Alexandra Mathew, in the title role, exhibited a natural innocence while observing the nonsense occurring around her. The aria “Una volta c’era un re” takes her thoughts away from the drudgery of her existence in fairy tale fashion. The chemistry with the hero Prince Ramiro (Hew Wegner) worked splendidly, with the vocal quality raising the standard from the Music Hall environment, perfectly delivered by Madame Carandini (Rachel Buckley), to genuine opera.
Last Sunday 14 August I appeared in the 16th RMP Aria Final at Melbourne’s Deakin Edge, alongside soprano Karina Bailey, bass Jack Stephens, tenor Ben Glover, soprano Shania Eliassen, tenor Zachary McCulloch, and baritone James Emerson. Official accompanist Peter de Jager and I performed Bach’s ‘Du lieber Heiland du… Buss und Reu’ from St Matthew Passion, and Tippett’s ‘The Soul of Man’ from Child of Our Time. It was a fantastic evening, and—thrillingly—I was awarded second prize. Heather Leviston wrote this fabulous review of the evening, which also included a performance of Rutter’s Requiem, conducted by Andrew Wailes. See below for some photos of the action, taken by Paul Dodd.
I’m halfway through performances of Aida with Opera Australia, which has so far been an absolutely wonderful experience. The sets and costumes are beautiful, and the principal singers possess thrilling voices. There are three performances left—7:30pm Monday 17 May, Wednesday 19 May, and Friday 21 May—and I believe tickets are still available via the Opera Australia website.
On Saturday 22 May at 1:15pm, pianist Georgina Lewis and I will be performing on Sam Alfred’s program ‘Vocal Chords’ on 3MBS 103.5FM. We’ve put together a short program of favourites, including some Mozart, Schubert, and a song Andrew Anderson.
The following Wednesday 26 May at 1pm, pianist Hugh Fullarton and I are presenting a short, half-hour lunchtime recital at St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders Street. Entry is via donation. Our program includes lullabies by Stephen Foster and Brahms, and the Melbourne premiere of Andrew Anderson’s captivating cycle ‘Songs of Sleep’.
In December 2020, after a year of lockdowns and few performance opportunities, pianist Hugh Fullarton and I entered Rolling Stock Studio in Collingwood to record Andrew Anderson’s beautiful song cycle ‘Songs of Sleep’, engineered by Myles Mumford. Our recording is now available for streaming and download via Bandcamp. It was a privilege to work with Andrew, Hugh and Miles on such a beautiful project! Recording below, with a few happy snaps from the session.
Composer Andrew Anderson and I recently got together (virtually, of course!) to make an isolation recording of his beautiful song ‘Only in Sleep’ — a setting of Sara Teasdale‘s poem of the same name. Turns out Andrew is an accomplished pianist as well as composer! For my part, I used a simple USB microphone that I bought in order to give online singing lessons. A worthy investment, that USB microphone! Although the pandemic has meant live performances are currently not an option, it has been a fun experience sharing and making music with my colleagues from our respective homes. Enjoy!
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