Rotary plans Opera in the Arboretum

The line up of Opera singers for the 2018 eventThe line up of Opera singers for the 2018 event

Pearl Beach’s annual Opera in the Arboretum will return on March 24. The event will feature Greta Bradman, Deborah Humble, Alex Sefton, Virgilio Marino, Evgeny Sorkin, Francis Greep and The Central Coast Chamber Orchestra, according to Woy Woy Rotary organiser Mr John Greenway.

Greta Bradman was a soprano, recitalist and concert and stage performer, he said. This year, she made her debut in the role of Mimi in La Boheme for Opera Australia, Lisa in La Sonnambula for Victorian Opera and took part in a national tour “Broadway to La Scala” with Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson and Lisa McCune. Mezzo-soprano Deborah Humble was one of Australia’s most successful international artists, Mr Greenway said. In 2004, Humble was awarded the prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Scholarship and the following year, she became a principal mezzo with the State Opera of Hamburg. Since 2015, Humble has appeared in Hamburg, Hong Kong, Boston, Singapore, Minsk, the UK, Melbourne, Brisbane and in Mexico City. This year, she made appearances in Lille, London, Melbourne and New Zealand.

Mr Greenway said baritone Alex Sefton was a member of the Opera Australia Schools Company for two years, performing hundreds of times in hundreds of schools to thousands of students around NSW in productions of The Magic Flute and The Barber of Seville. He grew up in Newcastle and acted with many theatrical companies. Australian-Italian tenor Virgilio Marino has been with Opera Queensland since 2006 where he has taken many roles Russian-born violinist Evgeny Sorkin was chosen at the age of 10 by Isaac Stern to perform a concert tour of the USA, said Mr Greenway. He attended the Moscow State Conservatorium and, after moving to Australia, studied with Associate Professor Alice Waten at the Australian National Academy of Music and at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Mr Greenway said pianist Francis Greep had gained an international reputation for his work as a vocal coach, recitalist, chorus master, continuo player and conductor. Now based in Australia, he has worked for Opera Australia, West Australian Opera and Houston Grand Opera. He has performed across Europe, North and South America, New Zealand and Australia. Mr Greenway said the Central Coast Chamber Orchestra was a part of the Central Coast Conservatorium, a community based, non-tertiary institution, funded by the local community through tuition fees and assisted by the State Government. Mr Greenway said that, for many years, the Rotary Club of Woy Woy through its Opera in the Arboretum event had provided the opportunity for young musicians of the Chamber Orchestra to accompany some of Australia’s fi nest opera singers. The orchestra will consist of more than 20 youngsters on a wide variety of instruments including violins and violas to fl ute, bassoon, French horn and clarinet. Tickets for the 2018 event are available through Woy Woy Rotary Club.

SOURCE: Media release, 22 Nov 2017 John Greenaway, Woy Woy Rotary

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