“Welcome to the Semi-Finals Concert of the 2015 IFAC Australian Singing Competition. This afternoon you have a real treat in store – ten talented singers from around Australia and New Zealand are preparing to move and astound you with their performances. It is a wonderfully diverse group of sopranos, a mezzo, a tenor, a baritone, a bass baritone and a countertenor: indeed a fine demonstration of the breadth of young classical talent that awaits our audience.
This is our 34th Semi-Finals and we are delighted to be back in the beautiful Independent Theatre where so many of our alumni have begun their journey to the world stage. I invite you to witness some of those journeys by visiting our YouTube Channel that to date has had close to 600,000 views.
We thank our friends, sponsors and supporters for enabling us to present the very best. We wish each of the Semi-Finalists a successful performance and look forward to welcoming you to the Finals on 3 October 2015.”
As Semi-Finalists, the singers are required to prepare no less than four items of music that must include a work by a Classical or Baroque composer (such as Monteverdi, Handel, Bach or Mozart) and a song for voice and piano (such as a lieder, art song, or chanson). The Adjudicators hear any or all of these pieces in the Private Adjudication session held the day before the Concert.
After the Private Adjudication, the ten singers compete one last time onstage at the Semi-Finals Concert. Each singer performs two pieces, one of which must be an art song. This requirement was intended to encourage young classical singers who wanted careers outside of opera and remains a distinctive element of the Competition.
From the ten Semi-Finalists, only five will be selected as Finalists. These five will appear at the Finals Concert on 3 October at 7 pm in the Concert Hall of the Concourse Theatre, Chatswood. Now in its 34th year, the ASC has showcased nearly 3,000 singers who have competed for more than $2.8 million in prizes. Former winners of the ‘Marianne Mathy Scholarship’ (the major prize in the Australian Singing Competition) such as Rachelle Durkin, Amelia Farrugia, Stuart Skelton and Paul Whelan, have all gone on to achieve national and international acclaim.
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 SEMI-FINALS CONCERT ADJUDICATORS
Lisa Gasteen AO
Journalist and opera buff Greg Lenthen has supported the IFAC Australian Singing Competition since it began in 1982, helping behind the scenes and in front of them, too.
When the fledgling competition needed an honorary publicist, there was Greg. And when it needed a compere for the very first semi-finals concert, again Greg volunteered. Greg has often reprised the role over the ensuing decades, and we are very pleased to have him compering the semi-finals again this year.
While Greg’s more than four decades in journalism have been mainly in newspapers, he also spent a decade in radio. These days Greg is rarely behind the microphone – except in a good cause, such as helping foster the opera stars of tomorrow through the IFAC Australian Singing Competition.
2015 Semi-FInals Concert Programme
(by last name in alphabetical order)
DAMIAN ARNOLD 23* tenor NSW
Non t’amo piu / Tosti
Comfort ye…Every Valley
ANASTASIA BICKEL 24* mezzo soprano QLD
Iris, hence away
Von ewiger Liebe
REBECCA GULINELLO 24* soprano VIC
Mi tradi quell’alma ingrata
ANNIKA HINRICHS 20* soprano QLD
Come tacer… Vorrei Spiegarvi il giubilo
PHOEBE-CELESTE HUMPHREYS 25* soprano NSW
Batti Batti o bel Masetto
Du bist die Ruh
JEREMY KLEEMAN 24* bass baritone VIC
Die beiden Grenadiere
Tutto è disposto... Aprite un po' quegli occhi
TABATHA MCFADYEN 24* soprano NSW
Kennst du das Land?
Depuis le jour
KATHERINE MCINDOE 21* soprano NZ
Katherine is currently completing her Honours year for a Bachelor of Music (Classical Performance – Voice) at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. In 2014 she performed in the New Zealand premiere of a chamber work for soprano, piano, and saxophone: Ellwood Derr’s I Never Saw Another Butterfly. She has been a soprano soloist in the B Minor Mass (Bach) with the Kapiti Chorale, and the title role in L'enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel) at the New Zealand School of Music.Read more
Ich wandelte unter den Baumen
MAXIMILIAN RIEBL 23* counter tenor VIC
BENSON WILSON 24* baritone NZ
Mein Sehnen Mein Wähnen
La Belle Jeunesse
Ku Ku | Barry Cockcroft
Winners of the following –
Announcement of –
Approximately 3 hours, with a 20-minute interval.
*Age as at entry.
The Semi-Finals Concert will be broadcast on Fine Music 102.5 on Wednesday 30th September at 1pm.
Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST®) administrators of the IFAC Australian Singing Competition, would like to acknowledge the generous support and assistance of –
Australian Opera Awards Committee
One of Australia's leading young sopranos, Nicole shares her experience in the 2008 Australian Singing Competition.
In September 2012, Nicole was the winner of the 2012 Opera Awards and is a member of Opera Australia's Young Artists Program.