Members will be interested to hear that Anna Dowsley (mezzo), one of the Grads’ favourite soloists, is making an excellent professional career, in Australia and Europe. Anna was highly commended by the judges in the Joan Carden Award of 2012 and, as a result, sang the mezzo solo in our performance of the Verdi Requiem to celebrate the great composer’s bicentenary in April 2013. Since that landmark concert for the Choir, Anna has sung with us on numerous occasions.
Anna has won a number of prestigious awards, including the Marianne Mathy Australian Singing Award and the Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship, both in 2012, and the Australian Opera Award in 2019.
She has also sung a number of principal roles in Opera Australia (OA) productions, including Don Giovanni,The Marriage of Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte of Mozart, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and The Turk in Italy, and Gounod’s Faust. Recently, Anna has sung some important roles in European opera houses, including Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Bari, Italy. Most strikingly, Anna is currently playing the huge title role in Bizet’s Carmen in the State Theatre of Nuremberg in Germany.
Scheduled engagements for Anna in Australia for 2022 include: the title role in Pinchgut Opera’s Orontea, by Antonio Cesti, in May/June; a national tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) in June performing Bach; and, in August, a solo role in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, conducted by Simone Young, which is to be given in collaboration with Belvoir Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s play (this promises to be a delightful event, as Mendelssohn’s music is as charming as the comedy it accompanies).
Anna’s personal life is also taking on an extra richness. She and her partner, Jonathan Abernethy, tenor, also a principal artist with OA, have a ten month old daughter, Madelyn (‘Maddie’),who is with her in Europe.
It is very gratifying to see how Anna’s career is developing and that she remains very well-disposed towards the Choir.