three continents in 2021-2 and seeded a music feature documentary film in progress. 

Her expansion as a creative was enabled through NIDA Open Directors Studio for Stage and Film (Sydney), Generate (Gold Coast) and Force Majeure INCITE (Sydney).

Blending Art and Science

Formerly a Chemical Engineer, Robertson blends art and science to create emotionally transformative shows for Planetariums.

 

Her debut planetarium work Return to Planet Earth, debuted at Brisbane Planetarium for World Science Festival 2021.

 

Her most recent planetarium work, Endless Universe, premiered at the Brisbane Planetarium during 2022 World Space Week.

 

In 2023, Endless Universe returned for National Science Week to Brisbane Planetarium and debuted at the Melbourne Planetarium, Scienceworks.

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Black Sky

“The experience changed my view on the future of our planet

and inspired me on a micro level to make change.”

 

Endless Universe, Brisbane Survey Respondent, 2023

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Trailblazing Leadership in Opera (2011-2022)

Jenna's 15 years of executive and artistic leadership in opera includes performance, programming, casting, and producing traditional and new works. She also has a decade of experience producing regional community opera.

From 2013-2022, Jenna led community opera projects in QLD and WA, including The Opera Gala for the Albany Arts Festival and the ground-breaking 2021 project La Traviata in Concert. These projects combined visiting artists with local musicians, maximising community involvement and outcomes.

In 2011, Jenna co-founded Operabox in Perth, producing grand operas with an orchestra. She played a key role in its artistic and financial growth, establishing Operabox as a significant contributor to the WA opera scene. The company wound up in 2017, with its funds supporting new grassroots opera producers through the Operabox Emerging Arts Leadership Awards in 2023.

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"Robertson made a significant contribution to supporting emerging

singers and broadening the operatic repertoire for WA audiences.”

 

Limelight Magazine

Balancing Arts and Engineering (2001-2015)

Jenna worked in parallel with her arts practice for a decade internationally as a Chartered Chemical Engineer (Russia, UK, Australia, Netherlands, USA) for multinationals Chevron and Shell.

 

In this capacity, she won prestigious industry level awards for her leadership and innovation (CME Women in Resources WA and Salters Institute UK) and was earmarked for executive leadership.

 

Here she developed strength in leading large and complex projects, in public speaking and in group facilitation.  

 

Jenna 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 in collaboration with Edinburgh University.

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