Our 2020 Young Artists
Katherine Allen, Soprano
Katherine Allen completed her Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2019 and since then has performed with Opera Australia in the Chorus of Don Giovanni. She is a Young Artist with Pacific Opera.
Katherine made her operatic debut at the Sydney Opera House in 2018, performing Paquette in Candide with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Other operatic roles include Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore (Hayes Theatre Company) and Adele in Die Fledermaus (Lyric Opera Studio Weimar).
In 2019 Katherine received the Megan Evans OAM Encouragement award in the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Bel Canto Award. That year she also won the Sydney Eisteddfod Senior Vocal Scholarship and Operatic Aria, having won the Intermediate Vocal Scholarship and Operatic Aria in 2016.
Solo orchestral engagements include Mahler’s 4th Symphony with Ensemble Apex and Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with the Sydney Conservatorium’s Symphony Orchestra and Choirs.
In 2015 Katherine was one of Opera Australia’s Inaugural Regional Student Scholars and was subsequently invited to perform as a guest artist at Opera Australia’s Autumnal Gala Ball in Melbourne.
Genevieve Dickson, Mezzo-Soprano
Genevieve holds a Bachelor of Music from Melbourne University and participated in the Opera Scholars Australia program for three years.
She has performed Tisbe (La Cenerentola) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos) for Citi Opera, Marrianna (Il Signor Bruschino) for Lyric Opera and Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) for Cordeliaʼs Potted Opera. Covered roles include Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) for Melbourne Opera, Angelina (La Cenerentola) for Citi Opera, Sofia (Il Signor Bruschino) for Lyric Opera and Stephano (Romeo et Juliette) for a Victorian Opera/TSO joint production.
Some of Genevieve’s favourite concert credits are the alto solo in Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with the Eastern Sydney Chamber Orchestra and Willoughby Symphony Choir, Vaughn Williams ‘Serenade to Music’ and the world premiere of Tim Lukeyʼs ‘Passion of the People’ with the Preston Symphony Orchestra, recitals with London pianist Julian Jacobson as part of the Musicales En Eygaliyeres in France and a recital series at the Castello delle Serre in Italy.
Competition highlights include representing Australia in the 2018 Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Latvia and being a finalist in the German Australian Opera Grant 2020.
In Dec 2019 she performed with Opera Australia in the Don Giovanni chorus and was enjoying the rehearsals for La Traviata Handa Opera on the Harbour when it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
During 2020 Genevieve has been kept busy by performing with Couch Opera Online, hosting weekly singing warm-ups and webinars with Dr Louise Mahler and (very thankfully) working with Pacific Opera for a second year.
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.
Lyla Levy-Jordan, Mezzo-Soprano
Lyla Levy-Jordan is a 22 year old Mezzo-Soprano, who graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Diploma of Languages (French) from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
For the duration of her tertiary education, Lyla was the recipient of the NHM Forsyth Senior Vocal Scholarship at Trinity College. From 2016-2018 Lyla was a Young Artist and awardee of the Garry Canning scholarship with Opera Scholars Australia. During this time she took part in performances country wide, including Opera in the Caves, Opera in the Alps and Masterclasses with Yvonne Kenny.
Lyla recently covered the role of Fairy 2 in Victorian Opera’s World Premier of The Selfish Giant.
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.
Timothy Nunn, Baritone
Baritone Timothy Nunn is an Associate Artist with Pacific Opera and an Emerging Artist with Coast Opera Australia. Recent Performances include the title role in the Phoenix Choir’s performances of Mendelssohn’s Oratorio Elijah, the role of The Leader in Pacific Opera’s Production of Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley and performing as a soloist in Willoughby Symphony Orchestra’s Viennese Gala. He has performed Handel’s Messiah as the bass soloist with the St Matthew’s New Norfolk Tasmania Community choir, the Shoalhaven Lydian Singers, St Mark’s Darling Point Choir and the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Ecumenical Choir.
Timothy has also performed the role of Jimmy in Opera Carnevale’s production of Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel, the title role in The Vagabond: Art Song for Kids at the Sydney Fringe Festival, Grandpa Moss in a performance of a Scene from Copeland’s Tender Land with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Wind Symphony, the role of Pangloss in a concert celebrating 100 years of Leonard Bernstein at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the role of Pilatus in Operatics’ performances of Bach’s St Matthew Passion and was a part of the Ensemble for Patti LuPone’s concert Don’t Monkey with Broadway at the Sydney Opera House.
In 2019 Timothy won both the Open Aria and Open Lieder scholarships at the City of Ryde Eisteddfod.
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'.
Gabrielle Penney, Soprano
Gabrielle Penney, a New Zealand born Soprano of Australian descent, has a Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) from Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and a Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) from Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she performed Sandrina from La finta giardiniera, Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni, La Bergère and Une Pastourelle from L’enfant et les Sortilèges.
During her studies, Gabrielle travelled to Germany twice where she performed Pamina from Die Zauberflöte at the Comödien Haus in Bad Liebenstein with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar, and Gretel from Hänsel und Gretel with the Berlin Opera Academy.
Gabrielle has recently been awarded the Prue Kennard Scholarship and a position as a Young Artist with Pacific Opera. She has been the recipient of the AEH Nickson Travelling Scholarship from Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, and the Budd Brown Memorial Scholarship, Helpmann Family fellowship and Henderson Travellers Scholarship from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Sarah Prestwidge, Soprano
Sarah Prestwidge is a young Australian soprano, and scholarship recipient from Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Education), under the vocal tutelage of Stephen Yalouris.
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. She has also featured in a number of solo recitals, concerts and orchestral works, including Bernstein’s Mass performances at the Utzon room of Sydney Opera House, and Mozart’s ‘Requiem’.
Throughout 2017, Sarah received first place in Female Voice and placed in Operatic Aria at a Sydney eisteddfod and also had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music during her trip to New York.
In 2018, Sarah was in Pacific Opera, sang as a featured soloist with Short Black Opera, and sang the roles of Barbarina/Susanna in Le Nozze Di Figaro, in Italy. Later this year Sarah will be one of eight people selected to study in an intensive program in Munich, Germany.
Mikayla Tate, Soprano
Mikayla Tate is a Sydney-based soprano and 2019-2020 Sponsored Young Artist with Pacific Opera. She graduated with a Bachelor of Performance (Classical Voice) from the Australian Institute of Music and trains under Opera Australia’s brightest coaches and alumni. A regular and successful competition performer, Mikayla has been awarded Runner Up and Most Promising Vocalist by the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition.
Mikayla is a regular soloist with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Nicholas Milton, and has performed as a soloist at both Government House and the Sydney Opera House. In 2019 Mikayla made her German debut in Berlin playing the role of Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte under the baton of Covent Garden’s Tom Seligman.
Other operatic highlights include: Pamina (Mozart: Die Zauberflöte), Musetta (Puccini, et al: Bohéme a piacere), Prima Sorella Cercatrice and La Sorella Infermiera (Puccini: Suor Angelica), Virginia (Scarlatti: La caduta de decemviri) and Gretel/Sandmann/Dewfairy alternate (Humperdinck: Hänsel und Gretel)
Mikayla looks forward to a recital tour along the Central Coast and Sydney for the remainder of 2020 and will be playing several roles in Pacific Opera’s Staged Scenes Workshop under the direction of Peter Coleman-Wright AO.