Franz von Suppé’s Requiem—‘Thus is the power of music’

The Grads 2016 concert season opened on Sunday 8th May with absolute éclat and elan, a promising introduction to an exciting season highlighting some little known, rarely-performed works.

We believe that our performance of Franz von Suppé’s Requiem was an Australian first—and it proved surprising in many hoped for, but unexpected, ways.

Anna Dowsley Sarah Toth

Anna Dowsley Sarah Toth

A common theme in the feedback we received was the unexpectedness of it. With von Suppé’s reputation built on light operettas and similar music, the profundity and grace of his Requiem – as well as the complexities of both the instrumental and vocal writing – caught many by surprise.

Our soloists included established and emerging talent.

We were pleased to welcome soprano Sarah Toth who has performed numerous operatic roles across the spectrum both here and overseas. Amongst other awards, Sarah was also a semi-finalist in the 2015 Joan Carden Award competition. It was a particular pleasure to welcome her to the stage.

Anna Dowsley is well known to audiences of the Grads, having appeared as guest soloist on a number of occasions, including our 2013 performance of Verdi’s Requiem, the memorable Mass in C (Missa Dei Patris) by Jan Zelenka, also performed in 2013, and our December 2015 performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt. Recipient of a number of prestigious awards, Anna is forging a very successful career as principal artist with Opera Australia. Her performance lived up to expectations, with her rendition of the ‘Lacrimosa’ of particular note.

David Hamilton Christopher Bowen

David Hamilton Christopher Bowen

Distinguished tenor, David Hamilton last performed with the Grads in our performance of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater just one year ago in May 2015. It was a great pleasure to have him sing with us again.

Bass Adrian Tamburini, currently principal artist with Opera Australia, who performed so memorably in the August 2014 premiere of Christopher Bowen’s An Australian War Requiem, and subsequently in our 2015 performance of  Dvořák’s wonderful Stabat Mater, excelled. His performance of the ‘Hostias’ brought tears to many eyes, and it will be long remembered for its passion and depth.

When singing as an ensemble the soloists blended beautifully, no one voice overpowering the other, allowing each full rein to shine.

A warm welcome to our new orchestra leader, Kirsten Williams, Associate Concertmaster with the SSO, who brought her extensive experience and a marked enthusiasm for the performance of a little-known and rarely performed work to lead a very polished and confident orchestral ensemble.

The orchestra performed with a real edge, and evident pleasure at playing something unexpectedly powerful. It comprised very distinguished musicians, including violinist Rebecca Gill, also an SSO member, as well as cellist Hyungsuk Bae, the SSO’s 2016 Fellow. Many other musicians in the orchestra are regular members of the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.

Adrian Tamburini

Adrian Tamburini

Particular tribute should be paid to the prominent brass sections, including trombonists Michael Wyborn, Mitchell Nissen and Pius Choi, who rose to take well-deserved applause at the conclusion of the concert.

But the whole orchestra is to be commended, particularly when you take into account that this was a completely new work to all of them.

A new work to all of us, choir included! The choice of a virtual unknown work was a brave and adventurous step for all involved. It gave the Choir the opportunity to show its mettle and it more than met the challenge, and all within a relatively limited rehearsal period. The precision of the choir’s vocals, particularly on the rapid quaver and semi-quaver passages, the nuanced contrast of subjects in the fugues, and the very effective dynamic control (particularly the diminuendos) give ample evidence of the Graduate choir’s expanding capacities. Of particular note were the dense rich textures of the a capella sections.

There was evident enjoyment in the performance, even from the conductor who bore the responsibility for making it all dance together.

This was an enjoyment shared by performers and audience alike. We’ve received a large number of congratulatory messages, commenting on how remarkable and powerful the work is, and how enjoyable it was to sing it/share in it/hear it. It’s easy to agree with the conductor’s assessment that this work should be a major addition to the repertoire of great choral works.

One particular message shows that the music had considerable impact. Two guests of our bass, Adrian, attended. ‘They had never been to a classical concert in their lives. So, on my recommendation, they came to see the concert. I found them at the conclusion of the performance in the quadrangle, both of them had tears streaming down their faces saying that they had never imagined that music like that could have moved them so much. I didn’t want to embarrass them by asking where their tears had come from but I was honoured and proud that our collective performance had touched their hearts and made such a strong impact on them. Thus is the power of music.’

A great start to our 2016 concert season, setting a high benchmark for the rest of the year.

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Changing of the guard in the leadership of the orchestra

One of the important factors, which makes attending concerts by the Sydney University Graduate Choir a rewarding experience is the consistently outstanding contribution made by our excellent orchestral musicians. Christopher Bowen has established such a good rapport with them that many of the musicians perform so regularly at our concerts and perform at such a high standard of professionalism, that one might take them for a permanent orchestra.

Orchestra Leader Stan Kornel

Orchestra Leader Stan Kornel

For the past few years, we have had the good fortune to have had Stan W. Kornel as Concertmaster. Stan has been a member of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) since 1988. He is an early music specialist, and the Sydney Consort, the early music ensemble which he founded in 1996, is a valuable contributor to the musical life of New South Wales. (A number of choir members have become regulars at the Consort’s concerts and we can recommend them to anybody interested in scholarly informed and beautifully performed early music).

Stan’s musicianship, enthusiasm and experience have been important assets to the orchestra and of great assistance to Christopher Bowen. Stan has been centrally involved in the important milestones of the Choir’s concert-giving in recent years: our Verdi Requiem of April 2013; the premiere of Christopher’s An Australian War Requiem in August 2014, and the Joan Carden Award Finals concert, for the first time  with orchestra and before an audience in August 2015.

Unfortunately, Stan has come to the regretful but unavoidable conclusion that the pressures on his time associated with performances of the SSO and the Sydney Consort will no longer permit him to lead the orchestra in our concerts. He says that he has derived great pleasure from the association and sends his best wishes to the Choir. We would like to place on record our thanks for Stan’s splendid contribution and to wish him all the best for the future.

It is good to be able to report that the connection between the first desk of our orchestra and the SSO’s violins is set to continue. .Pamela Traynor (soprano), the Choir’s Orchestra Manager informs us that, beginning with our next concert, a performance of the Requiem of Franz von Suppé on Sunday, 8 May, the orchestra will be led by Kirsten Williams. Kirsten has been Associate Concertmaster of the SSO since 2000. She has also been a member of the orchestra of the Royal Opera House , Covent Garden, and spent two years as a member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Kirsten has also been a member of the Australian Chamber Orchestra as Associate Leader, and Guest Concertmaster of the Australian Opera and Ballet and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

We would like to welcome Kirsten to our choral world. We trust that she will enjoy making music in the Great Hall with a distinguished group of instrumentalist colleagues – and us.

John Bowan


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An exciting beginning to the year— Franz von Suppé’s Requiem

We’re just one month away from our first concert of 2016—it’s incredible to think that this year is almost one third of the way done!

Franz von Suppé

Franz von Suppé

Our 2016 concert series encompasses a range of well-known masterworks as well as exciting discoveries, commencing in May with what we believe to be the Australian premiere of Franz von Suppé’s magnificent Italian-style Requiem.

Von Suppé is not a particularly familiar name to Australian audiences, however his finely crafted compositions, particularly the Requiem, deserve greater prominence on the concert stage.

Franz von Suppé was born in 1819 in the Kingdom of Dalmatia (now Croatia), which at that time was part of the Austrian empire. He spent much of his musical working life in Vienna, where he composed for the Theater in der Josefstadt, the Caritheater in Leopldstadt and the Theater an Wien.

Completed and first performed in Vienna in 1855, the Requiem in D minor marks a shift away from von Suppé’s more established oeuvre of overtures and light operettas (he composed in the vicinity of four dozen of them) into an intense, yet refined treatment of the liturgy.

We will be joined in our performance by four outstanding soloists, well known to our regular audiences: Sarah Toth (soprano), Anna Dowsley (alto), David Hamilton (tenor) and Adrian Tamburini (bass).

Please join us at the Great Hall, University of Sydney, at 3pm on Sunday 8 May for a wonderful afternoon of music.

Following our Mother’s Day performance of von Suppé’s Requiem, we will turn our attention to CPE Bach’s Magnificat and JD Heinichen’s Missa no 9, to feature at our winter concert on 21 August at 3pm. The year ends with Joseph Haydn’s celebrated Creation, to be performed on 4 December 2016 at 5pm. All three concerts will take place at the Great Hall, University of Sydney.

Sydney Sings…Messiah!
A special event for this year—and an optional inclusion in the annual subscription fee—is ‘Sydney Sings…Messiah’ at the Sydney Town Hall, on Sunday 13 November 2016 at 3pm. This will be the 4th time that we have staged this truly epic work in this format, and we are anticipating that interest from potential guest choir members and, ultimately, our enthusiastic audience, will equal (if not surpass) previous years.

The Sydney University Graduate Choir is committed to sharing the joy of music with our community, and ‘Sydney Sings…Messiah’ is an important way for us to reach out and involve everyone in a very exciting way.

Subscribe to our complete concert series for 2016
I hope you’ll consider subscribing to our complete concert series. As well as costs savings over the year, holding a subscription ticket means that you always have a seat reserved for you, as well as discounted program prices. And, for the first time we have included this ‘Sydney Sings’ concert as an option for subscribers—a bonus fourth concert, to be held in the spectacular Sydney Town Hall.

Our subscribers help us to continue to present music of a high standard with professional soloists and the splendid orchestral players you have experienced. A Graduate Choir subscription also makes an excellent gift for music lovers. Just fill in the form in the brochure (click on the image below) and return it to us.

Concert series 2016

Concert series 2016

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Handel’s ‘Israel in Egypt’ – 6 December 2015

Israel in Egypt

Israel in Egypt

The Choir successfully concluded a ground-breaking and musically satisfying year with its December Great Hall performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt. Following our initial encounter with Dvořák’s choral music in May, and the logistical challenge of organizing the final of the Joan Carden Award before an audience and with orchestra for the first time in August, it might have been expected that reverting to a famous Handel oratorio would have been a straight-forward matter.

This was not the case. The work is very long and has an unusually large proportion of the music devoted to the choir. Moreover, Christopher Bowen, with his penchant for the novel and unusual, had elected to perform the work in its three-part original version, with the inclusion of Handel’s reworking of his funeral anthem for Queen Caroline, The Ways of Zion do Mourn, as the First Part. So the task of getting all the notes under our choral belts in the few weeks available was particularly tough. Christopher managed to soften the blow with a few judicious cuts and the allocation of substantial parts of the choral score to the Chamber Choir. Ros Moxham (soprano) once again provided yeoman service in assisting with training the Chamber Choir.

A particularly pleasing aspect of the performance was the participation of six excellent soloists: Anita Kyle and Emma Moore (sopranos), Anna Dowsley ((mezzo), Richard Butler (tenor), and David Hidden and Simon Lobelson (basses) Four amongst these are old friends of the choir: Emma was the 2011 winner of the Joan Carden Award and is coming to the end of several years of study in Berlin; Anna has sung with us on a number of occasions, including in our memorable Verdi Requiem in 2013, and has begun a very promising career, singing principal roles with Opera Australia; Richard was an impressive Evangelist in our Johannes Passion of 2013,while Simon was a soloist in the same performance. This sextet made an important contribution to a successful concert.

Final rehearsal

Final rehearsal

Our orchestral players were also once again an invaluable element in the success of the performance. Regular Leader, Stan Kornel, was unable to play, but sent a warm message, indicating that pressures on his time will make it difficult for him to play for us in the future but that he had greatly enjoyed his association with Christopher and the Choir and wishing us well. When Choir President, David Moser, read Stan’s message out to a rehearsal, it was greeted with warm applause by the Choir. The orchestra was effectively led on this occasion by Maria Lindsay. Other old orchestral friends played in the strings: Inge Courtney-Haentjes (violin), Robert Harris (viola), John Benz (cello), and Dorit Herskovits (double bass). The wind section included Leah Lock and Bronwyn Needham (flutes), Duncan Thorpe and Anna Rodger (oboes), and bassoon legend John Cran, whose just-in-time arrival on concert day threatened to produce panic.

The brass section included regulars like David Pye (trumpet) and Michael Wyborn (trombone). They and Steve Machamer (tympani) had opportunities to blaze forth in the more martial passages. Peter Kneeshaw was kept busy on the organ throughout the performance.

The performance was well received by the packed Great Hall audience. This included our Patron, Professor the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, who has now stood down from her important positions as Governor of NSW and Chancellor of the University but continues to enjoy high respect among the State’s music community, not least us. Another of our admired friends, the great Joan Carden AO OBE, was also present. Both ladies joined the Committee for a post-concert reception in the Senate Room, which the soloists and their guests also attended.

The Choir’s path-finding role in Sydney’s musical life is underlined by the fact that Israel in Egypt is scheduled for performance in 2016 by Sydney Philharmonia. Next year, Grads will have the chance to renew acquaintance with Handel’s most popular work, the iconic Messiah, to be performed with guest choristers in the Sydney Town Hall in November as part of our ‘Sydney Sings’ series.  Those parts of Israel In Egypt, which Handel reused in Messiah, were an interesting preview of that event.

It is also noteworthy that the Sydney Symphony’s  publicity for next year highlights the orchestra’s ‘return to our former home’, the Sydney Town Hall, with its ‘spectacular acoustics’, for performances in August of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. Once again, Christopher Bowen is ahead of the curve.

John Bowan

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Further news of Grads’ soloists…

Anna Dowsley

Anna Dowsley, following the Verdi Requiem at the Sydney Town Hall, 2013

A number of the soloists who have given great pleasure in their performances with the Choir are currently doing very well with Opera Australia (OA).

In particular, Anna Dowsley, the young mezzo-soprano who starred in our memorable Verdi Requiem in April 2013, after being highly commended by the judges in the 2012 Joan Carden Award), and who also was a soloist in our December 2013 concert of baroque music by Zelenka and Vivaldi, has begun to sing important principal roles. She has received favourable reviews for her performance as ‘Cherubino’ in the current production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; in the words of Limelight magazine, Anna is ‘a singer very much on the rise’, and is proving ‘a firm audience favourite’. In the Sydney Morning Herald, Peter McCallum wrote that she sang ‘the character’s two magical arias with fresh bright-eyed colour’ and ‘brought credibility to the chemistry that must be ignited between her and the Countess.’ Having attended a performance of this production, your correspondent can attest to the fact that Anna belongs on the stage of the Opera House. She received a particularly warm curtain call and was an obvious hit with the audience.

Opera Australia clearly has great expectations of her. Writing in OA’s prospectus for 2016, Lyndon Terracini, the company’s Artistic Director, singles Anna out for special mention: ‘In 2016, we see Australian singers take on new roles, such as Nicole Car in Luisa Miller and Anna Dowsley in The Barber of Seville.’ Anna, in fact, is scheduled to sing the role of Rosina, the female lead in Rossini’s masterpiece, and will also be singing Dorabella, one of the two female leads in Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. A singer very much on the rise, indeed.

In the light of this career momentum, it is great to be able to say that Anna will be singing in the Choir’s next concert, our performance of Handel’s Israel in Egypt on 6 December in the Great Hall. We can feel very gratified that, through the Joan Carden Award, we have established a strong relationship with this outstanding singer.

Adrian Tamburini

Adrian Tamburini: An Australian War Requiem, August 2014

The career of bass Adrian Tamburini is further developed than Anna’s. His excellent singing was very significant in our performances of Christopher Bowen’s An Australian War Requiem in August 2014 and Dvořák’s Stabat Mater in May this year. Adrian sings roles in a number of OA productions next year, including the important one of the Speaker in The Magic Flute. He sang the role of the Gardener in the production of Figaro mentioned above and made it into a memorable and central one.

Tenor Stuart Haycock sang in our performance of The Creation of Haydn in August 2009 and our Australian premiere of Beethoven’s Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph the Second in May 2006. He sings a couple of roles in OA productions in 2016, in Verdi’s Luisa Miller and Simon Boccanegra. Baritone David Greco, who sang with us in the December concert of music by Finzi and Vaughan Williams, has a small role in Prokoviev’s The Love for Three Oranges.

Former winners of the Joan Carden Award (JCA) are also represented in next year’s OA program. Eva Kong, who, as Jinhee Uhm won the JCA in 2008, also has a role in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, and sings the important role of ‘Liu’ in Turandot, OA’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour for 2015. Eva sang the role of ‘Barbarina’ in the recent production of Figaro, and brought out all the charm and loveable nature of this character. (Eva won your correspondent over by referring specifically to her performances with Grads, in our performances of the Saint-Saëns Requiem (2009) and Mozarts ‘Great’ C Minor Mass (2010) in her biographical note in the program.) Finally, Agnes Sarkis, JCA winner in 2012, sings Cherubino in the 2016 touring production of The Marriage of Figaro.

Beyond Opera Australia, it is a pleasure to record major success for another young singer, who has been a soloist with the Choir. Baritone Alexander Knight has sung with us on a few occasions, notably in the title role in Mendelssohn’s Paulus in May 2012. On 1 August in Melbourne, Alexander won the German-Australian Award for 2015, which carries with it a Principal position at the Wiesbaden Opera. It is very good to see this accomplished young artist recognized in this way.

John Bowan


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Finals of the Joan Carden Award 2015

Ashlyn Tymms Photographer David Gross

Ashlyn Tymms

The music for our August concert, consisting of three secular works for chorus and orchestra by Brahms, the Australian premiere of Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn’s cantata, Hiob (Job)and assorted arias sung by the three young finalists in the revamped Joan Carden Award, made for one of the most interesting events in the Choir’s recent history.

It was a major feat of organization, especially by Catherine Crittenden (alto), which made the new Joan Carden Award arrangements work. (Cath already has the Patron’s Award for service to the Choir. Unfortunately, the Choir does not have the Victoria Cross in its gift.) Since the Award’s inception in 2005, it has been run in close cooperation with the Conservatorium, which chose the contestants and provided the infrastructure for holding the event (venue, pianist, and an adjudicator to serve with Joan Carden and Christopher Bowen). By mutual agreement, this arrangement between the Choir and the Con was terminated in 2013, and we, or, rather, Catherine, found ourselves organizing the Award on our own. The complexity of the concert raised a series of challenges, which were ably met by Jackie Rotenstein (soprano-concert manager), Catherine O’Doherty (alto-front of house manager), and, in particular, David Moser (President), who coordinated the whole show.

Soonki Park

Soonki Park Photographer David Gross

In welcoming the audience, David announced that the concert would be dedicated to the memory of Joyce Jones, the much loved alto who died recently, and whose funeral had taken place a couple of days earlier, with a number of Grads singing and Christopher conducting.

Out of the semi-finals held in June, three finalists emerged: Morgan Balfour (soprano), Ashlyn Skye Tymms (mezzo), and Soonki Park (baritone). They were given the opportunity to contest the Final by singing with our orchestra under Christopher Bowen, in front of our Great Hall audience and adjudicators Joan Carden AO OBE, (who rose from her sick bed for the occasion), Anson Austin OAM, the distinguished, retired operatic tenor, and Christopher Bowen OAM.

Morgan Balfour Photographer David Gross

Morgan Balfour

This made for a veritable musical treat for the audience and the Choir, which had the privilege of listening from the risers. Ashlyn Tymms went first and sang Amour! Viens aider ma faiblesse! from Samson et Dalila of Saint-Saëns (smart choice, given Christopher’s predilection for this composer), and Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, from the Rückertlieder of Mahler. Soonki Park offered Rivolgete a lui lo sguardo from Mozart’s Cosí fan Tutte, and O Carlo ascolta….Io morro from Verdi’s Don Carlos.(Soonki has been appearing in the chorus in Opera Australia’s recent production of this great work.) Morgan Balfour sang two Donizetti arias, Il faut partir from La Fille du Régiment and Ah tardai troppo…O luce di quest’anima from Linda di Chamounix.

The musical offerings at this concert were much appreciated for their variety, although it created some sometimes quite bizarre juxtapositions—most glaringly that of the jaunty frivolity of Donizetti with the black weirdness of Brahms’ and Goethe’s Gesang der Parzen.

The Great Hall audience and the Choir members were very impressed by the high quality of the three singers, all of whom sounded terrific. The adjudicators selected Ashlyn Tymms, who had sung in our performance of Dvořák’s Stabat Mater in May, as the winner. Given the chance to cast a vote, the audience chose Morgan Balfour. Ashlyn goes to London in a few weeks to take up a scholarship to undertake the Master of Performance program at the Royal College of Music. The Award’s prize of $6,000 should stand her in good stead. We congratulate Ashlyn, and wish her, Morgan and Soonki all the best for the future, and look forward to their singing in future concerts with the Choir.

Joan Carden Award finals 2015

Joan Carden Award finals 2015
L-R Anson Austin, Joan Carden, Christopher Bowen, Morgan Balfour, Ashlyn Tymms, Soonki Park Photographer David Gross

Not having had to do any of the work to organize the event, one can say that the new format of the Joan Carden Award has got off to an outstandingly successful start. From the point of those who do have to do the work, a major improvement is that the JCA will from now on, be held every two years, instead of annually.

Along with the glamour and tension of the singing competition (shades of Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger), the concert included what we believe to be the Australian premiere of Fanny Mendelssohn’s cantata, Hiob (the German name for Job), sung by the Chamber Choir. The fine Australian pianist and writer, Anna Goldsworthy, who is a scholar on Felix Mendelssohn’s elder sister, kindly agreed that we could use some of her material in the program note, which helped to put Fanny and her music into historical context. Christoph Kaufmann (tenor) produced a beautiful program and made an important contribution to the program notes, in addition to his production of the vocal scores and translations. Clive Faro (bass), our new program editor, produced a finely focussed approach to the content.

Hiob turned out to be lively and entertaining, and challenging to sing. It was given a rousing performance by the Chamber Choir, to whose training Ros Moxham (soprano) once again made a valuable contribution. An initial judgment is that Hiob is probably not a great work, but interesting and well worth performing.

The full Choir’s vocal contribution to the concert was the performance of three rarely heard secular works by Brahms: Schicksalslied (‘Song of Destiny’), Gesang der Parzen (‘Song of the Fates’) and Nänie (‘Nenia’), to texts by Hölderlin, Goethe and Schiller respectively. These are all dark, somewhat obscure poems and Brahms’s music follows suit and we found some of the music elusive and difficult to learn. Hearing the works for the first time with the orchestration at the orchestral rehearsal the day before the performance, however, we began to appreciate their beautiful passages ‘(for example, the extended orchestral introduction to Schicksalslied, and much of Nänie) and their overall musical quality.

Mention of the orchestral writing is a reminder to acknowledge the splendid contribution of our 40 orchestral players, who played superbly across this wide variety of musical styles. Stan Kornel was back as orchestra leader, after missing our May concert. Our distinguished principal clarinettist, Deborah de Graaff, returned, joining a fine woodwind group which included legendary bassoonist, John Cran, oboist Duncan Thorpe, while Anna Rodger played the famous cor anglais part in the Mahler work, and flutist, Bronwyn Needham. Robert Harris led a six-player viola section for the second time this year, and John Benz the cello section, which had an especially important part to play in the Brahms works, while those two veterans of our double bass section, Paul Laszlo and John Ockwell, both played. Other notable instrumentalists on duty were Graham Nicholls (horn), Melanie McLoughlin (trumpet), and Steve Machamer (timpani). Azumi Lehmann (harp) played for us for the first time. Christopher Bowen again demonstrated his musical gifts by getting to the heart of the style required in all the music.

John Bowan

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Five minutes with this year’s Joan Carden Award finalists—Ashlyn Tymms

Ashlyn Tymms

Ashlyn Tymms

Ashlyn is a graduate of the University of Melbourne (with a Bachelor of Music). She shares a glimpse of her musical childhood, and hopes and plans for the future.

What influenced your choice to embark on a musical career? Do you remember the first time you performed in front of an audience?

I have always had a strong interest in singing and music making. From the age of seven I began classical singing lessons and my voice teacher entered me into my first Eisteddfod – I sang ‘Castle on a Cloud’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Les Misérables to my first real audience!

How would you describe your musical journey so far?

I followed an active music schedule throughout high school where I received scholarships in both percussion and voice and was Music Prefect in my final year. At seventeen I moved to Melbourne to pursue further vocal training and completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. After a year of performance training at The Opera Studio Melbourne I then focussed on competitions and furthering my repertoire. I am now at an exciting stage and will be headed for London in just a few short weeks! I am about to commence a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music.

Which role/piece of music have you enjoyed performing most, and why?

Each new piece opens up new opportunity to grow as an artist, this is the beauty of music and singing – it is limitless!

At the moment I am loving working on the piece I will perform for the first time with orchestra at the Joan Carden finals – Mahler’s Ich bin der Welt. I am also working on a lot of oratorio repertoire including Handel, Elgar and Bach which really moves me.

Where do you hope to be in five years?

Europe/UK travelling, amongst friends and family, exploring, creating and enjoying a career in vocal performance!

The finals of the Joan Carden Award will take place this Sunday, 16 August, commencing at 3pm, at the Great Hall, University of Sydney. Tickets are available from the Seymour Centre and Ticketmaster.


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