New Zealander baritone Julien Van Mellaerts graduated with the Tagore Gold Medal from the Royal College of Music Opera Studio. He won numerous prizes at competitions including the 2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal and the 2017 Wigmore Hall / Kohn Foundation International Song Competition, among others. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, he organized and curated Whānau: Voices of Aotearoa, far from home. Devised to highlight the plight of and raise funds for those New Zealand singers unable either to return home or work, the concert was recorded at London’s Royal Albert Hall and broadcast on both YouTube and Radio New Zealand Concert. Earlier this year, he was invited to return to the Royal College of Music to teach English Song. Van Mellaerts is an alumnus of the Verbier Festival Academy.