Your Joan Carden Award Finalists for 2019!

We are presenting three wonderful soloists for your enjoyment and deliberation – two sopranos, Jessica Blunt and Sandra Liu, and a baritone, Tristan Entwistle. On Sunday August 11th at 3pm, the first half of our concert will feature each of these talented young singers performing two pieces, accompanied by our orchestra conducted by Christopher Bowen OAM.

The main Award, with a prize of $6000, will be judged by a panel led by opera legend Joan Carden OA OBE herself, along with the great Australian baritone Geoffrey Chard AM and Christopher Bowen.

There will also be a ‘Peoples’ Choice Award’ presented on the basis of a vote of audience members. So you will be able to have your say!

Soprano Jessica Blunt will be performing the aria ‘Come scoglio’ from Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ and ‘Nun eilt herbei’ from Otto Nicolai’s ‘Merry Wives of Windsor’.

Jessica is currently completing the Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) after graduating with a Bachelor of Music Performance (Voice) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Maree Ryan AM. A recipient of the Diane Wishart and Elizabeth ‘Bud’ Brown scholarships, and the Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Award, Jessica has performed in ConOpera’s productions of Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias (Thérèse), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira), and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges (Le Feu). Jessica was also twice awarded the Henderson Traveller’s Scholarship, and performed in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (La Contessa) at the 2018 Mediterranean Opera Studio & Festival in Sicily, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (First Lady) at the 2019 Manhattan Opera Studio, New York. Whilst in New York, she performed in BareOpera and 360-Degrees-of-Opera’s pop-up concerts in Central Park and Bryant Park for the Sing For Hope Foundation, and in 2017 performed in a series of chamber music concerts as part of the ESTIVO program in Verona, Italy.

Locally, Jessica is a regular soloist for St Mary’s Cathedral’s ‘Red Mass’ (2017-19), performed in Operantic’s season of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Ida), and in their original cabaret for the Sydney Fringe Festival, and was awarded 3rd place in the JSRB Foundation’s inaugural Sydney Song Prize, adjudicated by Maestro Richard Bonynge. In October, Jessica will perform ‘Arminda’ in ConOpera’s season of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera. Most recently, as part of the Manhattan Opera Studio, Jessica was thrilled to perform as a soloist at their opera gala in the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City.

Soprano Sandra Liu’s competition pieces will be ‘Padre, germani, addio’ from Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’ and Offenbach’s ‘Elle a fui, la tourterelle’ from ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’.

Sandra is a young soprano currently in her first year in the Masters of Music Studies (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the University of Sydney. She has been awarded the Helen Myers Scholarship for singing by the University of Sydney and is a Soprano Scholar at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church. She has recently performed as ‘La Chauve-Souris’ in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. During her Bachelor of Music (Performance) in Voice, she performed in SCM’s productions of Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Bernstein Mass in the Sydney Opera House, as well as Opera Carnevale’s Mahogonny Songspiel and Pagliacci in both Wollongong and Sydney.

Upcoming engagements include the roles of ‘Micaëla’ in Bizet’s Carmen and ‘Lisette’ in La Rondine by Puccini with the Mediterranean Opera Studio. She will also be performing the role of ‘Ramiro’ in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

International experience includes performing as a soloist in concert with the Heilongjiang Opera company and the Thüringer Symphoniker Orchester, as well as the role of ‘Ida’ in Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar’s production of Die Fledermaus. Participation in vocal and lieder masterclasses at the Mozarteum, in Salzburg, Austria in their Summer Academy have also added important experience and insights.

She has performed for Art Gallery NSW’s National 2017: New Australian Art biennale as a part of a sculptural installation – futurist opera for Sydney Contemporary in ‘A Sonorous Body’ and ‘A Metal Cry’ by Justene Williams, in association with Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sandra is also an Artist/Presenter for Get Arty, a children’s program on the Seven Network.

Baritone Tristan Entwistle’s chosen pieces are ‘Hai gia vinta la causa’ from Mozart’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘L’orage s’est calme’ from Bizet’s ‘The Pearl Fishers’.

Sydney born Entwistle recently completed a Masters of Music Studies (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the tutelage of Ms Maree Ryan AM, where he was awarded the Bud Brown Memorial and Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Scholarships.

Tristan’s operatic roles include Escamillo (Carmen), Papageno (Die Zauberflöte), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Leporello (Don Giovanni), Nardo (La Finta Giardiniera), Barone Douphol (La Traviata), Dottor Grenvil (La Traviata), Dr Falke (Die Fledermaus), Elder McLean (Susannah), Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park), Old Yue (Chang’E and the Moon), Giove (La Calisto), the Drunken Poet/Corydon (The Fairy Queen), Alcindoro (La Traviata), Old Man/Husband (Miss Brill) and Giuseppe Palmieri (The Gondoliers).

With a passion for new music, Tristan has been involved in a number of Australian premieres, including Mansfield Park (Dove), Miss Brill (Hoadley), Chang’E and the Moon (Fox), Gentlemen’s Island (Horovitz – Director/MD), and Luzifers Tanz (Stockhausen).

Tristan is a founding member and artistic advisor to Operantics, with whom he has been a performer, director, composer and conductor. Most recently he performed the part of Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, for which he was also chorusmaster.

Tristan was a finalist in the 2017 German Australian Opera Grant, and in the 2018 IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition (“The Mathy”). He currently performs with the Opera Australia chorus.

And as if this wasn’t enough talent for one afternoon, there’s more! The second half of the concert will feature our choir performing Puccini’s ‘Messa di Gloria’, with soloists Simon Kim (Tenor) and Adrian Tamburini (Bass). See our previous post about Adrian Tamburini here.

Tickets for this wonderful concert are available online today!


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