The 2014 Semi-Finals Concert is dedicated to the memory of Maestro Myer Fredman.
An internationally acclaimed conductor in the symphonic and operatic repertoire, Myer Fredman played a pivotal role in the Australian musical scene over many decades and his contribution to the Australian Singing Competition cannot be overstated. Fredman was a member of the music advisory committee that helped establish the original rules and conditions for the Competition, many of which are still in place today. He was an adjudicator no less than 15 times, served as National Adjudicator in 1993 as well as guest conductor on several occassions.
Fredman was most recently Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music and was closely involved in establishing the Tasmanian Discovery Orchestra.
"I am delighted to welcome you to the Semi-Finals Concert of the 2014 IFAC Australian Singing Competition.
Now in our 33rd year, the IFAC ASC continues to adapt and to innovate in the face of an ever-changing world. We have lead the way in our use of digital technology – our YouTube Channel showcases the Competition going back to our very first year and is extremely popular. To date we have had close to 400,000 views and we enjoy hundreds of subscribers from across the world.
This year, for the very first time, we held Heats in London to reflect the inescapably international nature of a modern singing career. The IFAC ASC has a proud history of launching the careers of some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s finest classical and opera singers.
Tonight you will hear eleven exciting young performers, accompanied by the renowned David Harper, as they begin their own journeys onto the international stage. We would like to thank our friends, sponsors and supporters for making this event possible.
We wish each of the Semi-Finalists the very best of luck and look forward to meeting you at the Finals on 30 August 2014. "
The IFAC Australian Singing Competition is committed to finding and fostering the next generation of classical singers and the Semi-Finals are instrumental in achieving this aim. This stage of the Competition is not simply about pitting one singer against another, but also about helping the singers develop as artists.
Indeed, education is a cornerstone of the Australian Singing Competition. 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 eleven 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 eleven Semi-Finalists, only five will be selected as Finalists.
These five will appear at the Finals Concert on August 30 at 7pm in the Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Now in its 33rd year, the IFAC 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.
Brisbane-born baritone Jeffrey Black began his career in 1984 when, at the age of twenty-one, he joined The Australian Opera as a principal artist singing roles which included Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Schaunard in La bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus, Dandini in La Cenerentola and Ottone in Goran Jarvefelt’s new production of L’lncoronazione di Poppea.
Jeffrey Black made his European debut in 1986 as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos in Monte Carlo and his British debut the same year at the Glyndebourne Festival as Sid in Albert Herring, where he has subsequently returned for Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1989) and the Count - in both Capriccio (1990) and Le nozze di Figaro (1991). At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he has appeared as Harlekin, Sid, Figaro (II barbiere), Dandini, the Count de Nevers in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and the Count (Figaro). Jeffrey made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, with Figaro (II barbiere) in 1995 and returned in 1997 to sing the Count (Figaro).
In summer 2010, Jeffrey performed the baritone role of Gianciotto in Zandonai’s opera Francesca da Rimini for Opera Holland Park. Recent engagements include his role debut as Pizzaro in Fidelio for New London Opera Players followed by Scarpia in Tosca as well as his role debut as Telramund in Lohengrin in 2014.
For the last ten years Jeffrey has had a thriving teaching practice in his private studio in southwest London. Additionally for the last six years he has been a part time lecturer in voice and performance studies as part of the Music Faculty at Kingston University, London.
Photo Jeffrey Black
2014 SEMI-FINALS CONCERT ADJUDICATORS
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 fledging 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.
2014 Semi-FInals Concert Programme
(by last name in alphabetical order)
KATE AMOS 24* soprano VIC
Les filles de Cadix
Piangerò la sorte mia
JESSICA BOYD 22* soprano VIC
The Nightingale Enslaved by the Rose
SAMANTHA CLARKE 23* soprano WA
Depuis le jour
CORINNE COWLING 24* soprano WA
Tornami a vagheggiar
JESSICA HARPER 24* soprano NSW
Breit’ über mein Haupt
Eccomi in lieta vesta….Oh quante volte
IAIN HENDERSON 25* tenor QLD
Ich trage meine Minne
Se di lauri il crine adorno
AMY MANFORD 21* soprano WA
Ah! Je veux vivre
ISABELLA MOORE 23* soprano NZ
Ernani, Ernani involami
CRISTINA RUSSO 25* soprano VIC
Una voce poco fa
JOEL SCOTT 24* tenor NSW
Ye People, Rend Your Hearts/If with All Your Hearts
ANNA VOSHEGE 24* soprano VIC
Nacht und Träume / Franz Schubert
O zittre nicht
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.