Patrick Togher - 2023 NATIONAL ADJUDICATOR
Patrick Togher is an Australian classical music Artist Manager and former principal tenor.
Patrick Togher is an Australian classical music Artist Manager and former principal tenor.
Patrick Togher is an Australian classical music Artist Manager and former principal tenor with Opera Australia and The Phantom of the Opera. Born and educated in Sydney, he graduated from the University of Sydney as a Bachelor of Economics in 1985 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1988.
After private studies in classical piano and voice, he made his professional opera debut in 1982 – as Ruiz in Rockdale Opera’s production of Il trovatore. He financed his university studies by singing a variety of roles with Victoria State Opera, Opera Queensland (then the Lyric Opera of Queensland) and other opera and concert organisations around Australia.
From 1990 to 1996, he sang over thirty roles as a principal tenor with The Australian Opera (now Opera Australia) – specialising in the works of Wagner, Strauss and Benjamin Britten. During this time with the national company, he acted as Union Delegate for the principal singers and became the inaugural Chairman of the Artists’ Joint Consultative Committee. He also appeared as soloist with State Opera of South Australia, Opera Queensland, Wellington City Opera, Dunedin Opera Company and the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Adelaide, West Australian and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.
In 1994, Patrick accepted an offer to play Ubaldo Piangi in Cameron Mackintosh’s production of The Phantom of the Opera. From 1994 to 1997, he sang the role over 1200 times at Sydney’s Theatre Royal, Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre and Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s West End. He then retired from the stage at the age of 34 and returned to Australia. Patrick Togher Artists’ Management (PTAM) was founded in 1998 by Patrick Togher and his wife, the eminent soprano Romola Tyrrell.
The company’s principal activity is sourcing, negotiating and servicing contracts for its 41 artists with the major opera companies, orchestras, festivals, recording companies and choral organizations in Australia and New Zealand. Patrick was a consultant to the National Opera Review 2017; he co-founded FARA (Freelance Artists Relief Australia) in 2020 with soprano Nicole Car.
For many years, PTAM has cultivated opportunities for classical artists in Asia – working closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).
Professor Deborah Cheetham-Fraillon AO (Semi-Finals only)
Deborah Cheetham Fraillon AO, Yorta Yorta/Yuin soprano, composer and educator has championed the voice and visibility of classically trained Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander musicians through her achievements a composer, performer and as Artistic Director of the Short Black Opera.
Cheetham Fraillon’s career and achievements have been celebrated with many significant awards including most recently the Australian Women in Music Lifetime Achievement Awards (2022), the JC Williamson Lifetime Achievement Award (2021); The Melbourne Music Prize (2019); the Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award for service to music; Limelight Magazine Artist of the Year (2019); Victorian Honour Roll of Women (2013) and Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll in 2014. In the 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Cheetham Fraillon was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), for distinguished service to the performing arts.
In 2021 Cheetham Fraillon began a five year appointment as MSO First Nations Creative Chair. This year, Cheetham Fraillon was appointed inaugural Elizabeth Todd Chair of Vocal Studies at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney.
A key member of Opera Australia's music staff, and credited with establishing the Sydney Conservatorium of Music's original Italian program and later expanding the curriculum to include French and German, Nicole Dorigo is an accomplished music professional with a specialist interest in language. This expertise is grounded in over two decades of practical experience with the main opera companies in Australia, as well as with leading companies in Asia and Europe.
As Opera Australia's in-house Language Coach since 2013, Nicole is responsible for the entire French and Italian repertoire at the company, including operas, concerts, major events on the harbour, and the national tours. Here, she advises the company’s Australian singers and visiting international artists on all aspects of language, including diction and interpretation. Her coaching also includes Chorus and singers in the company’s Young Artist Program.
Outside of her Opera Australia commitments, Nicole consults to other opera companies and projects in Australia, Europe and Asia, where recent international contracts included productions with the Norwegian National Opera and the Shanghai Opera House.
Significantly, she has been a passionate supporter of, and advocate for, emerging talent in Australia. Her extensive experience with young singers includes her work with young artist programs, as well as with undergraduate and graduate students (Music and Voice). More recently, Nicole founded ShoutMachine to promote young Australian opera singers to agents and opera companies around the world, and regularly mentors and provides advice to these and other young performers.
Amelia Farrugia is a renowned Australian soprano; since her professional stage debut in 1990, she has enjoyed a highly successful international career in opera, operetta, music theater, recital, concert events, television & recording.
Amelia’s singing career has taken her around the world; she was honoured to join the roster of soloists at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, covering Renee Fleming as The Merry Widow & Anna Netrebko & Diana Damrau as Manon. This incredible opportunity enabled her to work alongside the world’s best singers, conductors & directors.
On the concert platform, Amelia produced & starred in her very own show, Diva! Featuring music by Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin. She has performed with all the symphony orchestras and in many large-scale televised events; she has performed for Crown Prince Frederick & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and she was privileged to be chosen as a soloist in the World Youth Day final mass for Pope Benedict XVI.
Amelia Farrugia’s auspicious debut solo recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Joie de vivre! was recorded in London and released by Universal Music Australia & UK. She became the first Australian solo artist to record on the prestigious Decca label since Dame Joan Sutherland in 1959.
Amelia Farrugia is the owner of Sydney Sings Pty Ltd. She teaches singing in Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation’s library in Neutral Bay and is a vocal tutor at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School. On the Board of The Opera Foundation for Young Australians, she also acts as an Ambassador of The Sydney Eisteddfod.
Last year, Amelia performed in a national tour, “The Maltese Tenor” with international sensation, Mr Joseph Calleja.
Australian conductor Paul Fitzsimon has been Chorus Master at Opera Australia since 2019, and has worked as repetituer and conductor with the company since 2012, most recently conducting performances of La Boheme and Don Giovanni at the Sydney Opera House.
He was Assistant Conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2008/09 and has conducted most of the symphony orchestras in Australia, and in Europe has conducted the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris, and the Hamburg Ballet at the Baden Baden Festival.
Highlights in recent years include conducting the national tours of The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Madama Butterfly for Opera Australia, Dvorak’s Symphony no. 7 with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, as well as a new production of Brian Howard’s Metamorphosis for Opera Australia in 2018.
Paul majored in piano performance at The University of Melbourne and later completed his orchestral conducting studies at the Universität der Künste in Berlin and through the Symphony Australia Conductor Development Program. He was the recipient of the Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Conductors in 2008.
Dr Anke Hoeppner-Ryan (Finals only)
Born, Germany. She studied with Professor Renate Faltin at the Hanns-Eisler Conservatorium in Berlin, graduating with a master’s degree in Performance. She won the first prize in the Hanns-Eisler Liederwettbewerb, the award for the best vocal Graduate in the German Democratic Republic and the Bayreuth Stipendium in 1993. Anke won the inaugural Helpman Award for her lead role as Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly in 2001, and in 2007 she was again nominated for the Helpman Award for her portrayal of Procne in The Love of the Nightingale.
Anke’s operatic repertoire includes Turandot, Tosca, Minni in La Fanciulla del West, the Title role in Madama Butterfly, Mimi in La Boheme, Procne in The Love of the Nightingale, Emilia Marty in Vĕc Makropulos, Leonore in Fidelio, Foreign Princess in Rusalka, the Title role in Iphigénie en Tauride, the Title role in Jenufa, Lucretia Janz in Batavia, Giulietta in Tales of Hoffmann, Elvira in Don Giovanni, Fata Morgana in The Love For Three Oranges, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, the Hexe in Hänsel und Gretel, Gerhilde and 3rd Norn in Der Ring des Nibelungen. Anke performed at the Komische Oper Berlin, the Staatsoper Berlin, Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, the West Australian Opera, the State Opera of South Australia, the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landestheater, the Neue Opernbühne Berlin, the Otono Festival in Madrid, the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Perth International Arts Festival.
Anke performed under the batons of some of the world’s leading conductors, including Sir Charles Mackerras, Simone Young, Shao Chia Lü, Carlo Felice Cillario, Patrick Summers, Lionel Friend, Andrea Licata, Johannes Fritzsch, Jörg- Peter Weigle, Aldo Salvagno, Prof. Rolf Reuther, Josef Colaneri and Joachim Willert. Anke worked with leading directors Harry Kupfer, Neil Armfield, Graeme Murphy, Christine Mielitz, Michael Gow, Lindy Hume, Stuart Maunder, Moffatt Oxenbould, Nigel Jamieson and Andrew Sinclair. Concert engagements include soprano solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Verdi Requiem and Salome with the Orchestra of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Liederabende with songs of Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, Schönberg, Zemlinsky and Dvorák in the London Opera Festival, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Melbourne International Music Festival, Barossa Music Festival and Wagner Society NSW; the Brahms Requiem with the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Sinfonieorchester, the Mozart Requiem in the Berliner Philharmonie, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Neubrandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Schleswig-Holsteinisch Sinfonia Orchestra, and Marie in excerpts from Berg’s Wozzeck with the Philharmonic State Orchestra Halle.
Anke Höppner has been broadcast in radio and television by NDR, WDR, ORB and the ABC. Anke is currently lecturing in voice and opera at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In April 2019 she was awarded the academic degree of Doctor of Musical Arts by The Sydney University or her research about operatic cover-work.