Auckland (NZ) Sunday 3 April
Sydney (NSW) Monday 11 April, Wednesday 13 April & Friday 15 April
London (UK) Thursday 14 April
Melbourne (VIC) Sunday 17 April
Perth (WA) Saturday 23 April
Brisbane (QLD) Sunday 15 May
2016 NATIONAL ADJUDICATOR
Lyndon Terracini AM
Lyndon Terracini AM is the Artistic Director of Opera Australia, and has also enjoyed a highly successful international opera career as well as a successful career as an actor, director and writer.
Lyndon Terracini was appointed Artistic Director and CEO of the Queensland Music Festival in July 2000 and directed the 2001, 2003 and 2005 Festivals. He was appointed Artistic Director/CEO of Brisbane Festival in 2005 and Artistic Director/CEO of Major Brisbane Festivals in November 2007.
In June 1999, Lyndon Terracini was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music Theatre by Central Queensland University. In February 2000, he was awarded a Fellowship by the Music Fund of the Australia Council for the Arts. In 2001, he was awarded an Honorary D. Univ. from Southern Cross University and in July 2005 he was awarded the Dame Elisabeth Murdoch Cultural leadership Award by Australian Business Arts Foundation (AbaF). In 2005 Lyndon Terracini was also appointed Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and in 2007 he was awarded a D.Univ. from Queensland University of Technology (QUT).
He was also a member of the International Jury for the Venice Biennale for Music and Savonlinna Opera Festival, and delivered the 2011 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address.
In 2014, Lyndon’s service to the performing arts as an opera performer, director and administrator was recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
2016 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.
In 2015 Conal performed Ramfis in Aida for the Handa Opera on the Harbour (Opera Australia) as well as concerts in Tokyo and the Netherlands. He returned 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.
2016 SEMI-FINALS ADJUDICATOR
Soprano Rowena Cowley has appeared as soloist for Australia's foremost music organisations including the ABC, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, the Song Company, the Australia Ensemble, Synergy & Musica Viva, and performed at the Adelaide, New Zealand and Sydney Festivals, as well as giving recitals in the United States.
Performances include a national broadcast with acclaimed pianist Gerard Willems, concerts including Ravel’s Chansons Madécasses, Bernard Rands’s Canti lunatici and a recital of Australian Art Songs of the 21st Century (with David Miller, including a world premiere of Katy Abbott’s Domestic Sublime) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Recent performance have included a recital of Italian Art Songs, soprano soloist in Britten’s War Requiem and Sydney Chamber Opera’s Owen Wingrave (Mrs Julien), a recital with the Atlantic Harp Duo, and world premieres as soprano soloist in Raymond Hanson’s The Immortal Touch, Part 2 (conducted by Neil McEwan), and The Stubborn Heart, a song cycle by George Palmer.
Rowena is a senior lecturer in Voice and Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and has taught as a guest at the Royal Northern College of Music, U.K., in Germany, the United States and as vocal consultant for Opera New England. Her students include many finalists and winners in major competitions, young artists at Opera Australia, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Vienna Staatsoper as well as professionals in Australia and Europe. She has given workshops and adjudicated in every state of Australia, been NSW and National President of the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing, and Chair of the International Congress of Voice Teachers Planning Committee.
2016 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.
LISA GASTEEN AO
2016 SEMI-FINALS ADJUDICATOR
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.
2016 SEMI-FINALS ADJUDICATOR
Emma Matthews is a highly acclaimed and awarded soprano having received more Helpmann Awards than any other individual artist, nine Green Room Awards, the Mo Award and the Remy Martin Australian Opera Award. She has performed with all the state opera companies and the major Australian symphony orchestras, and at the Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Huntington Festivals, with conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Marko Letonja, Sir Charles Mackerras and Simone Young.
Emma has sung the title roles in Partenope, Lucia di Lammermoor, Lakmé, The Cunning Little Vixen and Lulu. Other roles have included Leila (The Pearlfishers), Amina (La Sonnambula), Philomele (The Love of the Nightingale) by Richard Mills, Ilia (Idomeneo), Juliette (Roméo et Juliette), Marie (La Fille du Regiment), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Zdenka (Arabella), the four heroines (The Tales of Hoffmann), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Almirena (Rinaldo), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi) 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, masses by Poulenc, Villa Lobos, Haydn and Mozart, and Handel’s Messiah. Emma has also appeared as a special guest with José Carreras at the Sydney Opera House, and the New Year’s Eve Gala concerts for Opera Australia.
Further career highlights include her Royal Opera House Covent Garden debut in the title role of The Cunning Little Vixen under the baton of Sir Charles Mackerras, Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo conducted by Yakov Kreizberg and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Ismene (Mitridate) for Sydney Festival.
More recent roles include Violetta (La Traviata), Fiorilla (Il turco in Italia), Gilda (Rigoletto) the Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) for Opera Australia and Rosina in The Barber of Seville for West Australian Opera. Her recent concert appearances include Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl Concert and Eight Poems of Emily Dickinson (Copland) (released on disc for MSO Live in March 2014), and the ‘Jewel Song’ from Faust (Gounod) and the ‘Mad Scene’ from Hamlet (Thomas), also with the Melbourne Symphony, Mozart Requiem and arias with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and recitals at Government House Sydney, with Ensemble Liaison and Sydney Omega Ensemble, featuring at Musica Viva’s Huntington Festival, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ Christmas concerts and Voices in the Forrest, Canberra as well as Duparc Songs with Simone Young and the ANAM Orchestra.
2016 will see Emma performing with Victorian Opera/Musica Viva nationwide in the baroque opera pasticcio “Voyage to the Moon”, with both Opera Australia and West Australian Opera as Leila (The Pearlfishers), with Darwin Symphony Orchestra, and in recital at Kangaroo Valley Arts Festival as well returning to Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for Messiah.
Emma’s album of bel canto arias, Emma Matthews in Monte Carlo, was released by Deutsche Grammophon / ABC Classics to critical acclaim. Her album of Mozart arias with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Marko Letonja conducting was released by ABC Classics in February 2014.
2016 FINALS 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.
2016 SEMI-FINALS ADJUDICATOR
Benjamin Schwartz has held the position of Director of Artistic Planning at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 2014. Working closely with Chief Conductor and Artistic Director David Robertson, Ben oversees all aspects of the orchestra’s artistic planning to ensure the SSO remains at the forefront of orchestral music in Australia and around the world.
Prior to joining the SSO, Ben was Assistant Artistic Administrator of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for eight years. He is also a former Artistic Administrator of the Saito-Kinen Festival Matsumoto in Japan, having been appointed to that position by Seiji Ozawa, and performed actively for many years as cellist of the Callithumpian Consort.
As a performer, Ben has worked with an eclectic group of significant living composers, including Hans Abrahamsen, John Luther Adams, Chaya Czernowin, Michael Finnissy, John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Helmut Lachenmann, Alvin Lucier, Tristan Murail, Frederic Rzewski, Steve Reich, Christian Wolff and John Zorn, and has also enjoyed close collaborations with a number of significant emerging composers.
Ben played cello on the legendary Boston rock band Mission of Burma’s 2006 Matador Records release The Obliterati, which was recognized as Album of the Year in the 2006 Boston Music Awards, and is also featured in a wide range of highly acclaimed recordings released on the Naxos, New World, Mode, Tzadik and Urtext labels.
'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.
Lyndon Terracini AM is our 2016 National Adjudicator. In a series of videos, Lyndon talks about his role as Artistic Director of Opera Australia, his participation in this year's Competition and its importance in providing career opportunities to young singers.
Thanks to your support, we're now over 690,000 views on our YouTube Channel.
If you haven't visited, check it out – you'll find almost 600 videos featuring recent and historical performances, interviews and more from participants spanning 3 decades. If you LOVEOPERA, visit and subscribe today!
Help us reach 1 million views in 2016!