2015 NATIONAL ADJUDICATOR
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.
2015 FINALS ADJUDICATOR
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 Fidelio, A 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 Arias, NZ 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.
2015 FINALS ADJUDICATOR
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.
2015 FINALS ADJUDICATOR
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).
'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.
2014 Finals Concert performance
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