June Mendoza Masterclass – ROI 2nd December 2015

Our Patron, June Mendoza is to give a MASTERCLASS at The Mall Galleries Showing how she paints her brilliant portraits ..

June Mendoza AO OBE with Tait Chairman, Isla Baring OAM next to June's portrait of Australian opera singer, Danielle de Niese.
June Mendoza AO OBE with Tait Chairman, Isla Baring OAM next to June’s portrait of Australian opera singer, Danielle de Niese.

It should be really interesting

June Mendoza AO.OBE.RP.ROI.HonSWA
December 2nd, 2015
The Mall Galleries [in The Mall]
All day portrait demonstration
10am – 4pm   £25

Cheques made payable to:
ROI June Mendoza Demonstration
Mall Galleries
17 Carlton House Terrace

June Mendoza AO.OBE.RP.ROI.HonSWA is a member, amongst other art societies, of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. She is one of the world’s foremost portrait painters. She undertakes commissions for portrait painting on a wide range of subjects, examples of which are displayed on this Internet gallery. Her commissioned work includes a number of portraits of the Queen and members of the Royal family, foreign dignitaries and a wide range of portraits of personalities from the Arts, Music, Government, Business and the professions. Her commissioned Group portraits include the House of Commons, the Australian House of Representatives, City Guilds and Boards of many companies and institutions. Please enjoy visiting her internet gallery of commissioned portraits and subjects she chooses to paint from all walks of life.

Toby Thatcher, Conductor – Ensemble Eroica 24th September

Next concert with young Australian conductor, Toby Thatcher with his London group, Ensemble Eroica.

Toby was recently announced as the new assistant conductor with the Sydney Symphony.

September 24th 2015, 19:30

Ensemble Eroica Season Opener – Stone(s) from the Moon


Commenced in the autumn of 1822, Schubert’s enigmatic B minor symphony provides us with one of art’s great questions; intentional or not? And in either case, does it matter? The work is a glorious example of non-conformity, forcing its way into the symphony canon. To borrow eminent Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s quote (intended for Bruckner’s equally enigmatic Ninth Symphony), the work conjures mystery, fascination, and perplexity equal to that of suddenly stumbling across a ‘stone from the moon’.

In another enigmatic example of compositional intrigue, Johannes Brahms wrote of his second symphony that this was a work of such‘melancholy that you (his publisher) will not be able to bear it. I have never written anything so sad, and the score must come out in mourning’. It is not blasé to state that this opinion of the work is rarely shared by interpreters, the symphony seemingly borrowing more from Haydn and the classical form than from such romantic intentions.

London-based American Flautist Alyson Frazier is a multiple prizewinner and founding member of contemporary music group ensemble x.y. Garnering reviews as a ‘theatrical and compelling performer’ who is ‘impressively accomplished with a beautiful singing tone’. We are thrilled for this collaboration.


Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D major Op. 73
– interval –
CPE Bach: Flute Concerto in D minor Wq. 22
Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in B minor D. 759 “Unfinished”

Ensemble Eroica
Conductor – Toby Thatcher
Flute Soloist – Alyson Frazier

Tickets will be available at the door. £10 (£3 students). Complimentary refreshments will be available during the interval break.

St James’s Church, Sussex Gardens
W2 3UD London, United Kingdom

Below are links to the event on both Facebook and our website:



Russell Harcourt, Counter tenor – Tait update

Lovely to hear from Tait Awardee, Russell Harcourt who recently returned from Sydney after working with Pinchgut Opera.

Russell Harcourt Photo by Simon Hodgson
Russell Harcourt
Photo by Simon Hodgson

He has recently updated his website with some excerpts from the opera Vivaldi’s Bajazet. Hadleigh Adams (also a Tait prize winner) was singing the title role.

Listen to Russell sing Handel here

Russell is currently preparing David (cover) in Saul for Glyndebourne on Tour as well as participating in Janice Kerbel’s piece DOUG in Glasgow which is a Turner Prize Nominee.

Follow these links to learn more about Russell:




” …penetrating, glint-edged clarity.”
The Australian, July 7, 2015

Russell Harcourt is steadily gaining recognition on the operatic stage and concert platform throughout the UK and Australasia for a refined brilliance of vocal colour and the comic charm of his characterisations.

Russell studied voice with Graham Pushee and made his operatic début in 2007 as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He made his Australian concert début in 2009 as a guest artist at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and made his Royal Opera House début in the Crush Room in the Deloitte Ignite 2010 series.

Russell has recently returned from a critically acclaimed performance of Andronico in Vivaldi’s rarely performed pasticcio, Bajazet, for Sydney’s Pinchgut Opera.  Other career highlights to date include the role of Athamas in Handel’s Semele under Sir Charles Mackerras; an extensive tour with English Touring Opera including roles in Handel’s Agrippina and Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea; performances of Messiah with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, alongside Teddy Tahu Rhodes, under the baton of Richard Gill; and Corrado in Vivaldi’s Griselda, also with Pinchgut Opera.

Recent engagements include Countertenor 1 (cover) The Gospel According to the Other Mary and Hunahpu (cover) Indian Queen, both for director Peter Sellars at English National Opera, Pisandro The Return of Ulysses for Iford Arts Festival under Christian Curnyn and Soloist in the European premiere of Andrew Ford’s The Past for counter-tenor, flute and string orchestra with Ruthless Jabiru under Kelly Lovelady, Australian & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts.

Other engagements include Volano Il Giasone under Jane Glover; Fox/Coachman (cover) The Adventures of Pinocchio Opera North; Armindo (cover) Partenope Opera Australia (Sydney and Melbourne); Zelim (cover) La verità in cimento, Licida (cover) L’Olimpiade both for Garsington Opera and Alto soloist Vanguard Australian Ballet.

Oratorio experience includes alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Israel in Egypt, J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, excerpts from Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and excerpts from Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, Magnificat and Introduction and Gloria.

Prizes and scholarships include Hariclea Darclée Special Award for Excellence, The Sir Robert Askin Operatic Travelling Scholarship, Tait Memorial Trust Grant, Australian Music Foundation Awards, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, Australia Council for the Arts; Skills and Arts Development Grant and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship. In 2008, Russell was the winner of the prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Award, as well as the People’s Choice Award at the same event and in 2012 he was a finalist in The Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall.

Russell holds a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and an MA, Dip. RAM in Opera from The Royal Academy of Music. He studied part-time at the National Opera Studio and is an Associate of the Jette Parker Young Artist’s Programme at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. He has performed in master classes for Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Andreas Scholl and Rosalind Plowright and he is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme.

Russell currently lives in London and studies with Yvonne Kenny.

Andronico in Bajazet, Pinchgut Opera

Australian countertenor Russell Harcourt is the vacillating Prince Andronico … He has an exciting male soprano voice … excellent in recitative, growing in vocal stature as the evening progresses…”
Clive Paget, Limelight, Australia’s Classical Music & Arts Magazine, July 5, 2015

“Russell Harcourt’s Andronico is a vibrant and sometimes garish foil to the solemn fervour of Asteria.” 
Harriet Cunningham, Sydney Morning Herald, July 5, 2015

“Russell Harcourt rang with impressive vocal consistency as Andronico … Characterised by a beautifully aspirated smooth falsetto that comfortably reached dizzying highs, Harcourt gave a memorable performance.” 
Paul Selar, BachTrack, July 6, 2015

Narciso in Agrippina, English Touring Opera

“Russell Harcourt’s fawning Narciso, a dessicated cleric who sings like a nightingale”
Michael Church, The Independent

“Russell Harcourt was nimble-voiced and wickedly self-serving as Narciso”
Peter Reed, Classical Source

Athamas in Semele, Royal Academy of Music

“Russell Harcourt was exceptional. Fine attack, varied tone, stunning decoration, accomplished breath control, and with a clipped acting style that fitted the role like a glove.”
Peter Reed,  Opera Magazine

“Harcourt however, not only possesses a beautiful voice and a fine technique, but proved himself to be one of the strongest actors in the show.”
Calvin Wells, Opera Brittania

Nutrice in Poppea, English Touring Opera

“Russell Harcourt was very soignee looking [and] brought great vocal character to the role”. 
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 2013

Corrado in Griselda, Pinchgut Opera

“…Russell Harcourt’s role as Corrado, isn’t designed to win hearts but his performance certainly doesn’t lose any. Snappy exchanges…are vociferous and precise.”
Neville Olliffe, Early Music Association of NSW, 2011

Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, WAAPA

“Russell Harcourt made an impressive King of the Fairies. His Oberon was consistently majestic; he moved around the stage as if it were his natural domain and his voice was informed by a slightly sinister quality that sounded entirely right.”
Neville Cohn, The West Australian


Tait Winter Prom 2015

Please save the date for our 5th annual Tait Winter Prom which will be held in the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall at the Royal College of Music on Monday the 23rd of November at 6.30 for 7pm. This year we are delighted to welcome Australian virtuoso pianist and Tait Patron, Piers Lane AM who will be playing Chopin. With wine kindly provided by Treasury Wines Estates please join us, sit back and enjoy some of the most beautiful music written for the piano.


We will also be announcing our 2015 Awardees and look forward to hearing some of our talented young Australian artists performing for us at the beginning of the evening. Our awards would not be possible without the support of the Tait Friends, our loyal private donors and our principal partner the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Thank you.

We will first showcase some of our 2015 awardees:

• Alexandra Isted, violin – Tait Scholar at the RCM
• Tabatha Mc Fadyen, soprano – Tait Award, Bel Canto Awards Australia
• Matthew Reardon, tenor – Tait Prize, Australian International Opera Awards
• Chad Vindin, piano – Tait Prize, Royal Over-Seas League
• Peter Wilson, composer – Loewenthal Award RCM

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear Piers and our talented awardees and meet them at a small reception after the concert. For our Friends please join us for dinner at the Polish Club with Piers and our Tait Awardee performers. Please follow the link below to book your place and book early as places are limited

Other prizes and awards to be announced shortly

Please come. Help us to support these talented young Australians who are making their mark in the UK.

Kabarett!! at Leighton House, 23rd September

This is a last minute concert, as Brad Cooper is in town with his highly acclaimed Kabarett show (which is on tour from Australia). Ross Alley has agreed to accompany Brad to support our Friends and supporters at the beautiful Leighton House. This museum has been recently refurbished.


The house was the former home and studio of the leading Victorian Artist, Lord Leighton, It is one of the most remarkable buildings of the 19th Century, containing a fascinating collection of paintings and sculpture by Leighton and his contemporaries.

To book please click here

Not to be missed .
Isla Baring OAM
Tait Memorial Trust

Night is not only there for sleeping…

Leighton House, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14

7:00 for 7.30pm. Wednesday, 23 September 2015



Prepare to be transported in the luxurious surrounds of London’s Leighton House as Brad and Ross take you on a comic romp through the best-loved and most popular Cabaret song repertoire. From the wartime hits of Coward and Novello via Austria, America and Australia through to the irreverence of today, KABARETT! is a celebration of wild eclectic decadence and dangerously dark humour.

Ivor Novello
Shine Through My Dreams

Tom Lehrer
Poisoning Pigeons in the Park

Noël Coward
London Pride

Hans May
Heut ist der schönste Tag in meinem Leben…

Erich Korngold
Glück, das mir verblieb

Noël Coward

Robert Stolz
Ob blond, ob braun, ich liebe alle Frau’n

Noël Coward
Someday I’ll Find You

Ivor Novello
Rose of England

Theo Mackeben
Die Nacht ist nicht allein zum Schlafen da

Tom Lehrer
The Masochism Tango

Norbert Glanzberg
Padam Padam

Hans Eisler
Ballade von der Krüppelgarde

Erich Korngold
Mond, so gehst du wieder auf

Dillie Keane

Marilyn Miller & Cheryl Hardwick
Making Love Alone

Percy Grainger
Colonial Song

Charles Dumont
Non, Je ne regrette rien!

Dillie Keane
Stick Your Head Between Your Legs


Brad Cooper trained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the National Opera Studio, London, and with Marilyn Horne at the Music Academy of the West, California. Now resident in Australia, Brad debuted as Albert in Albert Herring for Opera Australia in 2013. This season Brad performs Tamino in Magic Flute for Opera Australia and Orfeo in Haydn’s Orfeo ed Euridice under Richard Bonynge. With pianist David Barnard he presents Don’t Mention the War for Melbourne Recital Centre, Broken Hill Regional Gallery.

Memorable appearances include Tamino in Die Zauberflöte and Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Oper Köln), Don Alonse in L’Amant Jaloux (Opéra Comique, Paris), Conte Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Holland Park, London), Clem in Hamel’s Snow White (Nederlandse Reisopera) and Davey in Dove’s Siren Song (Grachtenfestival, Amsterdam).

Brad is thankful for the support of Tait Memorial Trust, Nance Atkinson Trust, Johnson Bequest, Australian Opera Auditions Committee’s Dame Joan Sutherland Award and Australian Singing Competition.

Ross Alley is a native of New Zealand, he worked as a pianist and music teacher at the National School of Ballet and the Australian Ballet Company and School before moving to England. In London he was employed by the Royal Ballet School as a pianist, with responsibilities as a music tutor to develop the teachers’ training course and create the pianists training program for aspiring ballet accompanists.

Mr. Alley is closely associated with the Cecchetti Society, researching, editing and arranging music for the syllabi. He lectures on classical music at the Royal Opera House, organized by the Royal Opera House Education Department with the University of London and Friends of Covent Garden.

June Mendoza interview from the Pikitia Press Blog

This blog post was published on the Pikitia Press Blog on Thursday January 23rd, 2014 written by Matt Emery.  As June Mendoza is a patron of the Tait Memorial Trust we wanted to share this fascinating article about a great Australian. We are very grateful to Matt Emery for sharing these illustrations and his interview with June on his blog.


Thursday, January 23, 2014
June Mendoza Interview

June Mendoza with three of her children, Ashley and Lee seated; Elliet standing in left foreground. A portrait of her four children is in the background

June Mendoza was born in Melbourne, Australia,1927, to an artistic family, pianist, composer Dot (née) Mendoza and musician John Morton. June focused on an art career from twelve years of age, taking life drawing at fourteen. By seventeen June was illustrating book jackets, magazine illustrations, town-planning exhibition artwork, record sleeves, some portraits and the adventure comic strip Devil Doone.

June Mendoza with paint palette in front of her portrait of Sammy Davis Junior.

Mendoza immigrated to England in the early 1950s and worked for Hulton Press producing illustrations and comics for Eagle’s companion title Girl. After five years June transitioned into full time portraiture with subjects including Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Sammy Davis Junior, Sean Connery, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II (twice), HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Sir William McMahon, Prince Edward, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, Sir John Major, Sir John Gorton 1972 (official Parliamentary portrait acquired 1972 – the first and only official portrait of a Prime Minister by a woman artist).

Panel from Diana and Debbie are Dieticians featured in 1950’s Girl Annual by Hulton Press.

In mid 2013 June answered a few questions for Matt Emery via email.

Do you recall what your first professional illustration job was and how old you were at the time?

Hopeless with dates, But discounting portraits, which I was already doing by the time I was 12, I remember a big job on a Town Planning exhibition for some architects when I was about 17, which involved humourous, but relevant, illustrations accompanying text, on about ten large panels.

How did you get the job of illustrating the first episodes of Devil Doone?
Can’t remember, But I had this ability to repeat likenesses of the characters in different situations and with different expressions.

Do you recall any other cartoonists that were active during the time you drew comics in Australia?
No. Except the beloved Les Tanner, of course; but he was something else.

Devil Doone for K.G. Murray’s Man Junior Magazine.


mendoza1 Read Belle of the Ballet in Crazy Day on the Pikitia Tumblr

What brought you to England and what were the first comics you worked on there?
The world was on the other side, and we all wanted to be there. I took over from a splendid comic artist on the already running and popular ‘Belle of the Ballet” for Hulton Press. Alan Stranks, who was doing ‘PC 49’ for them recommended me— again, because of this likeness thing. Then I ended up doing all sorts of things for them.

Why did you use the pseudonym Chris Garvey for some of your work for Girl?
I think it was just to keep my portrait work separate from the commercial stuff, and I kept it ambiguous plus the surname of an amazing human being in my life, who died very young.

Did you read or have a familiarity with comics before you started drawing them in Australia?
As a kid I had my weekly, eagerly awaited comic to devour; can’t remember its’ name, but I do remember another I loved called Film Fun which featured mostly British actors,entertainers etc, amongst which was a regular strip featuring Lupino Lane. Amazingly, by pure chance, I ended up, in my actressing days, working with him in the West End and on tour, in his famous show ‘ Me and My Girl ‘ Lovely man. News of my first portrait to be accepted by the Royal Soc. of Portrait Painters was on tour with him in Cambridge: we all went to the pub after the show and celebrated.

Were there any particular differences or demands you encountered upon entering the English comics industry?
Only that I was now working in full colour, and needed to learn how to apply this to deal with the vagaries of the printed result.

Are there any particular standout memories from your time in comics?
Matt, too long winded. I did about five years of it inc. years of ‘ Belle of the Ballet’ ; serial on Joan of Arc [ fascinating ] ; ‘ Petruschka, ‘the ballet; a cooking series; and misc. illustrations, covers etc.
But portraiture was the prime, constant accompaniment throughout ——– from the age of 12.

The three Illustrations below are from a Girl Annual accompanying an article on the work of British film make up artist George Blackler. All signed under June’s Pseudonym Chris Garvey.
George Blackler applies make-up to Alec Guinness.
Yoko Tani made up as an Eskimo for ‘The Savage Innocents’


George Blackler provided ‘Moko’ for Maori actors in the film production of John Guthries novel, The Seekers.

Sources: Special thanks to Phil Rushton, Devil Doone scan courtesy Ausreprints, Devil Doone history at Comicsdownunder , Artist June Mendoza with [her] portrait of Sammy Davis Junior courtesy June Mendoza, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167570547 , June Mendoza seated with her arms around two of her children, Ashley and Lee; Elliet is standing in left foreground. A portrait of all four children is in the background courtesy June Mendoza, http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/167570548

Originally posted by Matt Emery at 9:53 PM, 23rd January 2014

Email: guzumo@gmail.com

Twitter: @pikitiapress

Tumblr: pikitiapress.tumblr.com

Pikitia Press is a small press publishing operation run from my spare room in St Kilda, Melbourne. I founded Pikitia Press in 2012 to publish works by and about Australia and New Zealand cartoonists. The Pikitia Press blog is an ongoing effort to record contemporary cartooning/comics and cartooning history in New Zealand and Australia.

Matt Emery – Pikitia Press Publisher – Dec 2012

Stuart Skelton to give masterclass in London


Monday 2nd November, 2015
Tickets: £50
Venue: Victoria (full address provided on booking)

Australian tenor Stuart Skelton, the 2014 Male Singer of the Year for the International Opera Awards, will give a public Masterclass with recent Opera Awards Foundation Bursary recipients.

Stuart Skelton
Stuart Skelton, heldentenor

This will not only be a fascinating insight into the art of singing, it’s also a great opportunity to support aspiring operatic talent, as all proceeds go directly to the Opera Awards Foundation. The event will be preceded by a drinks reception and there will be a chance afterwards to mingle with the artists.

Online booking will be available soon but you can secure your place now by calling us on 0207 104 2008 to book.