The Australian Charity Art Auction is an event that will be taking place at Australia House on 28 February 2017. We are delighted to be supporting the event. Both before and at the event more than 50 Australian artworks will be auctioned in aid of a number of much loved and very worthwhile UK based charities that have Australian connections.
There will be an on-line silent auction over the two weeks leading up to the event (starting on Wednesday 15 February) and a live auction conducted by a Christie’s auctioneer at the event itself.
The event will also feature a reception and a concert performed by some wonderful Australian singers, musicians and music scholars.
Former Tait Awardee Claudia Dean graduated from The Royal Ballet School in August 2011, having moved to London aged 16 to train at the Upper School in Covent Garden. She was the recipient of the Tait Memorial Trust, Dance Arches Award in 2011, and went on to be offered a contract by The Royal Ballet. In 2014 Claudia made the difficult decision to return home to Australia, we are delighted to see that this very talented young dancer is passing the baton to the next generation of aspiring dancers in her homeland. We wish her all the very best and look forward to hearing more about her work in Australia.
The article below was published by Ballet News, May 2015.
Claudia Dean | Ballet Dancer to Business Owner
Sprezzatura is the Italian word for nonchalance; the effortless art of making something difficult look easy. The sustained hard work needed to conceal the effort has been a hallmark of Claudia Dean’s training and professional ballet career.
Claudia Dean graduated from The Royal Ballet School in August 2011, having moved to London aged 16 to train at the Upper School in Covent Garden. In her native Australia she had been dancing since the age of four, and had won a number of prestigious competitions including the Gold Medal plus the Audience Choice Award at the Genée International Ballet Competition in 2009.
I interviewed Dean for my Student to Star series at the time of her graduation, a few weeks before she started work in the Company, and I asked her what she anticipated the differences might be between school and company life. She told me, “I think it’s going to be a bit of a change for me. I will be my own person having to be responsible for myself. At school, you have teachers guiding you, although we work for ourselves, there is still a lot of extra support. Also, no uniform! I will have to decide what to wear each day which will be very different !”
The Australian soprano reflects on the challenges of singing Donizetti’s tragic Anna Bolena.
While Anna Bolena is definitely on the larger end of the bel canto roles, it still requires great flexibility, as well as heft and drama where required. It is a great thrill to sing and while it is perhaps ‘heavier’ than some other bel canto roles – mostly due to the intense dramatic situation Anna finds herself in – one must remember to maintain a lilt and ease so that the voice remains flexible. There are also a number of lower notes: the bottom register is well applied by Donizetti to add drama and colour, and I absolutely love using a wide range of colours to characterise her journey. The challenges of the role lie in matching the tessitura and the weight or volume.
There are also a number of added cadenzas and high notes, so finding the balance between the elements is crucial. Anna is extremely fun to sing, as well as technically challenging – but again therein lies the fun too! Donizetti’s Anna Bolena departs from the historical details in a number of ways, done for dramatic licence. However, there is much that corresponds with the historical Anne Boleyn’s journey. In my opinion, her trial itself was a complete set-up, and the nature of it is made very clear in the opera.As for Anna’s mad scene, I would say it is less ‘mad’ than many! She begins the mad scene in a state of delusion, drifting in and out of awareness of her real situation. It begins in some respects like the Lucia di Lammermoor mad scene, in both concept – Anna is imagining a wedding – and orchestral colour. However, it soon shifts to much more dramatic colours and intense melodic shapes. It is perhaps less florid than roles like Elvira or Lucia, but is no less impressive. The role of Anna Bolena has been performed by a great number of sopranos, including Callas, Sutherland, and Netrebko. In an ideal world we would all love the dramatic intensity of La Callas, as well as the beauty of tone and flexibility of La Stupenda. Of the other major exponents of the role, I admire Beverly Sills for her recordings, which are extremely ornamented – perhaps too much? I would like to be at least as inventive where required. And though no recordings of Giuditta Pasta exist, one would hope to have a voice as strong and flexible as hers at the top, with the same depth and colour in the middle and bottom. Pasta, the original Anna, was a mezzo-like soprano, who was both the first Norma and Amina, the latter of which is substantially lighter and requires more limpid flexibility. Given the original Anna’s voice, and contemporary audience expectation for extemporised top notes, balance and care must be taken in order to maintain ease at both ends of the registers, to give the widest range of possible colour. Knowing the repertoire of Donizetti’s Tudor Queens, it would be a joy to one day have the opportunity to sing Queen Elizabeth in Roberto Devereux.
Elena’s performance of Mozart’s, Ch’io mi scordi di te? K 505, with Jayson Gillham and the Tait Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Kelly Lovelady, at the 2014 Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square.
Elena Xanthoudakis appears in the Australian premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for Melbourne Opera November 2, 5 and 9. Buy tickets here
Melbourne Opera stages the Australian premiere of Roberto Deveraux in 2017.
Following the sold out triumph of Maria Stuarda last year, Melbourne Opera continues the great Donizetti trilogy bringing the bel canto masterpiece Anna Bolena to The Athenaeum for the first time this November.
Starring Elena Xanthoudakis (Anne Boleyn), Sally-Anne Russell (Jane Seymour), Eddie Muliaumaseali’i (Henry VIII), Boyd Owen (Richard Percy), Dimity Shepherd (Mark Smeaton) and Phillip Calcagno (Lord Rochefort).
Our Patron, June Mendoza is to give a MASTERCLASS at The Mall Galleries Showing how she paints her brilliant portraits ..
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
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.
For the past 36 year’s, the aim of this non-profit Australian organisation has been to raise money to help assist our most talented young opera singers fulfil their given potential. With the development of the Foundation in 2010 this has given us greater exposure and opportunities to expand on the activities the Society has presented since its inception in 1978. To date, we have awarded over $300,000 worth of scholarships and study grants and hope to further develop our involvement with these young singers by presenting masterclasses, workshops and a mentoring programme.
From the home page of the JS & RB Foundation website
The Trust looks forward to meeting the 2013 Tait Memorial Trust Prize winner, soprano Marlena Devoe from New Zealand who will be offered a prestigious London concert platform as part of her prize from the Bel Canto Awards . Dame Joan Sutherland was one of our founding patrons and loyal supporters due to her long association with Sir Frank Tait ( Isla Baring’s father) the Tait family and J C Williamson’s. The Sutherland-Williamson tour of Australia in 1965 is legendary and was a fitting epitaph to the life of Sir Frank and the enterprise of the Tait brothers.
We wish the Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation well and salute the work they are doing in supporting emerging operatic talent in Australia.