AUGUST 2017 ASSOCIATE ARTIST
JOSHUA OXLEY | tenor
Joshua Oxley is an exciting young tenor based in Sydney. Having completed a Bachelor of Music (Vocal Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium, Joshua has performed several times with the Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as a tenor soloist and small ensemble member. He has joined St Andrew’s Cathedral frequently to sing in Handel’s Messiah and various Bach cantatas and enjoys much of the Oratorio repertoire he has had the opportunity to perform. His Operatic roles include Alfredo, Jenik, Mozart, Frederic, Sam Polk, and Remendado. Among other success in 2016 competitions, Joshua won the BBM Music prize which has funded a study trip to the United Kingdom. Joshua was a Young Artist with Pacific Opera in 2016.
1. What have you been up to lately, performance-wise, and what's coming up?
I have had the great pleasure working with a lot of dear friends on numerous productions this year. It seems to be the Mozart season at the moment having recently performed Don Ottavio in Opera Hunter’s production of Don Giovanni, and now in rehearsal for the Sydney Conservatorium’s production of Die Zauberflöte opening in October. One of the greatest highlights of my year so far was being awarded 1st place in the Joan Carden Award. Not only was the final an incredible experience with the Sydney University Graduate Choir and Orchestra, but the coaching we were given by Joan Carden, Geoffrey Chard, and Christopher Bowen was unforgettable. Hearing Joan and Geoffrey sing gave us something to truly treasure.
2. Who is your favourite singer, and why?
For me, favourite singers come and go, but the greatest inspiration in my singing life has been my Dad. From far too early an age he gave me an insight into how music can change people’s lives. Another hero of mine is tenor Beniamino Gigli. Perhaps the style is dated at times, but the sound is unquestionably beautiful. Whenever I am stuck with a phrase, I always ask, “what would Gigli do?”.
3. What show has impacted you the most as an audience member?
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to see OA’s Parsifal in concert twice. Although my favourite show is still Wagner’s earlier Lohengrin (which I was fortunate to finally see live in Paris earlier this year) the impact of his final work is overwhelming. There were some big names that we all went to see. But afterwards I couldn’t help think that everyone had risen to the requests of the music, not just to match a famous name. In Act I Gurnemanz tells Parsifal that in the realm into which they are entering, time becomes space. What more can an audience ask for than transcendence through music?
4. What experiences do you think have shaped you the most as a performer?
One of my first and biggest opportunities was being cast as Tchaplitsky in the SSO’s concert performance of Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya Dama. For a young singer who had just finished high school the year before, this small part was an honour. Working with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the orchestra, and a phenomenal cast was so exciting and taught me so much. While I was at high school I sang for the legendary baritone Robert Allman. He sang a snippet from Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and even though he was in his last years, if you closed your eyes you could still been listening to one of the world’s best. Referring also to my recent time with Joan Carden, I feel that the experiences that have shaped me have been moments of musical legacy. I have been so fortunate that these and other great singers and mentors have sent the elevator back down for me.
Lohengrin - I don’t have a reason. It’s just amazing.
“Parmi veder le lagrime” with the recit and cabaletta. The Duke is such a dream role and this is one of the rare opportunities a tenor plays the villain and still gets to sing lyrically… and perhaps some of the most famous music in the repertoire.
Verdi’s Requiem is my all time favourite piece. It’s the summation of passion, drama, and faith. Everything that music should be.
July 2017 - Katherine Allen