Australian Singing Competition - 2017 MasterClass Programme

2017 MasterClass Programme

Chairman's Message

MOST Chairman - Roland Gridiger

Roland Gridiger 

"Welcome to the 2017 MasterClass. The MasterClass is an initiative that was pioneered in 2010 to provide the 5 Finalists an enriching and unforgettable experience with our National Adjudicator. In working with Barbara Frittoli each singer will receive the benefit of her wisdom gleaned from many decades as a performer. 

For you, the members of the audience, I trust that today will be a highlight of the long journey to the Finals concert – indeed, following these singers from the Semi Finals, to the MasterClass and then on to the Finals will give you a taste of the impact each will make on the operatic stage. 

I look forward to greeting you at the Finals on 15 July 2017.”  

Roland Gridiger, CEO Music & Opera Singers Trust Ltd (MOST®)

Now in its eighth year, our MasterClass is an opportunity for 5 selected Finalists to receive one-on-one expert tuition from a seasoned professional performer.

This year, the ASC is delighted to welcome acclaimed Swedish mezzo soprano, Catrin Johnsson as our ‘Master’.

2017 'Master'

2017 Master - Catrin Johnsson

Catrin Johnsson

Catrin Johnsson was born in Sweden and trained at the Sköndal Institute (Organist Course) and Royal University College of Music in Stockholm (Solo Vocal Course) where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music. She completed her formal training at the Royal Academy of Music in London (Performance and Opera Course) where she graduated with a Dip.RAM and LRAM. She has furthered her vocal studies with Jacqueline Bremar and David Harper. Awards include the prestigious Christina Nilsson Award from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Elena Gerhardt Lieder Prize, Flora Nielsen Prize, Michael Head Prize, Katie Thomas Prize, and the Minnie Hauk Prize.

Operatic roles include the title role in The Duchess of Malfi for English National Opera, Medoro in Handel’s Orlando for the Åmot Opera Festival in Norway, Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro, La Ciesca Gianni Schicchi and Dimitri Fedora for Opera Holland Park, Dorabella Così fan tutte, Dido Dido and Aeneas, Carmen, Meg Page Falstaff, Hansel Hansel and Gretel, Adelberto Ottone and Idelberto Lotario (London Handel Festival), Nicklausse Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Prince The Happy Prince, ZerlinaDon Giovanni, Second Lady and Third Lady The Magic Flute. Covered roles include Fyodor Boris Godunov and Dorabella Così fan tutte for English National Opera, Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Stéphano Roméo et Juliette for Opera North.

Oratorios include: Verdi Requiem, Bach Magnificat, St Matthew Passion, Christmas Oratorio, Handel Messiah, L'Allegro, il Penserioso ed il Moderato, Mozart Requiem and Mass in C minor.

Catrin is active on the concert platform in Europe, Scandinavia, UK and New Zealand where performances include Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Queen Elizabeth Hall), Kindertotenlieder (Purcell Room), Grieg Haugtussa (St John's, Smith Square, with Malcolm Martineau). Together with pianist Rachel Fuller she recorded the CD In Recital and has also taken part in a televised master class for the BBC with David Pountney, as well as radio and television broadcasts in Sweden, Norway and New Zealand. 2016 engagements included: the role of Second Lady in The Magic Flute for New Zealand Opera 2016, recitals for Chamber Music New Zealand together with soprano Morag Atchison and pianist Rachel Fuller, and performances of Verdi’s Requiem with Bach Musica, as well as Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 2, Lobgesang.

Catrin also works as a vocal and language consultant for high level choirs, including Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir. Recent engagements include Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem (Royal Festival Hall, Wimbledon Choral Society, conductor Neil Ferris), BachJohannespassion (Auckland Town Hall, Auckland Chamber Choir, conductor Stephen Layton). CD recordings include Voice of the Soul with Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir and Magnificat with the Auckland Chamber Choir, conductor Karen Grylls.

Catrin is an international guest tutor of the New Zealand Singing School and is an Artist Teacher at the University of Auckland. In London, she worked as a voice teacher at St Paul’s Boys’ School and at Latymer Upper School.


2016 IFAC ASC Semi-Finals Accompanist - David Harper

David Harper

Born and raised in New Zealand but based in the UK for the last forty years, David has earned a glowing reputation worldwide for his accompanying and vocal coaching skills. His clientele includes various distinguished international singers – many of whom also frequently invite him to collaborate in recital at prestigious international venues, as well as students and young aspiring professionals from all points of the globe.

Over the last decade, David has often returned to Australasia, establishing a prominent professional profile here to complement his northern hemisphere activities. Biennial visits enable him to fulfil a variety of commitments including intermittent guest coaching periods with Opera Australia, tutorships at Summer Singing Schools, song recital engagements, and regular private vocal coaching stints in numerous locations.

David is proud to maintain his longstanding association with the IFAC Australian Singing Competition as accompanist and prize donor.


2017 MasterClass Programme


Featuring our 2017 Finalists in a public MasterClass with Catrin Johnsson and accompanist David Harper.

Approximately 2.5 hours.


Now in its eighth year, our MasterClass is an opportunity for 5 selected Finalists to receive one-on-one expert tuition from a seasoned professional performer.

Each singer will perform part of an aria and be mentored on text, technical and emotional aspects of their performance, technique and lyrical interpretation. The audience and fellow Finalists watch and listen as the Master works with one person at a time.

The MasterClass provides an intimate and unique window of experience into this most wonderful of artforms.


Find Out More


Semi-Finals Concert

Sunday 4 July 4:30pm
The Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street 
North Sydney


Monday 5 June 1:00pm
The Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street 
North Sydney

Finals Concert
Thursday 15 July 7:00pm
Concert Hall
The Concourse Theatre

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Rachel shares her experience working with Lisa Gasteen and David Harper.

Rachel Bate, Soprano

Winner of the Marianne Mathy Scholarship in 2010, Rachel was also in our first MasterClass held that same year. In this video Rachel shares her experience working with Lisa Gasteen and David Harper. 

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