Australian Singing Competition - Adjudicators

2015 Adjudicators

Adjudication Panels 

National Adjudicator
Linnhe Robertson


London (UK) Monday 29 June
David Harper, Yvonne Kenny AM

Sydney (NSW) Monday 20 July & Tuesday 21 July
Andrew Dalton, Daniel Sumegi

Melbourne (VIC) Wednesday 22 July
Stephen Grant, Merlyn Quaife AM

Brisbane (QLD) Sunday 26 July
Donna Balson, Bradley Daley

Perth (WA) Friday 24 July
Patricia Price, Antony Walker

Wellington (NZ) Tuesday 28 July
Margaret Medlyn ONZM, Michael Vinten


Adjudicators Semi-Finals
Johannes Fritzsch
Lisa Gasteen AO
Michael Halliwell
Linnhe Robertson (National Adjudicator)


Adjudicators Finals
Conal Coad
Lisa Gasteen AO
Michael Halliwell
Simon Lord
Emma Matthews
Linnhe Robertson (National Adjudicator)


2015 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Linnhe Robertson

Linnhe Robertson


Linnhe Robertson has worked extensively in the major music centres throughout the world as a vocal coach, repetiteur, accompanist and harpsichordist. Her career began on the music staff of the Australian Opera. After a period of study in Germany in Lied Accompaniment, Linnhe remained there working as a vocal accompanist and as assistant to vocal Professor Kaiser-Breme at the Bayreuth International Wagner Festival.

With her move to Great Britain, Linnhe changed music direction and pursued a high profile career as a harpsichordist throughout the UK and Europe. She performed and recorded as the resident harpsichordist with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and with other notable early music ensembles, such as the English Baroque Soloists under John Eliot Gardiner. During this period, she also worked as repetiteur with the English National Opera under the Music Directorship of Mark Elder.

In 1989 Linnhe was invited to take up the position as Head of Music and Director of the Young Artists' Programme at the Victoria State Opera based in Melbourne Australia, a position which continued with the merger of that company and the Sydney-based national company (renamed Opera Australia). Through the success of her work with the training and development of young opera singers, Linnhe was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1993, which she used for further research into varying world-wide training systems for young singers.

On returning to the UK in 1999, Linnhe completed a Masters degree in Arts Management at City University, London. After a period of working in London as an artists' manager with a London based artists' agency, and as General Manager of a contemporary classical music ensemble, she was offered the position in 2002 as Deputy Head of Vocal Studies and subsequently Head of Vocal Studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama until 2013. She now has the role of ‘Artistic and Research Consultant for Opera & Voice’ at the Guildhall School. Linnhe also coaches the Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London.

Linnhe continues to give masterclasses and performs regularly as recital accompanist with singers throughout Great Britain and Europe.

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2015 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Conal Coad



New Zealander Conal Coad trained in the NSW Conservatorium of Music Opera School before joining Opera Australia. He made his European debut with the Opera de Wallonie and has sung with all the major companies of Belgium; in Brussels (La Monnaie), Liege, Antwerp, Charleroi, Ghent and Bruges, in the principal bass roles. In France he has sung in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Strasbourg, St Etienne, Le Mans. Elsewhere in Europe he has performed regularly in Naples, Venice, Bologna, Hamburg, Geneva, Lisbon, and Madrid.

He has performed in the UK at Covent Garden, Holland Park Festival Opera, Garsington Festival, Opera North and in Scotland.

In the USA he has performed in Washington and New York. Conal has also performed in Israel. Conal performs regularly in New Zealand with the national company in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as well as National tours.

Conal returns each year for Opera Australia, and has performed many roles including in FidelioA Midsummer Night’s Dream (for which he won a Green Room Award), Lulu, Manon (also winning a Green Room Award), La Cenerentola, Billy Budd, The Rake's Progress, Albert Herring, Don Carlos, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L’Elisir d’Amore, Arabella,Capriccio, Don Giovanni (for which he was nominated for a Helpman Award), The Coronation of Poppea, Queen of Spades, The Rape of Lucretia, Aida, Voss, The Marriage of Figaro, The Emperor of Atlantis,Manon Lescaut, L'elisir d'amore, Fidelio, Roméo et Juliette, Arabella,The Pilgrim's Progress, Lucia di Lammermoor, etc. Conal has also performed often for WA Opera, Opera Queensland, SA Opera and many roles for the University of NSW Opera.

Conal regularly adjudicates major singing competitions and teaches in many international opera schools as well as sponsoring and supporting aspiring singers.

He has adjudicated many times for the Australian Singing Competition.

Concert engagements include work with all major Australian orchestras, Israel Philharmonic, Royal Opera House, a solo Concert at La Monnaie Brussels, SSO, NZSO, ACO, as well as festivals in France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Israel, UK, Australia and NZ. Conal supports many charities and has been a guest artist in major events including at Kensington Palace, in Australia, Tokyo, Belgium (Brussels and Malines) and in NZ.

This year Conal performed Ramfis in Aida for the Handa Opera on the Harbour (Opera Australia) as well as concerts in Tokyo and the Netherlands.  He returns to Opera Australia for their 2015 Melbourne season performing the principal bass role, Dulcamara, in Rossini’s The Elixir of Love.

Recordings/DVDs include: Mozart Bass AriasNZ at Covent Garden,Mozart Opera Arias, My Beloved Father, Ruaumoko, Orakau (Morrison Trust), Don Giovanni (Leporello) Opera Australia, Don Pasquale, (Don Pasquale) Opera Australia, ABC Classic 100 Mozart and Sweet Serenade.

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2015 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Johannes Fritzsch



Johannes Fritzsch has enjoyed a prestigious international career spanning 30 years, having accepted his first position as a conductor at the age of 22. He is currently Chief Conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. From 2006 until this year he held the position of Chief Conductor of the Oper Graz, Grazer Philharmonisches Orchester (Austria). Prior to his appointment in Graz, Johannes held the position of Chief Conductor of the Staatsoper Nürnberg. From 1993 until 1999, he was Chief Conductor of the Städtische Bühnen and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Freiburg, enjoying widespread acclaim.

In addition to his work as Chief Conductor of the above-mentioned ensembles, Johannes has enjoyed accepting invitations to perform with many great orchestras throughout the world. These include: Hamburger Sinfoniker, Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Philharmonie Essen, Nationaltheater-Orchester Mannheim, Staatskapelle Schwerin, Berliner Sinfonie Orchester, Staatskapelle Dresden, Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock, Staatsorchester Halle, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique Strassbourg, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra. Within Australia, Johannes has conducted the SSO, MSO, TSO, QSO, WASO and OV.

Opera Companies with which he has performed include: Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, Opernhaus Köln, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Staatstheater Hannover, Opera Bastille Paris, Teatro Reggio di Parma, the Royal Opera Stockholm, Malmö Operan and Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne (including Hansel and Gretel, Wozzeck, Magic Flute, Tales of Hofmann, Lohengrin, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Tosca, Rigoletto, Der Rosenkavalier, Salome).

Over the past ten years Johannes Fritzsch has given many Master classes for the German conductor training and development organisation, Dirigentenforum des Deutschen Musikrates. Similarly, he has been active and enthusiastic in his involvement in Australia’s Symphony International conductor development program. Johannes was born in Dresden, Germany, where he completed his musical education at the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber”.

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2014 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Lisa Gasteen AO



Prior to taking the Chair of Practice Professor of Opera at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University in 2011, Lisa Gasteen had become one of the world’s most sought after interpreters of the dramatic German repertoire.

Best known for her performances of Brünnhilde, Isolde and Electra she was a regular guest at the major opera houses including Metropolitan Opera, New York; Royal Opera, Covent Garden; The Bastille, Paris; and the State Opera Companies of Vienna, Stuttgart and Berlin to name a few; and International Festivals including Bergen, Baden Baden, Tanglewood, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Lisa’s other frequently performed roles include the principal female leads from Verdi’s Aida, Otello, La Forza del Destino, Un Ballo in Maschera, Don Carlo, Il Trovatore; Puccini’s Tosca; Beethoven’s Fidelio; Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Chrysothemis, Klytamnestra and title role of Elektra, both Die Kaiserin and Die Färberin in Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; Wagner’s Lohengrin (Elsa), Der Fliegender Holländer, Tannhäuser (Elizabeth); d’Albert’s Tiefland; Gluck’s Dido and Aeneas; Mozart’s Don Giovanni (both Donna Elvira and Donna Anna); Giordano’s Andrea Chénier and Bartóks Bluebeard’s Castle.

Her concert repertoire includes Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Janá?eck’s Glagolitic Mass, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem and extensive lieder including Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder.

Lisa has worked with many of today’s most highly esteemed conductors including Haitink, Bychkov, de Billy, Weigle, Young, Pappano, Levine, Mehta, Maazel, Welser Moest, Luisi, Mackerras, Gergiev, von Dohnányi, Petrenko, Salonen and Runnicles.

Although Lisa had an established career in Australia, in 1991 she came to international attention by winning The Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. She remains the only Australian to have done so.

Lisa has won many other awards including the 1992 Advance Australia Award, 3 Helpmann Awards, the 2002 Sidney Meyer Performing Arts Individual Award and the 2003 Bulletin Magazine Smart 100 (Arts Category). She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2006 for her services to the Arts.

Lisa’s film appearances include the BBC’s Cardiff Singer of the World Competition Past Winners, Australian Opera 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert and the Siegfried Brünnhilde in Stuttgart Opera’s Ring Cycle.

Her recordings include Lisa Gasteen “Singer of the World” Walsingham Classics, “Tiefland” by d’Albert on Oehms Classics, “Transcendent Love” on ABC Classics and “The Ring Cycle” live recording on the Melba label.

In 2011 Lisa established The Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, located at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, Brisbane, to help, mentor and develop the skills and progress of Australian operatic singers and répétiteurs.

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2015 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Michael Halliwell

Michael Halliwell


Michael Halliwell studied music and literature at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and at the London Opera Centre with Otakar Kraus, as well as with Tito Gobbi in Florence. He has sung in Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia and was principal baritone for many years with the Netherlands Opera, the Nürnberg Municipal Opera, and the Hamburg State Opera. He has sung over fifty major operatic roles, including Don Giovanni, Papageno, Count Almaviva, Gugliemo, Posa, Germont, Gianni Schicci, Ford and Escamillo, and has participated in several world premieres and had frequent appearances at major European festivals in opera, oratorio and song recitals.

He has published widely in the field of music and literature and is Vice President and Editorial Board Member of The International Association for Word and Music Studies (WMA), regularly giving lectures and seminars on the operatic adaptation of literature into opera. His book,Opera and the Novel, was published by Rodopi Press (Amsterdam/New York) in 2005. He is working on a book on the contemporary opera libretto. Currently on the staff at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he has served as Chair of Vocal Studies and Opera, Pro-Dean and Head of School, and Associate Dean (Research). A double CD of settings of Kipling ballads and Boer War songs, When the Empire Calls, was released by ABC Classics in September 2005. He has recently premiered Lawrence Kramer’s song cycles, Five Songs and an Epilogue from The Wings of the Dove, Nine Songs to Ezra Pound, and Crossing the Water.

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2015 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Simon Lord



Simon Lord comes from Yorkshire in the UK. From an early age, he has always been involved in music-making and starting learning the clarinet and piano aged 8. As an undergraduate, Simon studied Music at the University of Leeds and then took his Masters degree at the University of Surrey. He became a Trainee Producer for the BBC in 1990 and first worked as a Music Producer for the BBC in London working on many radio and television programmes including the BBC Proms.

In 1995 Simon moved to Scotland where he became the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Senior Music Producer and was responsible for planning the orchestra’s artistic programme for 15 years. In Glasgow, Simon worked with many world-class soloists, toured to the USA, China, France, Germany, Holland, and South America, and collaborated closely with the BBCSSO’s recent Chief Conductors including Osmo Vanska, Ilan Volkov, and Donald Runnicles.

Simon is also an award-winning CD producer, having produced discs for Hyperion Records, Naxos, and BIS. He was the producer of a CD of new orchestral music by the English composer, Jonathan Harvey, which won Best Contemporary Recording in the 2008 Gramophone Awards.

In 2010, Simon and his family moved to Adelaide in South Australia where he is currently the Director of Artistic Planning at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Simon is married to the violinist Elizabeth Layton and they have two children.

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2015 IFAC ASC Adjudicator - Emma Matthews



Her repertoire includes the title roles in The Cunning Little Vixen (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden), Lulu, Lakmé, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Partenope (Handel); Violetta ( La Traviata), Gilda (Rigoletto), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Marie (La Fille du Regiment), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Amina (La Sonnambula), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), the four heroines (The Tales of Hoffmann), and Cunegonde (Candide).

She is equally in demand on the concert platform, embracing a wide repertoire including the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms and Fauré, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and 4 (Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo), masses by Poulenc, Villa Lobos, Haydn and Mozart, Bach Passions and Handel’s Messiah and has appeared as special guest with Jose Carreras at the Sydney Opera House.

This year her engagements include the New Year’s Eve Gala, Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) for Opera Australia , Rosina (The Barber of Seville) and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) for West Australian Opera, Duparc Songs for ANAM with Simone Young, and returns to Ensemble Liaison and the West Australian, Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.

Emma Matthew’s recordings include Emma Matthews in Monte Carlo, (Deutsche Grammophon / ABC Classics), Mozart arias ( ABC Classics), Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson (MSO Live) and La Traviata and Lakme (Opera Australia DVD).

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Past Adjudication Panels

The Mathy Statuette

The Mathy

'The Mathy' has become synonymous with The Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the featured award within the IFAC Australian Singing Competition.

Hand cast in solid bronze, 'The Mathy' stands 195mm tall (230mm including its base) and weighs in at just under 1kg.

'The Mathy' limited edition Drago Marin Cherina bronze statuette was first awarded to Western Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin in 2000.

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