Musical monarch on the verge of a nervous breakdown

 

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Simon Lobelson is the latest singer required to summon the five octaves required for Maxwell Davies’ ‘mad’ King George.

Source: Musical monarch on the verge of a nervous breakdown

by Clive Paget on September 30, 2016 (just now) filed under Classical Music | Vocal & Choral | Opera | Comment Now – See more here          Limelight Magazine

 

One of the more curious things you might have noted about the passing of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies earlier this year is how a composer who was such an enfant terrible back in the 1960s could end up the fondly admired Master of the Queen’s Music with a host of ‘popular’ compositions to his name like the catchy An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, or suites of songs to be sung by Scottish schoolkids.

Next week in Sydney, the ambitious Verbrugghen Ensemble are aiming to put the record straight by winding back the clock on Sir Peter in a programme entitled Of Magic and Madness, the centrepiece of which will be a performance of one of his seminal early works: Eight Songs for a Mad King. Directed by Kate Gaul, the production will feature baritone Simon Lobelson as the deranged King George III as well as a bold new work by composer Matthew Hindson (This Year’s Apocalypse) and the lyrical Sextuor Mystique by Heitor Villa-Lobos.

 

Vivien Conacher in recital – Moonstruck at the Bloomsbury Festival

A recital of English song, German lieder, and French mélodie selected and performed by Australian mezzo-soprano Vivien Conacher.

Vivien is a 2016 Tait Awardee.

moonstricken-300x250

Date: October 20, 2016 6:30 pm
Venue: Lumen URC

moon·strick·en (-strĭk′ən)

adj.
1. Dazed or distracted with romantic sentiment.
2. Mentally deranged; crazy.

Tickets: £6

book-now-purple-button

Vivien Conacher
Vivien Conacher is an operatic mezzo-soprano from Sydney, Australia. She now holds a Tier 1 UK Exceptional Talent Visa and currently based in London where she studies under the tutelage of Yvonne Kenny. Vivien trained at the Royal College of Music, where she achieved a Distinction in her Masters degree in Vocal Performance. She then completed the Opera Works training scheme at English National Opera. Vivien is also an alumna of the Oxford Lieder Festival Mastercourse with Roger Vignoles and has participated twice in the prestigious Britten Pears Young Artist Programme.

vivien_conacher_compressed

Vivien has performed for Opera Australia, Grange Park Opera, the BBC Proms, Wexford Festival Opera, Iford Arts Festival, British Youth Opera, and Bloomsbury Opera. On the concert platform in Sydney, she has appeared as a soloist for Pacific Opera, Opera & Arts Support Group, and The Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation. In the UK, Vivien has performed in concert at the historical St-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Foundling Museum, and her new solo show entitled ‘Moonstricken’ will be performed at this year’s Bloomsbury Festival on 20 October. Vivien wishes to express her sincere gratitude to the Tait Memorial Trust for their support of her continued study and training.

Les Chemins de l’amour by Poulenc
Vivien Conacher (mezzo soprano) & Simon Kenway (piano)
copyright Puresonics Media for Pacific Opera.

 

Links: Vivien’s website

Moonstricken event information here

Recipients of 2016 Leanne Benjamin Awards announced

Three young Australian ballet dancers are the lucky recipients of funding from the Tait Memorial Trust, Leanne Benjamin Awards in 2016. Created in 2014, to honour the career of Australian principal ballerina, Leanne Benjamin AM OBE to assist with the costs that young Australians face when they come to study in the United Kingdom. Carefully selected by Leanne Benjamin personally we are delighted to announce our support of these talented young artists.

The Leanne Benjamin Awards
selected by Leanne Benjamin AM OBE
Financial assistance for young Australian dancers studying at major UK ballet schools

Leanne Benjamin, The Royal Ballet, Jewels , Emeralds, 2007

Leanne Benjamin, The Royal Ballet, Jewels , Emeralds, 2007

John Frost – Leanne Benjamin Award
Funded by Australian theatrical producer and Tait Patron, John Frost AM
The Royal Ballet School

Rebecca Blenkinsop

Rebecca Blenkinsop

Rebecca Blenkinsop

Rebecca is 17 years old and is from Melbourne, Australia. She started dancing at the age of 10 years and at the age of 11 was accepted into the dance programme at the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. At the age of 13 Rebecca began to develop a passion for ballet and
for the last three years has studied Cecchetti. She completed her final examination of ‘Advanced 2’ with a score of 100%.

At the age of 14 Rebecca won the State Silver Medal Award section, and also the National Lucie Saranova Silver section for her Cecchetti. Later that year Rebecca won a bursary to compete in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in the United States of America. Whilst one of the youngest
competitors, Rebecca received the second prize and was recognized as ‘The Most Promising Dancer’.

Rebecca’s Cecchetti success continued this year when she won the National Lucie Saranova Gold Medal section. In January 2015, she was also delighted to be a finalist in the prestigious Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland where Mr Powney first saw her.

Rebecca had the opportunity to perform the role of a child ballerina with Victoria Opera, in their production of ‘La Traviata’. She was also cast in several lead roles in her school productions, her most memorable being a ballet work of Opus 47 choreographed by English-born dancer Jonathan Taylor. Rebecca has received her ballet training from some amazing ballet teachers over the last few years, three of whom trained at The Royal Ballet School. Rebecca feels honoured to have been selected to attend The Royal Ballet School and looks forward to receiving what she considers is the best available teaching and the opportunity to train with exceptionally talented students.

This is Rebecca’s second year with The Royal Ballet School and as a LBA recipient.

Leanne Benjamin Award
The English National Ballet School

Chloe Keneally

Chloe Keneally

Chloe Keneally

Chloe Keneally studied at the Debra Whitten School of Dance, Australia. In January 2016 she auditioned for the English National Ballet School and was accepted immediately for commencement in September.

In April 2016, Chloe competed in the 2016 Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York following a successful video audition in December 2015. In 2015 she was selected to participate in The Royal Ballet (Upper School) Summer School in London as one of five Australians. Chloe participated in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod and was a Finalist in the Robert and Elizabeth Albert Scholarship (top 8%) and then placed 2nd (out of 80) for the 15 years classical section.

Other successes include the encouragement award for the 2015 RAD Jacqueline Morland Awards (youngest and only non-full time student in finals) and was awarded the most outstanding classical dancer of Brisbane Eisteddfod that same year. Chloe has been part of the Australian Ballet School Interstate training program from level 1 through to Invitee, and continued to train weekly with the Queensland Ballet Junior training program (since 2012). A career highlight was to dance the lead role of the Sugarplum fairy in 2015 in the Debra Whitten Ballet School end of year concert, dancing the challenging Grand Pas de Deux and variation with a professional male ballet dancer as guest artist

Leanne Benjamin Award
The English National Ballet School

Lauren Songberg

Lauren Songberg

Lauren Songberg

Lauren has been dancing since the age of 4 at a local dance school, under the guidance of Kim Traynor. Through the encouragement of her teachers, her love of ballet was fostered. After performing with the Australian Ballet, in The Nutcracker, her dream was set. Shortly after, she became an associate of the Australian Ballet School, maintaining this position for 4 years.

In 2012, Lauren decided to focus on ballet and moved to The McDonald College and was taught by various teachers including Jane Kesby, Josephine Jason and Allan Cross. to continue her training. Moreover, Lauren performed various roles for the Premier State Ballet.

This year, Lauren was offered numerous places at various schools across Europe, but has decided upon attending the English National Ballet School, commencing this September.

Along with performing choreographed dances, Lauren has taken a passion to choreographing her own dances including; a contemporary piece she performed at the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship Finals and a classical solo which won the Classical Ballet 17/o section at Sydney Eisteddfod.

Tait Awardee, Benjamin Mellefont to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

We are delighted to share the news that Tait Awardee, Benjamin Mellefont is to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto on Thursday 13 October 2016 7:30pm & Friday 14 October 2016 7:30pm at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall with the ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.

Benjamin Mellefont

Benjamin Mellefont

Benjamin was appointed Principal Clarinet of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2015. He has also performed as Guest Principal of the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Opera, London Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and Sinfonia Cymru, as well as performing with the London Sinfonietta. He has played at the Salzburg, Edinburgh and Aldeburgh Festivals.

Tait Winter Prom 2016

Benjamin joins us at the Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square, 30th November, to play Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the Tait Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Jessica Cottis.

More about the Prom

Tait Winter Prom

Tait Winter Prom

Benjamin’s next performances

ROYAL LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Thursday 13 October 2016 7:30pm
Friday 14 October 2016 7:30pm

Book Tickets

Berlioz  Overture, Béatrice et Bénédict

Mozart  Clarinet Concerto

Shostakovich  Symphony No.5
Nicholas Collon, conductor
Benjamin Mellefont, clarinet

“Post-concert Question Time (Thursday 13 October) – starts 15 minutes after the concert in the Music Room. Join conductor Nicholas Collon and Principal Clarinet Benjamin Mellefont, in the Music Room after the concert.

Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony isn’t just a matter of life and death – it’s more important than that. Written as an answer to Stalin at a time when one wrong note would have landed Shostakovich in the Gulag, it’s one of 20th-century music’s true epics, told in music of raw feeling.

It’ll make a powerful Liverpool debut for one of the UK’s most talked-about young conductors – and a striking contrast to Mozart’s beloved Clarinet Concerto, played by our own Principal Clarinet Benjamin Mellefont. Berlioz’s comedy overture kicks things off with a wink.”

Form the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s website

To learn more about Benjamin please go to his website

John Amis Award at Dartington International Summer School

We are delighted to announce The Tait Memorial Trust, ‘John Amis Award’ at the Dartington International Summer School. The Award, valued at £1,700, will fund the studies of a young Australian for two weeks intensive work at next year’s School. This will be an annual award available to an Australian citizen who wishes to further their musical studies in the UK. Please apply directly to Dartington  to register your interest.

Melbourne born Tenor Matthew Thomson was the John Amis Award’s first recipient at the 2016 Dartington International Summer School and Festival. Speaking of Matthew as the first recipient of the award, Isla Baring says,

“John loved singing, he loved Australia, and he loved Dartington – these three elements have come together perfectly in Matthew receiving the first of these annual awards in celebration of John’s legacy at Dartington.”

John Amis
Writer, broadcaster, narrator, mimic, wit, raconteur, visionary, bon vivant, and an excellent organizer, John Amis’ life was a remarkable one, through which music, and the joy of it, ran as a rich golden vein.

John Amis at Dartington International Summer School

John Amis at Dartington International Summer School

When John Amis died in 2014, Isla Baring, the “Indian Summer” of his life, and Chair of the Tait Memorial Trust, of which John too had been an active patron, invited gifts from those who loved and appreciated him to create a ‘John Amis Award.

In celebration of John Amis’ defining role in its history, The Dartington International Summer School and Festival, and the Tait Memorial Trust have now joined to offer this award to an Australian Student applying to attend the Summer School each year.

John’s role in the Summer School goes back to 1948, when as William Glock’s right hand man, he helped set up the Summer School at Bryanston, a relationship that continued when the Summer School moved to Dartington in 1951, where John was closely involved in both its artistic direction and administration. Through the close friendships John built with notable musicians, composers, and conductors, he ensured that many of them featured at Dartington, where he worked to develop the special musical atmosphere that pervades to this day. (John was also in charge of the “trogs”; the unpaid volunteers who keep the show on the road – christened “troglodytes” by George Malcolm one summer.)

Matthew Thomson, Tenor

Matthew specialises in Baroque to Classical solo and chamber repertoire, this year bringing the characters of ‘Pyramus’ and ‘Sailor’ to colourful dramatic and vocal life at Dartington in Richard Williams’ quirky, demanding ‘back to back’ productions of ‘Pyramus & Thisbe’ and ‘Dido and Aeneas’, and excelling in his solo performances in the Monteverdi Vespers and Handel’s ‘Alexander’s Feast’.

Matthew Thomson, Tenor. Recipient of the John Amis Award at Dartington International Summer School

Matthew Thomson

Matthew says of his experience on the Advanced Opera Course at this year’s Dartington International Summer School and Festival

“These two weeks at Dartington provided one of the most intensive and rewarding learning and performance experiences of my career. I am thrilled too to be the first recipient of this award.”

 

 

Matthew’s course diary

“Week 1: Emma Kirkby was amazing to work with and learn from – as well as having the opportunity to have a lesson with Jessica Cash who was fantastic!! Having so many baroque and early music instruments there and working with all the lutenists really made the experience special. Also, I think it is important to give students the opportunity to sing some solos in the major concert alongside some of the more established professionals as I did in the Monteverdi Vespers with Stile Antico. Emma said some things that really assisted me regarding vowels and how I come on to notes when I sing. This will definitely change the way I approach songs in the future. Also, I feel like Jessica Cash helped me to overcome a mental block that I have been experiencing for years regarding listening to my sound and not singing freely – a bit of a revelation really!

Week 2: It is hard to pick a highlight of this week when it was opera for every session, but I have to say, I enjoyed it so much! Working with Maggie Faultless was probably the most valuable experience for me. Also, a shout out to the staff, particularly Georgie who was very helpful and understanding. Also – I loved the music shop. So many wonderful scores and so much money I probably shouldn’t have spent but did!! I have never really considered myself as someone who was good at performing staged opera – it isn’t something I have had confidence in. Performing in Pyramus and Thisbe, the comic opera, threw me in the deep end. I had to perform lines, a death scene, learn stage movements, memorise a tonne of music and on top of all of that, it had to be funny. A massive challenge that I really feel like I rose to. My confidence in this area has increased significantly to a point where opera is something I am seriously considering pursuing further.”

Artists seeking to apply for the award should please apply to the Tait Memorial Trust info@taitmemorialtrust.org

To learn more about the Dartington International Summer School click here

To learn more about Matthew Thomson please click here

To learn more about Tait Awards please click here

 

Australia Piano Quartet to play at Wigmore Hall

AUSTRALIA PIANO QUARTET
(Rebecca Chan, violin; Daniel de Borah, piano; Thomas Rann, cello; James Wannan, viola)

Thursday 15 September 2016 at 1:00PM

Programme:
MOZART: Piano Quartet in E flat K.452 (after Quintet for piano & winds)
BRAHMS: Piano Quartet in C minor Op. 60

‘Intellectually and musically vigorous’ – Sydney Morning Herald

‘Chamber playing of the highest order’ – Limelight Magazine

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The Australia Piano Quartet, Ensemble in Residence at the University of Technology Sydney, performs concert series at the Sydney Opera House and Melbourne Recital Centre, as well as international tours throughout Europe and Asia. Following their London debut in 2015, the APQ returns to the UK, China, France and Italy in 2016.
In addition to the canonical masterpieces, the ensemble is committed to unearthing neglected works. They have commissioned piano quartets from Australian composers, including Elliott Gyger, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Dean and William Barton and have been broadcast on Foxtel Arts, ABC Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. In 2017, the ensemble will release their first disc, Mozart’s complete works for piano quartet.

The APQ appear in association with the Australian World Orchestra

www.australiapianoquartet.com
Concert information
Book tickets
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/602301553280325/

Facebook tag = @AustralianWorldOrchestra

Twitter hashtag = #AustWorldOrch

The Leanne Benjamin Awards 2015

In 2014 The Tait Memorial Trust in collaboration with Tait Patron Leanne Benjamin AM OBE launched new ballet awards for young Australian dancers studying in the UK.

Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, The Royal Ballet, Jewels , Emeralds, 2007 © Johan Persson, Courtesy of The Royal Opera House

Leanne Benjamin AM OBE, The Royal Ballet, Jewels , Emeralds, 2007 © Johan Persson, Courtesy of The Royal Opera House

The first recipient, Josephine Frick, was presented with her award at a Tait Friends event at Australia House on Tuesday 14th October 2014 as a contribution to her fees at The Royal Ballet School.

Now in its second year the Trust are delighted to announce the 2015 recipients of The Leanne Benjamin Awards

Rebecca Blenkinsop – The Royal Ballet School, John Frost Award

Rebecca is 16 years old and is from Melbourne, Australia. She started dancing at the age of 10 years and at the age of 11 was accepted into the dance programme at the Victoria College of the Arts Secondary School in Melbourne. At the age of 13 Rebecca began to develop a passion for ballet and
for the last three years has studied Cecchetti. She recently completed her final examination of ‘Advanced 2’ with a score of 100%.

At the age of 14 Rebecca won the State Silver Medal Award section, and also the National Lucie Saranova Silver section for her Cecchetti. Later that year Rebecca won a bursary to compete in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in United States of America. Whilst one of the youngest
competitors, Rebecca received second prize and was recognized as ‘The Most Promising Dancer’.

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Rebecca Blenkinsop, Prix de Lausanne 2015

Rebecca’s Cecchetti success continued this year when she won the National Lucie Saranova Gold Medal section. In January she was also delighted to be a finalist in the prestigious Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland where Mr Powney first saw her.

Rebecca had the opportunity to perform the role of a child ballerina with Victoria Opera, in their production of ‘La Traviata’. She was also cast in several lead roles in her school productions, her most memorable being a ballet work of Opus 47 choreographed by English born dancer Jonathan Taylor. Rebecca has received her ballet training from some amazing ballet teachers over the last few years, three of whom trained at The Royal Ballet School. Rebecca feels honoured to have been selected to attend The Royal Ballet School and looks forward to receiving what she considers to be the best available teaching and the opportunity to train with exceptionally talented students.

Chloe Hollow – The English National ballet School, Peggy Haim Award

Chloe started training at the age of four she studied all types of dance. She has been studying full time ballet since 2013 with Janine McGrath Classical Coaching Australia and has been studying both Cecchetti and RAD ballet syllabus over the past 10 years.

chloe hollow

Chloe Hollow

Chloe has been a member of Byron Ballet since she was seven years old where she has been in many productions leading up to become a leading artist. She also has been a full company member of Brisbane City Youth Ballet where she has been selected as a soloist and principle dancer.

Some recent highlights include:

  • 2014 Australian Bursary winner, selected to represent Australia in the Cecchetti International Ballet Competition held in Richmond Virginia USA held in August, selected as a finalist and awarded a scholarship to Boston Ballet six week summer program for 2015.
  • Selected for The Queensland Ballet Junior Program 3 for 2015.
  • 2014 Runner-up in the Australian Institute of Classical Dance International Ballet Competition (performed La Bayadere 1st Shade)
  • Selected soloist for the Youth America Grand Prix Finals held in New York in April 2015. Offered various places.
  • 2015 Alana Haines Australasian Awards awarded a scholarship to Queensland Ballet Senior Program for two weeks.
  • 2015 Auditioned for schools in the UK and Europe receiving acceptance in various schools.
  • Offered a half scholarship from English National Ballet School which she has proudly accepted. Starting with ENBS in September 2015.

Chloe is now studying at English National Ballet School in Level One.

 

Waynne Kwon, cello – Inaugural Higgins Scholar

Below is a letter from Waynne Kwon about his 1st year at the Royal Northern College of Music. Waynne is the inaugural Higgin’s Scholar. A new award generously funded by the Higgins family. The award is£5,000 per annum for 3 years.

We look forward to hearing about his 2nd year and ultimately follow the development of his professional career.

If you would like to talk to us about creating a new scholarship for a young Australian who wishes to study in the UK please contact our Chairman, Isla Baring OAM on 0207 351 0561 Please click this link  for our Friends page to learn more about ways that you can help us to support another talented young artist.

Waynne Kwon

Waynne Kwon

“My first year as an undergraduate at the Royal Northern College of Music was full of learning and wonderful new experiences. I am very privileged to be studying under Hannah Roberts, a wonderful cellist and musician. Every week I receive an hour long lesson with her, and then also have a four hour cello class. During cello class, four of her eight students perform a piece to the class and then Hannah helps us improve and enhance all aspects of cello playing and music making. The college manages to prepare students for their future as musicians by covering all aspects of music learning and making.

 

There are lectures and tutorials on music history and theory, and we also have musicianship classes to train our aural and improvisational skills. Last year I had the pleasure to play for many world renowned cellists and musicians. I was privileged enough to have masterclasses with Miklos Perenyi and Ralph Kirshbaum. I was also able to attend non cello related masterclasses given by Nobuko Imai, James Ehnes, Stephen Hough and Henk Guittart and listen to concerts given by Kathryn Stott and James Ehnes to name a few. The continuous amount of quality musical figures that give masterclasses at the college continues this year. I will be performing for Rebecca Gilliver (Principal Cello of LSO) and Istvan Vardai (winner of the Munich ARD Competition) in two weeks’ time.

 

Waynne Kwon

 

The number of competitions I entered last year was limited as I wanted to improve myself further. However, I managed to see good results in the two competitions I participated in. I was a finalist in the Concerto Competition at college where I played all three movements of the Schumann Cello concerto. I was also awarded the Junior Prize in the Raphael Sommer Cello Scholarship that was held in London. During the summer holiday I was able to return back to Sydney and relax with family and friends. I managed to give numerous concerts during the three month break.

 

The college has been very generous towards me since my audition day back in December 2013. Last year I was on a £16,000 entrance scholarship along with a loan of their wonderful Ruggieri cello made in 1694 for the duration of my studies. This year I have been awarded the Haworth Trust Fund, where they have provided me with a full £17,900 bursary and an extra £3,000 pounds to help relieve the rise in accommodation fees at the Sir Charles Groves Halls of Residence.

 

I often find myself reflecting on how lucky and privileged I truly am to be where I am now. I just want to thank you for the generosity you have shown towards me. Without your help and support I really would not be able to study in the UK at a very prestigious music college where I can further challenge and improve myself as a musician. I know you are very, very busy, but I hope to have the pleasure in meeting you very soon.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Waynne Woo Seok Kwon”

Yelian He plays cello concerto with the Sydney Symphony

2015 is a pretty special year for me. It’s the first year I’ve spent experiencing the 30’s, the first time my cello was swabbed and searched instead of me in an airport, and it’s the first time I’ve performed a concerto without a conductor – and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra to boot.

 

 

Speaking of, I must mention that all of these fantastic experiences happened during the month of May as a result of winning the inaugural Australian Cello Awards Grand Prize in 2014 (ACA Website, next competition in 2017). That was a highlight not soon forgotten in itself and I’m sure I’ll be hearing even greater things from CEO Roland Gridiger and his team at MOST. But as I was trying to say, my excitement grew endlessly (so too did practice) as my debut with the Sydney Symphony drew nearer.

On the way to my first rehearsal, I was nervous about what to expect. There have been times in the past where the concerts haven’t lived up to expectations owing to insufficient rehearsal time or difficulties in communication. When I arrived I was greeted by the Concertmaster Andrew Haveron before meeting the Orchestra for some one-on-one time with the Bach Concerto; this is when general & interpretational decisions are brought up so there are fewer surprises during rehearsal. It was clear from the start Andrew was confident and accommodating – vital qualities for a good musician, and a good human being.

 

 

A Concerto without a conductor is a trust building exercise, and it’s easy to lose your nerve or get too excited. There’s bound to be more communication between the musicians, leading to more ideas being aired, but you also better know the score intimately! Not only will there be questions from the orchestra, knowing how the 1st violins bow a particular sequence of quavers or how the cellos phrase another section makes all the difference in rehearsals and performances, all the while giving a brilliant unique interpretation of the work.

It’s not difficult when you play with a wonderful orchestra, to get carried away in the passion of a running passage and/or to indulge the slow movement so much everyone else thinks it’s like watching paint dry; it’s happened many times during my earlier years and I’m embarrassed to say that wasn’t too long ago, which is why I advocate discipline and self-control! Having said that, it doesn’t mean I’m to be lifeless on stage when not playing anything either. Here’s me and the SSO taking a couple of minutes off after the rehearsals to shred the piece we just spent hours rehearsing. (It’s definitely the SSO’s good nature that I’m allowed to get away with this…but what can I say? Music’s got to be enjoyed by the ones playing and the ones listening!

 

About two weeks prior the SSO’s website had listed the concert as SOLD OUT which meant the only chance of securing a ticket was to wait and chance it at the returns desk. As a performer the adoration of your audience is key! Don’t believe me? Try playing for a hall half-empty (or half-full depending on your philosophical bend) and tell me you don’t wish you’d have given more love and attention to them more often; for a concert organizer that’s also a great reason not to see you again any time soon. I’m sure both the Australian Cello Awards and the Sydney Symphony have worked very hard to push this concert to the public, and if anybody else was involved, I thank you sincerely for making all of this a fantastically memorable event!

Tabatha McFadyen, Winner Tait Award, 2015 Bel Canto Awards

The 2015 Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation, Bel Canto Awards Finals Concert was a triumphant success.

http://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/news/two-sopranos-carry-elizabeth-connell-and-bel-canto-awards

We are delighted to report that young Australian soprano, Tabatha McFadyen was awarded the Tait Prize which gives her a coveted London performance platform. Tabatha will make her London debut singing for us at our 2015 Tait Winter Prom at the Royal College of Music on Monday 23rd November at 7pm.

Smaller Size Headshot 1

Tabatha McFadyen, soprano, 2nd from right in white – attached photo. She came second in the competition – it was very close.

Finalist 2015 Bel Canto Awards

Finalist 2015 Bel Canto Awards

Biography
Tabatha was initially trained at the Queensland Conservatorium, graduating in 2013 with First Class Honours and the University Medal. She recently undertook intensive post-graduate studies at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. Tabatha won the 2015 Opera & Arts Support Group Scholarship, the 2014 49th International Dvořák Singing Competition (Czech Republic), Mietta Song Competition, Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Awards, 32nd National Liederfest, was a finalist in the 2012 Bel Canto Award, runner-up in the Sydney Eisteddfod McDonald’s Operatic Aria and a finalist in the 2012 Australian Singing Competition winning the Mozart Opera Institute Award and the Nelly Apt Scholarship. Her stage roles have included: Musetta, Zerlina, Titania in The Fairy Queen, Suor Genovieffa, Countess Almaviva for QCGU, Susanna for Opera New England, Nina for Neglected Musicals’ presentation of Dear World (Jerry Herman) and Prilepa in Queen of Spades with SSO under Ashkenazy. An accomplished recitalist, she has been a regular guest artist with Brisbane contemporary music ensemble Kupka’s Piano, a featured artist as part of the EBCC Contemporary Music Festival in 2015 and has collaborated on world premieres with several composers. As part of the 2015 Port Fairy Music Festival she will perform with long-standing musical partner Alex Raineri, the Arcadia Quintet and Press, Play which will then transfer to the Melbourne Festival. Highlights on the concert platform include performances with Camerata of St. John’s led by Brendan Joyce & the Queensland Symphony Orchestra with Johannes Fritzsch.

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