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ARTISTS WHO HAVE PREVIOUSLY PERFORMED AT OPERA IN THE PADDOCK:

Ruth Strutt

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Mezzo soprano

Ruth Strutt is an Australian mezzo-soprano of critical acclaim. A dynamic artist and musician, Ruth performs regularly on opera and theatre stages across the country.

Ruth hails from the icy climes of northern New South Wales and completed her Bachelor of Music at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2011. Since then, Ruth has enjoyed performing on many and varied stages across Australia performing opera, oratorio, music theatre, and stage plays. Ruth has sung numerous roles, including Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Alto in English Eccentrics, Pitti Sing in The Mikado, The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos, and Ariodante in Ariodante. She most recently received rave reviews at the Sydney Fringe Festival for her portrayal of the Mother in The Things I Could Never Tell Steven.

Ruth is currently performing as a Principal Artist with Opera Australia, starring in the Great Opera Hits concert series. Ruth performing the role of Ferdinand in El Kid for both the Melbourne 2016 and Sydney 2017 Schools Tours, as well as a season at the Arts Centre Melbourne, and will be singing in the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour season of La Bohème in 2018. Ruth will also be singing the role of La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi for Opera Australia in Japan in late 2018.

Ruth is particularly passionate about Australian composition and new works. She has worked alongside composers such as Richard Peter Maddox, Elena Kats-Chernin, Guy Noble, Dan Walker, Sally Whitwell, and Benjamin Thorne. Ruth has premiered a number of new pieces, most recently Unbroken Stillness, These Men and Kubla Kahn by Richard Peter Maddox, The Aqueduct by Jennifer Game-Lopata at the Brisbane Restrung Festival, and God’s Drawing Board by Elena Kats-Chernin. She is affiliated with Opera Queensland, Opera North West, and Melbourne City Opera, being a featured artist in Opera at Langford and Opera in the Vines, as well as being the vocalist in the baroque improvisation quartet, Wondrous Machine.

Ruth also has extensive experience in choral music and vocal pedagogy. She has worked with Gondwana Voices and Sydney Childrens’ Choir and conducted the New England Singers and Cantilena Choirs at the New England Conservatorium of Music, as well as maintaining a large teaching studio at the Conservatorium. She has worked extensively with choral conductors Lyn Williams, George Torbay, Paul Holley, Mark O’Leary, and Dan Walker, and is passionate about sharing her love of music with younger singers.

Panayiota Kalatzis

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Panayiota Kalatzis
Australian Lyric Soprano Panayiota Kalatzis is the 2016 recipient of the Herald Sun Aria.

Panayiota is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU). After completing her Bachelor of Music in 2010, she continued to complete a Master of Music Studies in 2012 (QCGU).

Panayiota has recently returned home to Australia after being awarded the 2014 Australian International Opera Award, which grants the awardee a scholarship to study an MA in Advanced Vocal Studies at the Wales International Academy of Voice under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill,

During her undergraduate studies Panayiota was a Mezzo-Soprano singing such roles as Zita Gianni Schicchi, Suor Zelatrice Suor Angelica, Dorothèe Cendrillon and Hermia A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Since transitioning to Soprano in 2013 Panayiota has been invited to sing in many distinguished events in Australia, UK and Europe.

Eleanor Greenwood

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e-greenwood
Mezzo Soporano

Eleanor Greenwood made her singing debut at the International Opera Festival in Wexford, Ireland.  A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music Opera Studio in London, and of the Australian National University School of Music, Eleanor has sung both as a Soloist in various roles, and in Ensembles; on stage and on Radio; in London, in the UK, in Australia and most recently, throughout China.

In 2015 Eleanor was the winner of the Australasian Opera Competition at the Sydney Eisteddfod whose prior winners include Dame Joan Sutherland and Tenor Stuart Skelton. She received the Wagner Prize for German Repertoire, presented by the Wagner Society of NSW.

In Australia, Eleanor has sung with Opera Australia, for the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation and as a regular guest at St Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney, with the Cathedral Choir. Eleanor was a participant at the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in QLD.

 

David Hamilton

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A tenor with a distinguished career in the fields of opera, oratorio and concert repertoire, David is originally from Scotland, where he graduated in Singing and Flute at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and he has built a strong reputation and performed extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand Germany and the UK.

He moved to Sydney in 1979 and there he was an early member of The Song Company, Australia’s premier a cappella vocal ensemble for 7 years after which he went freelance and performances have included the tenor roles in most of the major oratorios with all the major orchestras in Australia and New Zealand; and he has also performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia and at many theatres and festivals and was awarded the Australian Centenary Medal in 2001.

David’s repertoire encompasses an extraordinarily wide range, from Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Creation to 20th century masterpieces such as Britten’s War Requiem and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius.

Operatic tenor roles include the title role in Britten’s Albert Herring; Quint in Turn of the Screw and Male Chorus in the Rape of Lucretia; Belmonte in Mozart’s Entführung Serail and Loge in Wagner’s Das Rheingold

David relocated to Germany from 2007 to 2012, where he sang the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo in Neu Munster, performed the title role in Lohengrin for Saarbrucken Opera and in the same role, understudied Peter Seiffert in Luxemburg.
Other works include: Recitals of Schubert, Schumann, Haydn and Beethoven repertoire (he recorded Beethoven’s Scottish Lieder for Brilliant Classics in 2008).
Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Panama City and Edinburgh Festival), Schubert’s Die Winterreise and the tenor role in Ricci’s opera Le Prigione di Edimburgo. In Berlin and Lübeck respectively, David performed Dvorak’s Die Geisterbraut with Berliner Cappella Choir and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde and the role of Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. David returned to live in Sydney in 2012, to work with Opera Australia.

In recent years, David’s New Zealand engagements included, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius for Auckland Choral; Mendelssohn’s St Paul for Bach Musica and the Messiah with City Choir Dunedin.
In 2014, he returned to Germany and Poland to sing Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Berliner Choir and in New Zealand will sing the Evangelist in St John’s Passion for Bach Musica NZ and perform in the Mozart Requiem under the baton of Paul Fitzsimon with Willoughby Symphony.

Recent solo performances include: the Polymnia Ensemble, Sydney Graduate Choir, Willoughby Symphony, Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, City Choir Dunedin, Auckland Chorale and Christchurch City Choir, New Zealand.
In 2016, David covers the enormous role of Siegfried in Wagner’s The Ring for Opera Australia.
Upcoming engagements include: Opera in the Paddock and Dream of Gerontius in 2017.

Jeremy Kleeman

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Bass Baritone A graduate of Victorian Opera’s Developing Artist Program, Jeremy Kleeman has a Master of Music (Opera Performance) from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, was on the Joseph Sambrook Opera Scholarship from 2014-2015 with Melba Opera Trust, and was with Opera Scholars Australia from 2009-2012.

Most recent engagements include Magus in baroque pasticcio Voyage to the Moon on national tour (Musica Viva/Victorian Opera) for which he received a Helpmann nomination for Best Supporting Male; Toby Raven in the operatic world premiére of Cloudstreet (State Opera of South Australia); Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Australia Tour); and Teobaldo in the Helpmann award-winning Faramondo (Brisbane Baroque). Roles with Victorian Opera have included Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods, Marquis D’Obigny in La traviata, Albert the Pudding in the Green Room award-winning world premiére The Magic Pudding – The Opera; and he has also featured in I puritani, Sweeney Todd, and Seven Deadly Sins.

Upcoming engagements will include the roles of Badger/Parson in Cunning Little Vixen (VO), Mercurio/ Familiari III/Tribuno in Coronation of Poppea (Pinchgut Opera), and appearances at Opera in the Market, Opera By The Lakes (Gippsland Opera) and Opera in the Paddock (Opera Northwest, Mimosa).

Jeremy also performs regularly on the concert platform, having appeared with Melbourne Bach Choir, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic, Newcastle University Choir, and St. Francis Church, amongst others.

Timothy Sexton

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As a freelance composer, conductor, arranger, singer, writer, adjudicator and broadcaster, Timothy Sexton is one of the most prominent musicians in South Australia.

Timothy has composed more than 200 works, ranging from opera through children’s theatre to choral works and has worked with most of SA’s leading performing arts companies. He has sung in more than30 productions for the State Opera of South Australia and conducting credits for that company include Don Pasquale, The Mikado, Riders to the Sea, Mavra, Treemonisha, Mahagonny Songspiel, The Turn of the Screw, Philip Glass’s Akhnaten and Einstein on the beach, SweeneyTodd, Elena Kats-Chernin’s Undertow (with which he toured Hungary and Finland in August2005), The Station, Bastien and Bastienne, La Voix Humaine and the critically acclaimed production of Glass’s Satyagraha with the Adelaide Vocal Project and Leigh Warren and Dancers.

He was Associate Chorus Master for Wagner’s Gotterdammerung for the 2003 Perth Festival and Chorus Master and a Rehearsal Conductor for the 2004 Ring Cycle staged in Adelaide. Orchestral conducting credits include performances with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, The Queensland Orchestra and the Auckland Philharmonia.

In late 2001Timothy founded the Adelaide Art Orchestra and with them has performed with such Australian music luminaries as Glenn Shorrock, Anthony Warlow, Judi Connelli, David Hobson, Rob Guest, Marina Prior and Julie Anthony.

Timothy is a two-time recipient of the Henry Krips Memorial Conducting Scholarship and in 2003 was awarded a Centenary Medal for Services to Music. He was named 2009 South Australian of the Year in the Arts.  In 2011 he was appointed Artistic Director and CEO of the State Opera of South Australia.

John Woods

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Pianist

John was born in Stirling, Scotland. After studying piano and bassoon at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama he was awarded scholarships from The Scottish Arts Council and The Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust to specialise in piano accompaniment at The Royal Northern College of

Music in Manchester. He has since worked as a guest repetiteur at the R.N.C.M. and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

In 1992 he joined the staff of The Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University as an accompanist and vocal coach, preparing many of its operas, including the Australian premiere of Britten’s “Billy Budd”, as part of the 1993 Brisbane Biennial Festival.

Engagements have taken him throughout Great Britain, Europe and Australia, accompanying singers and instrumentalists on the concert platform and in radio and television broadcasts. He has worked with some of the finest singers of the present generation including Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, SimonKeenlyside and in particular, Jane Eaglen. In Australia he has appeared in concert with Lisa Gasteen, Jeffrey Black, Joanna Cole and Rosario la Spina.

He has accompanied master classes given by several distinguished singers, including Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Janet Baker, Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Sir Peter Pears and Luigi Alva, whom he has also accompanied in recital. As Musical Associate for Granada Television, John Woods has credits on a wide range of arts and drama programmes which include “The Dame Joan Hammond Masterclasses”, “Coronation Street”, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Lost Empires” – the eight-hour serialisation of the J.B. Priestley novel in which he worked with the late Sir Laurence Olivier.

He also works for Opera Queensland’s Young and Developing Artists Program.

Jennifer Nickson

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Violin

Jennifer Nickson was born in 1957 in Sydney, Australia and spent her early years living in Brisbane.

At the age of twelve Ms. Nickson was accepted in to the world famous Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia USA, to study violin with Ivan Galamian; becoming one of the youngest students ever to attend. Her training started with daily practice supervision with Mr. Galamian’s assistants, weekly lessons with Jaime Laredo, and fortnightly lessons with Mr. Galamian.

Ms. Nickson moved to England in 1975 as a post-graduate student in performance at the Royal College of Music, winning the Seymour Winyates violin prize and being awarded a Leverhulme Scholarship for two years.

In 1976 Ms. Nickson formed and became leader of the Guadagnini String Quartet.  The quartet became Quartet-in-Residence at Southampton University, Hatfield Polytechnic, and Lancaster University where they performed frequently and taught strings and chamber music. They performed extensively throughout the U.K. in such places as the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Conway Hall, and also performed internationally in Germany, Italy, Hungary and Canada, recording and broadcasting for the BBC and German Radio.

In 1982 Ms. Nickson became Principal 2nd Violin of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1985 she was a member of the London Philharmonic 1st Violins and in 1994 moved to the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden, becoming Sub-Principal 1st Violin.

Since 2007, Ms. Nickson has been guest Concert Master with the Southbank Symphonia. In this capacity, as well as leading, she teaches and coaches chamber music and orchestral repertoire.

From 2006 Ms. Nickson has been teaching gifted teenagers and advanced young musicians privately with considerable success. A particular area of interest and expertise is that of preparation for professional orchestral auditions.

Ms. Nickson lives in Hertfordshire with her four children.

David Hibbard

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Bass
Australian bass David Hibbard graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 1981. As a young artist, he gained experience singing minor principal roles for three seasons with the State Opera of South Australia, followed by study in New York with Daniel Ferro and in England with Sir Peter Pears in 1985. A contract with the English National Opera saw him as a principal in Die Meistersinger, Julius Caesar and Rossini’s Moses in Egyptand Simon Boccanegra for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In 1987, he sang Sparafucile, touring England with Opera 80. He returned to Australia in 1988 to appear with Opera Australia in roles ranging from Fiesco inBoccanegra, Ramphis in Aida, Monterone in Rigoletto and The Speaker in The Magic Flute to Publio in La Clemenza di Tito.

In 1990, after receiving the German Operatic Award from Opera Foundation Australia, he commenced a contract with Cologne Stadtsoper, performing roles by composers from Mozart to Peter Maxwell-Davies, as well as Lieder Recitals. In 1992, he was appointed First Bass with the Bremen Stadts Theater where he performed Fiesco in Simon Boccanegra, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Sparafucile, Baron Ochs, Prince Gremin, Colline and Alvise Badoero in La Gioconda.

Since returning to Australia in 1994, Mr Hibbard has appeared numerous times with all the leading opera companies and concert organsiations. 2004 saw him undertake the role of Fafner in Der Ring des Nibelungen for State Opera of South Australia (recorded and subsequently released by Melba Recordings) and perform Don Alfonso in New Zealand Opera’s tour of Cosi fan Tutte. In recent seasons, he has taken many principal bass roles for Opera Queensland – in The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, Madama Butterfly and Romeo et Juliette; for State Opera of South Australia – Rigoletto, Dead Man Walking, Un Ballo in Maschera and The Marriage of Figaro; for Opera Australia – Don Carlo and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He has performed in concert with Victorian Opera, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Music Festival and sang Verdi’s Requiem with Stanford University Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne and Sydney.

In 2010, David Hibbard sang Ramphis (Aida) for State Opera of South Australia and Brander (The Damnation of Faust) for Victorian Opera. He returned to Opera Queensland in 2011 for appearances in La Fanciulla del West and Tosca and sang the bass solos in Messiah for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra; in 2012, he returns to SOSA as Rocco in Fidelio.