Young Artists, 2021
Matthew Avery, Baritone
Matthew started singing at the age of 14 when he performed the role of Javert for his school’s production of .
He was one of 3,000 young singers from all over the world to audition for the renowned internationally acclaimed , He graduated with Honors from the and toured with throughout the USA and Europe performing in Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia.
Returning to Australia he began to focus on Classical and Operatic music. Operatic success includes principal roles in and as well as winning several major classical eisteddfod sections.
COVID saw the cancellation of several performances this year including HOSH’s production of one week before opening night. Matt redirected his performing energy into a Zoom Concert “” with John Martin; an AMEB 8th Grade Singing Exam (HD); performances with Pacific Opera “ and commercial TV ads (Ford Puma/Escape, KFC ).
Matthew is currently studying voice with Donna Balson (Opera Australia) and is thrilled to be a Young Artist with Pacific Opera for 2021.
Gavin Brown, Tenor
Gavin Brown is a graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he received a Master of Music Studies in Opera Performance as the recipient of the Donald Lionel Edgerton, the Bud Brown Memorial and the George and Margaret Henderson Scholarships.
2019 saw Gavin in New York performing the roles of Tamino (The Magic Flute), Basilio and Don Curzio (The Marriage of Figaro) and in an operatic gala at Carnegie Hall.
Other recent stage credits include H.M.S. Pinafore at the Hayes Theatre, Jack (Love Burns), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Contino Belfiore (La Finta Giardiniera) and Le Mari (Les Mamelles De Tirésias).
Nicholas Geddes, Baritone
Nick is a Sydney based musical theatre/opera singer, with a diploma in music theatre who’s happy place is sharing good food with others. Most recently, he was thrilled to be cast in State Opera of South Australia’s production of Boojum!, as featured ensemble.
Nick has also had the privilege of being a part of some fantastic musicals, such as: Rent, Jesus Christ Superstar, Parade, Spring Awakening, Blood Brothers, Avenue Q, and A New Brain. Conducting is also a passion of his, and last year, was fortunate enough to conduct his first full musical, The Wiz.
Nick has his singing lessons under the watchful eye of Christine Douglas. He teaches primary and high school students drama, in after school programs, sharing knowledge gained throughout his studies. Nick is proudly represented by Lambert House Enterprises.
Hannah Greenshields, Soprano
Hannah’s golden-toned lyric soprano voice is set to soar as she joins Pacific Opera as a 2019 young artist. At just 24 years old, Hannah’s operatic highlights include Musetta (La Boheme), Babarina (Le Nozze de Figaro) and Frasquita (Carmen). Hannah was previously a Pacific Opera Young artist in 2013 and recent winner of the prestigious Sydney Savage Club competition, as well as a Bouddi Foundation for the Arts Scholar.
In 2016, Hannah won the ‘Female Voices’ and ‘Art Song’ section of The Sydney Eisteddfod, and in 2014 was a finalist in the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation Scholarship. Hannah’s singing adventures have taken her as far as Rome, Venice, Zurich and Shanghai.
An entrepreneur, Hannah is a Speech Pathologist working within her own clinic, and co-owns ‘The Food Farm’ – a business connecting people with agriculture and local produce at a grass roots level.
Tessa Hayward, Soprano
Tessa Hayward is a young artist with Pacific Opera. Last year she was the recipient of the Dame Nellie Melba Scholarship through the Melba Opera Trust.
In 2018, she was awarded runner up and the inaugural Dame Elizabeth Murdoch prize at the Herald Sun Aria Final and won the encouragement award in the finals of the Limestone Coast Italian Aria Competition. A highlight in 2019 was performing in the chorus of Opera Australia’s production of Turandot. Last year, Tessa performed Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem soprano solo with the St James Choir conducted by Warren Trevelyan-Jones.
Tessa has given concerts and recitals for Sydney Opera Projects and The Opera and Arts Support Group. She completed undergraduate and post-graduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium under the tutelage of Professor Janet Delpratt and is continuing her studies with Glenn Winslade.
Kirralee Hillier, Soprano
Kirralee Hillier is a recent graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium Music where she completed her Bachelor Music Performance (Classical Voice) under Dr Narelle Yeo. Her passion for performing has led her to perform with a number of internationally acclaimed artists such as Hans Zimmer and, most recently, Patti Lupone. Other recent Opera & Operetta credits include singing Yum Yum in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado, Cunagonde in Berstein’s Candide, Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Jessie in Kurt Weil’s Mahagonny Songspiel. Additionally, Kirralee has been delighted to be a chorister in works such as Haydn’s Orfeo conducted by Sir Richard Bonynge and Berntstein’s Mass at the Sydney Opera House.
Elora Ledger, Mezzo-Soprano
Elora graduated from the ANU with Degrees in Music (Voice) and Arts (Classics).
Her opera career began at aged 11, when she was invited to solo at Dame Kiri Te Kanawa’s Opera Factory. She has performed major roles on stage and film in Australia, NZ, Italy, England and America.
Elora considers one of her greatest musical achievements to be singing in Ancient Greek and Roman theatres. 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.
Nicole Mealey, Mezzo-Soprano
Nicole completed her Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice Performance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2018 under the tutelage of Fiona McAndrew, Patricia Price, Linda Barcan and Emma Matthews. Upon graduating, Nicole was awarded the John and Margaret Winstanley Award for Most Outstanding Classical Graduate.
Nicole was also the recipient of the Patricia Price Award and Scholarship for Melbourne International Festival of Lieder and Art Song (MIFLAS) and The Doris Smith Trophy at Wollongong Eisteddfod. Nicole’s most recent engagements include the role of Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon. Nicole is delighted to be a Young Artist with Pacific Opera and can’t wait to share her love of music with the world.
Rachel Mink, Soprano
Rachel Mink, soprano, is a 2021 Pacific Opera Young Artist and ensemble member of Luminescence, a virtuosic vocal consort. Highlights of Rachel’s operatic credits include Émilie in Kaija Saariaho’s Émilie; Colin in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s opera Le Devin du Village, Belinda and the First Witch in Dido and Aeneas, and Zirphile (cover) in the American premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Sympathy with Victory Hall Opera. Rachel was an active chorus member with Charlottesville Opera and performed in La Traviata and Amahl and the Night Visitors. In masterclasses, she has had the honor of working with Renée Fleming, Karita Mattila, Danielle Telemantes, and Rachelle Fleming.
Originally hailing from the USA, Rachel studied vocal performance and musicology at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland. and earned her BA from the University of Virginia with a double major in music and arts administration. In her spare time, works as a fundraising professional for the Boulanger Imitative, a non-profit committed to promoting music composed by womxn.
Rebecca O'Hanlon, Mezzo-Soprano
Rebecca O’Hanlon, mezzo soprano, has completed her Bachelor of Music Performance in Classical Voice at the Sydney Conservatorium, studying under Dr Narelle Yeo.
A graduate of the Conservatorium High School, Rebecca has featured as soloist in Fauré’s Requiem and in Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Ruddigore’. She was also the soprano soloist forthe Conservatorium of Music Centenary Concert in 2015.
In 2018, Rebecca had the honour to perform the mezzo soprano solo from Prokofiev’s ‘Alexander Nevsky’ with the Conservatorium Orchestra and Choirs in Verbrugghen Hall under Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz and, in 2019, performing the Alto solo sextet part of Alice Chance’s 'Fiat Lux'.
Daniel Verschuer, Tenor
Daniel Verschuer is a graduate tenor of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. As a child he performed with Opera Australia including as Gherardino (Gianni Schicchi). As an adult, Daniel has performed the roles of Frederick (The Pirates of Penzance), Nanki- Poo (The Mikado), and Ottokar (The Gypsy Baron) in Sydney.
In 2019 he had his first involvement with Pacific Opera as an Adjunct Artist, and in their 2020 Pocket Opera series he portrayed Tamino (The Magic Flute) and Don Basilio (The Marriage of Figaro). He has previously performed in concert with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra.
Henry Wright, Baritone
Henry Wright is a young baritone from Sydney who is currently in his final year of a Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium where he attained a Bachelor of Music in 2018. He has been the recipient of several scholarships throughout his studies including the Donald Lionel Edgerton Scholarship 2019-2020, George and Margaret Henderson Traveller’s Scholarship 2019, Lyric Opera Studio Weimar Scholarship 2019 (winter and summer session), Patim Fund Scholarship 2015-2020, Estivo Scholarship 2017 and the Patricia Bell Grant 2015-2018.
Henry’s operatic roles have included Pandolfe Cendrillon (Sydney Conservatorium of Music 2020), Nardo La finta Giardiniera (Sydney Conservatorium of Music Sydney), Papageno Die Zauberflöte (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar), L'horloge Comtoise L’enfant et les Sortilèges (SCM 2019), Dr.Falke Die Fledermaus (LOSW 2019).
Concert performances include Bass Soloist in John Stainer’s The Crucifixion (St. Stephen’s 2016), Bass soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Willoughby Symphony 2017) and performing Schumann’s “Liederkreis” (ESTIVO Summer Chamber Music Festival Verona, Italy).