About Our Performers:

Voci Stupende

You can expect a captivating musical journey as the singers present solos, duets, trios and ensemble pieces from some of the best loved operatic and classical repertoire.

VOCI STUPENDE is a not for profit organisation which exists solely to give fledgling singers and accompanists opportunities to showcase their talent and share their passion for classical music across Australia. This troupe are Sydney Conservatorium of Music graduates.

Event Cast...

Michelle Ryan - Soprano

Michelle Ryan

Michelle is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia, where she studied her Bachelor of Music Performance in Voice and a Diploma of Opera Studies. Here she performed the roles of Beth in Little Women and Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief. Other roles performed recently include Despina with Lyric Opera Studio Weimar in their production of Cosi fan tutte and Zerlina, performed in the Estates Theatre in Prague for the Prague Summer Nights Festival production of Don Giovanni in July of this year. Michelle also performed Frasquita with Berlin Opera Academy’s production of Carmen. Recently Michelle performed with Pinchgut Opera in Theodora by Handel. Future engagements include returning to Weimar to perform with Lyric Opera Studio in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, as the step sister, Clorinda.

Katherine Allen - Soprano

19 year-old Soprano, Katherine Allen, is currently studying a Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium. In the July 2016, Katherine won the Sydney Eisteddfod Intermediate Vocal Scholarship and the 17-20 Years Operatic Aria. In the 2015 Sydney Eisteddfod she received First Place in the 17-20 Aria and Art Song. This February, Katherine performed at the Sydney Opera House in the HSC Music Showcase Encore. In January 2015, Katherine was selected as one of Opera Australia’s Regional Student Scholarship recipients, where she spent one week training with artistic, music and language coaches at the Sydney Opera House and at the Opera Australia headquarters. In May, she was invited to perform as guest artist at Opera Australia’s Autumnal Gala in Melbourne. She was a featured soloist in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Schools Spectaculars, performing alongside prominent artists including Opera Australia’s Julie Goodwin and former Ten Tenors singer Shannon Brown. Katherine has performed as a solo artist at numerous locations in Sydney, including the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Town Hall, the Art Gallery of NSW, and the Qantas Credit Union Arena. She currently studies with Dr. Rowena Cowley (Director of Performance Research and Senior Lecturer in Voice/Pedagogy and Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

Katherine Allen

Rebecca Moret - Soprano

Rebecca Moret

Melbourne-born soprano Rebecca Claire Moret is currently based in Sydney. In 2016 she is making her debut in the title roles of Puccini's Suor Angelica and Madama Butterfly with Opera Projects Sydney, and is a Young Artist with Pacific Opera, as well as appearing with the Opera Australia chorus. Since graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium Opera School, she spent 2014 performing with Opera Australia's NSW Schools Company in Rossini's The Barber of Seville. In 2015, she was winner of the Deborah Riedel Prize in the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Award, and performance highlights included Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Sydney University Symphony Orchestra, and the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, where she appeared in the roles of Mozart's Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Elettra (Idomeneo) with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Hannah Fraser - Mezzo Soprano

Hannah Fraser, from northern NSW was educated at PLC Armidale before relocating to Sydney in 2010 to study at the University of Sydney (BMus Performance specialising in Classical Voice). As a performer and educator, she is versed in a wide variety of styles and genres - with a particular focus in opera, art song, and consort singing. Hannah is currently in her third year working with the esteemed vocal ensemble The Song Company who continue to present a plethora of intricate, magnificent and educational programs to a variety of audiences around Australia and the world. Both as a soloist and with her continuuing experience with this ensemble Hannah's schedule has grown to include a mix of national and international touring, a subscription series in cities across Australia, recording and broadcast projects, education activities and special cross-artform collaborative projects. She has worked and performed alongside many highly acclaimed musicians, orchestras and ensembles including Ironwood, Sydney Consort, Pinchgut Opera,Cantillation, The Australian Haydn Ensemble, Simone Vallerotonda, The Australia Ensemble, Taikoz Leichardt Espresso Chorus, New Zealand String Quartet, The Australian Art Quartet, Moorambilla Voices, The Gavin Bryars Ensemble, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Forma Antiqva and Tambuco.On the concert platform she has performed as soloist in Haydn's Seven Last Words, Handel's Messiah and Saul (Michal), Mendelssohn's Elijah, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's St John Passion, Hildegard's Ordo Virtutum (Humilitas), Schumann's Requiem für Mignon, Girolamo Abos’s Stabat Mater, Durufle’s Requiem and later in 2016 she will join Cantillation in Pinchgut's production of Theodore by Handel.

Hannah Fraser

Damian Arnold - Tenor

Damian Arnold

Damian has completed his Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium, where he was the recipient of the Linda Kingsbury Jeffery Scholarship for Voice. Damian was a Finalist in the 2015 IFAC Australian Singing Competition as well as winning both the 2016 Wollongong Eisteddfod Aria and 2016 Cowra Eisteddfod Aria competitions. He spent 2015 performing the role of Rolan (Prince Ramiro) in Opera Australia’s adaptation of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, as well as making appearances with Manly-Waringah Choir, Strathfield Symphony, Penrith Symphony and Ryde-Hunters Hill Orchestra. In 2014, Damian represented the Sydney Conservatorium in its inaugural Estivo Summer School in Italy; as well as studying under teachers in Germany and Austria. His performance experience includes Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro, Mozart in Mozart and Salieri by Rimsky-Korsakov, Hugo in Offenbach’s Love By Lanternlight, The Tenor Lover in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Edward in Trial by Jury. He also has had an extensive Concert experience, including performing the Tenor Soloist in: Handel’s Messiah, Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass,Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Haydn’s Paukenmesse, Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass, Stainer’s Crucifixion, and Peterson’s Shadows and Light. Damian most recently performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, as well as attending the Lisa Gasteen Summer School, in which he performed scenes from Falstaff and Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor. In 2017 Damian is thrilled to be a Melba scholar as well as having the opportunity to work with the Meitar Opera Studio in Israel.

Jared Lillehagen, Bass Baritone

Jared Lillehagen studied a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is now in his final year of an Advanced Diploma of Opera under the guidance of Anke Höppner. Jared has performed many operatic roles, including Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart, Mars in Orphèe aux Enfers by Offenbach, Les Calender in La Rencontre Imprèvue by Gluck, Grimbald in King Arthur by Purcell, Harašta in The Cunning Little Vixon by Janácek, Herr Reich in Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor by Nicolai and Filiberto in Il Signor Bruschino by Rossini. Jared has appeared as an oratorio soloist, performing as Bass Soloist in Handel’s Messiah,Charpentier’s Te Deum, and as Gobrias in Belshazzar’s Feast. He has performed with ensembles such as Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Penrith Symphony Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Sydney University Graduate Choir, Cantillation and the Opera Australia Chorus, and has worked with conductors such as Arvo Volmer, Guy Noble, Stephan Mould, Simon Kenway and Paul Terracini.

Jared Lillehagen

Benjamin Burton - Accompanist

Benjamin Burton

Benjamin Burton is a talented young pianist with a passion for accompanying vocal and instrumental performances. In 2014, Ben did an internship with Opera Australia, and travelled on full scholarship to Munich, Germany where he was repetiteur for the Bel Canto Summer Program. In his role as accompanist, Ben has performed all over the country, and in 2015 will be continuing to perform with Voci Stupende, be official accompanist for the National Band Championships and Shoalhaven Eisteddfod, and be pianist-in-residence for the 2015 Moorambilla Voices Festival. Ben studied Piano Performance with an accompaniment focus at the Sydney Conservatorium with David Miller and Bernadette Harvey, and has also studied with David Howie and Stephen Mould. In 2012 and 2013 he won the Mollie Neale award for highest marks in accompaniment he has also participated in masterclasses with Carlo Barricello, Sue Newsome, Dr. Michael Halliwell, Maree Ryan and Ole Bohn. Ben works with various choirs and schools in Sydney, including the The Arts Unit, Leichhardt Espresso Chorus, International Grammar School, Fort St High School, Sydney University Graduate Choir and St Vincent's College.

String Musicians Australia

String Musicians Australia are some of Australia’s finest young string musicians. String Musicians Australia perform with Australia’s leading symphony and chamber orchestras, and have also won major national and international music competitions.

String Musicians Australia have a large selection of music and perform many different styles, including classical, romantic, folk, pop, tango and jazz.

Chin-Hwi Ang - Violinist & Entertainer

Chin-Hwi Ang

Chin-Hwi has been blessed with many opportunities in her life, and over 30 years – her journeys with music have told many stories. Born a Novocastrian, to Chinese-Malaysian parents, Chin-Hwi found her calling with music in her mid-twenties; however her foundations came from the Newcastle Conservatorium of Music. She developed her personal style through travel and from her mentors along the way.
Affectionately known as the Mad Fiddler, due to the ‘many hats she wears’ as well as being versatile in crossover music styles, music is a form of communication for Chin-Hwi. She focuses on music as therapy, empowerment, providing enjoyment for many. For nearly 15 years, Chin-Hwi Ang has been the driving force behind ‘Angamus’ – which means passionate music.
Her mantra is to play music as if it’s her last.

Naomi Dart - Cellist

"I have been playing the cello for 28 years having played for many musical theatre shows and local orchestra work around Newcastle and Sydney and Wollongong in the past 18 years."
"I have also done recording work for both albums and T.V ads and play for weddings all over the Hunter region. Although I started out mostly playing classical music I have branched out into Latin American, Spanish, Jazz and rock music. I also have my own teaching studio, and run small chamber music groups."

Naomi Dart

Jamie Pollock - Violinist

Jamie Pollock

Jamie is the regular violist in the String Trio Ensemble ARC. They perform regularly all over Newcastle, the Hunter region and Sydney area. They have played for education concerts together and separately in various combinations. Some of these include performances with the Sydney Sinfonia Orchestra and with Newcastle festival opera Orchestra.
Jamie has studied at various prestigious institutions such as the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. This involved masterclasses, chamber music and orchestral concerts, as well as private lessons with members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Wilfried Strehle and Elizaveta Zolotova. Also in 2014 Jamie was selected and took part in a summer school program in Power River, Brittish Columbia, Canada. This involved masterclasses, solo, chamber music and orchestral concerts (during which she was appointed section leader), as well as private lessons with Carrie Dennis.
In addition to Orchestral playing, Jamie is the violist in an ensemble called Hudson Arc. The band plays original songs written by Gareth Hudson and is a fusion of many varying styles of music. In 2014 Hudson ARC toured Germany and the Netherlands and they perform regularly around Newcastle, Sydney and the Hunter Region.

Some Comments Regarding Opera By The Lake 2016's performance:

"I spent several hours last Saturday at John Wright Park experiencing an amazing day with Opera by the Lake. The organisation that was put into the day for the patrons was astounding, everything went extremely well. The weather blessed all present with the best on offer, sunny skies with a slight breeze.
Brian Bruton's idea of bringing this event to our area was excellent, then he suggested that Great Lakes Rotary bring the event together.
I certainly will be attending next year and look forward to it and everything that such an event brings to the area."

"I bought tickets for my parents - thoroughly enjoyed it..."        "Great idea and executed brilliantly..."

"It was a really good afternoon..."       "Well done Opera By The Lake it was a fun day..."

"Had an amazing day, very relaxing..."        "Loved every minute of it..."

"What a fabulous performance..."        "Loved, loved, loved every second...superb..."

"Absolutely fantastic day and such a pleasure to have been part of it..." - Sinfonia Mid North Coast

"Opera By The Lake at Tuncurry was a huge success. If you missed out, make sure to mark it on the calendar for next year's event..." - Sevan Apartments

"A really great day for Opera By The Lake, well organised and good fun..."

Opera Bites Comments

"A huge THANK YOU to the wonderful community of Tuncurry-Forster who put on such a well organised and enjoyable Opera By The Lake event on the weekend. Such a fabulous example of true community spirit and what can be achieved when everyone pulls together. The Opera Bites crew felt so welcomed by the organisers and audience alike and enjoyed every minute of our brief stay in this stunning region..."

"You were a superb audience and we had a ball. A fabulous event and a real credit to your community..."