Pacific Opera is pleased to announce the inclusion of Associate Performer positions in our 2018 Young Artist Program.
These Associate Performers will grow and develop as artists alongside the Young Artists of Pacific Opera and perform with the Company.
Katherine Allen - Soprano
Soprano, Katherine Allen, is studying a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Dr. Rowena Cowley. She is an Associate Young Artist with Pacific Opera. In September this year Katherine will perform the role of Paquette in the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ production of Candide at the Sydney Opera House. In October 2017, Katherine was the Soprano I Soloist in Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor K. 427 at the Sydney Conservatorium. Operatic Roles in 2017 include the Chorus in the Sydney Conservatorium’s productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Cavalli’s La Calisto, and in the Opera New England production of Floyd’s Susannah. In 2016, Katherine won the Sydney Eisteddfod Intermediate Vocal Scholarship and Operatic Aria. Katherine was an Opera Australia Regional Student Scholarship recipient in 2015. She was subsequently invited to perform as a guest artist at Opera Australia’s Autumnal Gala Ball in Melbourne. Katherine was a featured soloist from 2013-2015 in the NSW Schools Spectacular and performed at the HSC Music Showcase, Encore.
Livia Brash - Soprano
Livia Brash is a Pacific Opera Associate Artist. In 2018, Livia toured Australia performing the role of Rosina in the Barber of Seville, then travelled to the US to sing the title role of Alcina in the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival as a Professional Fellow. Through Pacific Opera, Livia appeared as a featured soloist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. More recently, she made her anticipated debut as Mimi in La Bohème to critical acclaim and came second place in the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Competition.
In 2017, Livia was the winner of the Opera Foundation for young Australians’ Dalwood-Wylie AIMS Award, awarded third place in JSRB Bel Canto Competition, and was named a finalist in the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition. Performance highlights included a solo engagement with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Orchestra at City Recital Hall, concerts at the Sydney Opera House for Pacific Opera, orchestral concerts at the Stefaniensaal in Graz, and Featured Artist for Canberra Choral Society and Canberra Wind Symphony’s Last Night of the Proms.
In the coming months, Livia will appear as a soloist in concerts for Lake Macquarie Symphony and the Central Coast Philharmonia, and will be covering the role of Tosca. She will also be going to Germany on an operatic cultural exchange, representing Pacific Opera. In 2019, she will return as a soloist with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and participate in the prestigious Georg Solti Accademia in Italy, where she will be working with Maestro Bonynge and Barbara Frittoli.
Performed roles include Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Titania, Bertha and Second Lady. She holds a Masters of Music Studies from the Sydney Conservatorium, where she was the recipient of several scholarships.
Nathan Bryon - Tenor
Nathan Bryon is a young tenor completing his third year of study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Bachelor of Vocal Performance) under the guidance of Maree Ryan AM.
Last year, Nathan performed in Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary and Mozart’s Requiem as tenor soloist, and with Pacific Opera in their Winter Words Concert at the Sydney Opera House. Nathan has also performed in the Sydney Conservatorium’s production of Cavalli’s La Callisto; Operantic’s production of Mozart’s La Finta Giadiniera, and is looking forward to debuting the role of “Odoardo" in Handel’s Ariodante for the Apollo Opera Collective.
In 2016, Nathan premiered pieces from ARIA Award-Winning Sally Whitwell’s new musical Unrequited at Broadway Unplugged; he also performed with the Leichhardt Espresso Chorus to premiere Heather Swan’s multimedia performance artwork Nervous at the National Gallery of Australia.
In 2015, Nathan was accepted into the Washington National Opera Program for Young Singers in Washington D.C, where he undertook training with world renowned singers including Harolyn Blackwell, Richard Stillwell and Elizabeth Bishop from the Metropolitan Opera.
Geoffrey Carman - Baritone
Geoffrey Carman is currently a 2018 Pacific Opera Associate Artist. He is also studying a Combined Bachelor of Music Studies (Voice)/Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology & Germanic Studies), at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under tutelage of Anke Hoeppner Ryan & Michael Halliwell.
Geoffrey has performed in the ensemble for Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Sydney Conservatorium Opera), Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Operantics) and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Sydney Chamber Choir). Since July 2016, Geoffrey has held the Bass Choral Scholarship at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church. During his time at St. Stephen’s, he has also performed as the bass soloist in John Stainer’s The Crucifixion and the baritone soloist in Henry J. Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary with the St Stephen’s enlarged choir.
Geoffrey’s awards include 1st in the 2017 Ryde Eisteddfod Lieder prize & 2016 Sacred Solo prize. Geoffrey performs regularly with Sydney Chamber Choir, and is a former chorister with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir.
Daine Ellicott - Tenor
Daine is a 23 year old tenor currently living in Sydney. He has recently completed his Bachelor of Music Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and is continuing his vocal study under Glenn Winslade.
In 2016, Daine had his operatic solo debut as Mercury in Rockdale Opera Company’s production of Orphee Aux Enfers. Recent staged roles include Dr Blind and Alfred (cover) in Operantics English/German adaptation of Die Fledermaus; and Luis in Rockdale Opera Company’s Gondoliers.
Daine performs in numerous concert and recital engagements around Sydney. Most recently, these include participating as a soloist in Rockdale Opera’s Opera Gala Fundraiser Concert with Jose Carbo and Emma Matthews; and in Pacific Opera’s Staged Scenes at the Opera Centre.
This will be his first year as an Associate Artist with Pacific Opera.
Elora Ledger - Mezzo-soprano
Elora graduated from the Australian National University with a Degree in Music (Voice) and a Degree in Arts (Classics).
Her opera career began in New Zealand aged 11, when she was invited to solo at Dame Kiri Te Kanawa ONZ DBE AC’s Opera Factory, premiering a new work. She has performed major roles in productions in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Auckland, New York and Siena. Elora had the privilege of studying in the US and Italy under Metropolitan Opera Principals Neil Rosenshein and Ashley Putnam. She has sung for film in Australia and England.
Elora considers one of her greatest musical achievements to be singing in Ancient Greek and Roman theatres in Turkey, Greece and Italy. Her voice bouncing off the cracked marble of some of the best acoustic spaces ever constructed, she felt herself becoming a small link on the end of a chain that stretches from Homer and Aristophanes through to Pink Floyd.
Sarah Prestwidge - Soprano
Sarah Prestwidge is a young indigenous Australian soprano, and scholarship recipient at Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music, under the vocal tuition of Stephen Yalouris.
Sarah has performed both nationally and internationally for corporate and charity events, and was also awarded a scholarship to study both language and music in Italy through AFS Intercultural Exchange. Sarah made her operatic debut in 2016 in La Traviata with Opera New England, and performed the role of Lady Ella In Patience with G&S Opera Sydney. 2017 began with preparations for Pagliacci and the roles of Osmina/Lay Sister in Suor Angelica.
Sarah has had mentorships with Emma Matthews, Deborah Cheetham, and Dale Burridge, and became a young artist with Voci Stupende in 2017. Sarah had the opportunity to perform in master classes at Julliard and Manhattan School of Music during her trip to New York in 2017.
Paulina Smirnov - Young Repetiteur
BMus (Piano performance), GradDip (Piano accompaniment), AMusA, LMusA
Paulina is a pianist, chamber musician and piano teacher and also plays harp on the side.. She made her solo debut as a pianist at the age of twelve with the Wollongong Symphony Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 21. She was awarded the Winifred Margaret Neirous Prize for best recital pianist in her year after completing her undergraduate bachelor degree in Piano performance at Sydney Conservatorium, and then went on to complete her postgraduate degree specialising in accompaniment.
Paulina studied with David Miller and Phillip Shovk, and performed in recital with musicians Julian Smiles, Michael Halliwell and Evgeny Sorkin. She attended the Estivo Chamber Music program in Verona in 2015 – participating in masterclasses and performing in Italy. She is currently a piano teacher and accompanist at the Wollongong Conservatorium of Music and freelance pianist around Sydney.
Paulina picked up the harp as her second instrument while in high school and has performed with many orchestras and ensembles in Wollongong and Sydney, including as guest harpist in the 2014 season of Nutcracker with the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. She studies with Jane Rosenson, principal harpist of AOBO.
Goldele Rayment - Young Director
Goldele is a Director, Dramaturge and Teaching Artist working in the independent theatre sector, Community Arts and Cultural Development and Education in Sydney Australia.
In 2015, she founded the independent theatre company, Company of Rogues, to produce her own productions. In 2017 Company of Rogues established a regular Cabaret room, "The Bedlam Cabaret", to showcase the best established and emerging artists in Sydney.
2014-16 she was the Artistic Program Coordinator at the Milk Crate Theatre, where she managed their theatre workshop programs for people who have experienced homelessness. In 2014 she was awarded a professional development grant from Accessible Arts to undertake professional development
Goldele graduated with a Bachelor of Performing Arts, on the Dean’s Honour’s List, at Monash University in 2007.
Goldele’s recent credits include:- “Morgan Stern” – (Director, Blood Moon Theatre 2016, Belvoir Street & Edinburgh Fringe 2017), “Forest Unyeilding (Dramaturg, Self Help Arts, 107 Projects)“Turning Towers” (Director/Joker, Milk Crate Theatre), “The Typists” (Director/Performer-The Exchange Hotel Balmain, 2015); “The Vagina Monologues” (Director-National Theatre, 2009).
Jessica Westcott - Young Director
Jessica is a familiar face as she has been a part of the Sydney Opera scene for 6 years, as a singer, director and producer. With an Bachelor of Music (Honours) from Sydney Conservatorium, she has been involved in productions (in almost every capacity) with independent companies all the way up to Opera Australia. As a singer, she toured for two years with Opera Australia’s School’s program, and in Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour in 2017 and 2018.
In 2013, while still studying, Jessica founded, produced and directed the Rising Stars tour (www.risetours.org) which connects up-and-coming Sydney-based artists to their high-school counterparts in regional centres around NSW, culminating in concerts in each area.
In 2016 Jessica worked as a writer and performer on Chamber Pot Opera, a production which toured to the Adelaide and Sydney Fringe Festivals, and then (in 2017) to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. While in Edinburgh, Jessica completed a director/producer training program through the Edinburgh Festival Artist’s Guild, and staged a series of short scenes. In 2018 Chamber Pot heads to Russia to perform at the St Petersburg Summer Festival of the Arts.
Jessica is excited to be a part of Pacific Opera’s program as a young director this year.