Exciting news for Melbourne born, Harpist, Tara Minton. Tara joined us in our recent Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square, and has played us with many times over the past few years. Her versatility and quality of her performance is renowned, not only is she a talented classical harpist but she is quickly making a place for herself in the London jazz scene. Brava Tara from us all at the Tait Trust
On the 6th of April, I will be celebrating the launch of my new album, “The Tides of Love” at THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL! The band and I are playing the famous Elgar Room late night jazz sessions and you’re all invited!!!
I have the ridiculous honour of being joined by:
Ed Babar – Bass
Tom Early – Drums
Duncan Menzies – Violin
Filippo Dall’Asta – Guitar
Phil Merriman – Keyboards
Lilia Ioncheva – Percussion
Tim Boniface – Horns
Serena Braida – Backing Vocals
Put it in the diary, tickets are on sale now! This is a massive celebration of an album I’m hugely proud of, but also of 6 years of muddling through and finding my way in London – and all the people who have helped me on the journey. I can’t wait to share this with you.
Tara Minton is a jazz harpist and vocalist from Melbourne, Australia. She is joined by an incredible band of musicians from the UK and Europe to present a new studio album, The Tides of Love. The work is based on a motif of ocean tides, with themes of love, loneliness, strength and hope woven throughout.Tara’s style mixes elements of jazz, folk and soul together, with a focus on storytelling through lyrics and music. She is often compared to Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald and draws inspiration from harpist Dorothy Ashby.Tara and her band regularly perform at festivals and jazz clubs, and run workshops in jazz harp and improvisation. Tara is also the only harpist to have performed on the iconic London Eye, and was chosen to honour the great Amy Winehouse at the unveiling of her statue in Camden Market.
British/Australian baritone Duncan Rock was a Tait Awardee in 2008 and a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio, London. He has appeared in major roles at the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, the Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Théâtre du Châtelet, Deutsche Oper (Berlin), Teatro Real (Madrid), the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Opera North, the Boston Lyric Opera and Welsh National Opera.
We are thrilled to see the great success this very talented Western Australian singer has accomplished in a relatively short time. Below is a post from the ENO website about the Harewood Young Artists programme which gave him so many excellent opportunities. This type of advanced training/on the job experience is crucial to develop a great artist.
The Dowager Countess of Harewood was a professional violinist in Sydney and has been a dear friend of the Trust’s from the very beginning. We are honoured to say she is our Patron. To celebrate her 90th Birthday we are dedicating the performance of Mozart’s, Violin & Viola Concertante with Orchestra K364 to her in our 2016 Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square. Please come if you can. Book here
ENO Harewood Artists’ Match Campaign 2016
Support opera’s rising stars and see your donation double. More here
From Monday, 21 November, to Thursday, 1 December, 2016, donations made to the ENO Harewood Artists’ programme will matched, making them twice as valuable to ENO.
We have £70,000 ready to be matched but we need your help to reach our target and unlock these vital funds. At ENO we are committed to nurturing talent. The ENO Harewood Artists’ programme makes a crucial contribution to developing the next generation of operatic stars. The programme costs over £200,000 a year to deliver and is funded entirely through donations.
The Harewood Artists’ programme provides exceptional training and mentoring to nine of the best British or British-trained singers at the beginning of their professional careers and gives opera’s rising stars the opportunity to develop and learn whilst being cast in roles on the London Coliseum stage. Each singer undertakes a programme of vocal and language training, is coached by experts in their repertoire and receives ongoing support from members of ENO’s artistic and music staff.
Previous Harewood Artists include Sophie Bevan, Katherine Broderick, Allan Clayton, Elizabeth Llewellyn, Iain Paterson, Duncan Rock and Sarah Tynan.
This season, our Harewood Artists performances include: Mary Bevan Don Giovanni; Andri Björn Róbertsson Tosca & Rigoletto; Nicky Spence Lulu; Matthew Durkan Rigoletto & Partenope; Katie Coventry, Soraya Mafi & David Webb The Pirates of Penzance; and Samantha Price The Winter’s Tale.
Matched support is generously donated by The Shears Foundation, The Queen Anne’s Gate Foundation and Talal & Lina Kanafani. For more information or to donate over the phone please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7845 9331.
The conductor of this year’s Tait Memorial Trust concert on gender, education and musical styles.
It’s that time of year again in London when the beautiful concert hall at St. John’s Smith Square is taken over by the Australian, Tait Memorial Trust.
The venue will be filled with talented Australian musicians and singers, many having benefitted from a Tait music scholarship. November 30th will be an opportunity for audiences to hear a wonderful programme of music and spot the Australian stars of the future.
If you are living in London or have friends over there, you should rush to get tickets. Conducting and curating this concert will be the internationally acclaimed Australian-born conductor, Jessica Cottis. On a wet and stormy London morning we manage to Skype and I ask first about her involvement with the Tait Memorial Trust.
“I sit on their advisory board and together we make the artistic decisions for programming concerts,”
“I benefitted from a Tait scholarship myself so feel really excited to be working with students and professionals who have come up through the same route.”
Lovely interview with our first awardee, Liane Keegan. Liane was the reason that Isla Baring created the Tait Memorial Trust in 1992.
Liane wanted to further her studies in the UK but needed financial assistance to allow her to continue. Isla offered to produce a concert at Australia House, invited her friends, and due to their generosity raised a great deal of money and the Trust was born…well it wasn’t quite that simple but that is how we started.
Now 24 years later the Trust has helped over 300 young Australians and has raised more than £600,000 to assist young Australian performing artists to complete their studies in the United Kingdom. And it all began with a young contralto from Victoria.
Now we are thrilled to see Liane is at the very top of her chosen profession and is singing Erda in the Neil Armfield production of Wagner’s epic Ring at Melbourne’s State Theatre, with Opera Australia.
Deborah Humble talks with dramatic contralto Liane Keegan about her musical life in Melbourne and recreating the role of Erda in the 2016 Melbourne Ring.
What motivated your return to Australia in 2012 and what is your perception of the cultural and artistic life here by comparison?
I no longer enjoyed working in opera in Germany. I had been living overseas for 20 years by this stage and felt it was time to come home.
The fest system stifles individual development if you are an ensemble member as I was at the Deutsche Opera. Without being able to supplement my monthly stipend with guest contracts it was also no longer financially viable to remain in Germany.
Since my return to Melbourne my life has been extremely happy and fulfilled. I have had some wonderful opportunities with my singing and my teaching studio was very quickly established and I now have many talented young singers working with me on a weekly basis. I also established XLArts.org, a not for profit group, with conductor Patrick Burns and we work to provide performance opportunities for developing singers of all ages and stages, to help them further develop their craft and skill set as burgeoning opera singers.
The opera and arts scene here in Australia is very different to Europe. In Australia we don’t have the commitment to the arts that the Europeans do either financially or culturally. In Europe very young children are taken to the opera not as a special treat but as a part of their daily life. Here the companies are working hard on this next generation of opera lover and there is some very fine work being done by these companies in Australia. However, I do not feel that more funding to the Arts is the answer but better education. The lack of music education in schools here now means that exposure for the young to art and culture is just not there in their foundation years and that is vitally important to the future of our artistic culture.
Melbourne is fabulously cultural and creative and certainly has the most going on in the field of opera of all our capital cities. I was amazed and rather overwhelmed by the choice of entertainment available and could not get over how much the arts scene had “exploded” in Melbourne since my departure in 1992. It is fabulous to see that there are companies and groups catering to the needs of performers at all levels and to suit all musical tastes. I was thrilled that we still have a Victorian opera company as I was overseas during the demise of its predecessor and that made me very sad indeed.
The orchestras in Melbourne are also world class and I have been most fortunate to work with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as well as the many and varied community and council sponsored orchestras. We now have the Melbourne Recital Centre and the vast amount of performances offered there are of an extremely high standard. As an audience member all my needs are catered for and I am more often than not, spoilt for choice! My needs as a performer are also met here in Melbourne and I am busier than I ever was in Europe….
Acclaimed for her performances of the works of Richard Wagner, Australian mezzo-soprano, Deborah Humble is one of Australia’s most successful international singers. She has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg Easter Festival, Seattle Symphony, with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Hamburg Philharmonic and the London Mozart Players and at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. We are delighted to confirm that Deborah has agreed to join the Music Board, of esteemed Australian performers and artists, of the Tait Memorial Trust.
After gaining a Bachelor of Music from the University of Adelaide and a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne, Deborah was a member of the Victoria State Opera Young Artist Programme. Having been a Principal Artist for both Opera Australia and The State Opera of Hamburg she has embarked upon a freelance career which takes her all over the world. Deborah is a highly sought after adjudicator and advanced teacher in Australia and recently gave a master class for the Melba Trust in Melbourne, as part of her role as a Mentor with the Trust, and was also invited to adjudicate for the Sydney Eisteddfod
The Music Board and the Artistic Planning Committee bring their vast international experience to assist us in selecting our Annual awards. Over the past three years our awards have more than doubled, and have increased to £40,000 per annum, with several awards of £5,000 per awardee, the selection process is vital to ensure the most deserving and talented young artists are supported in their studies.
Deborah joins our Music Board which is chaired by TMT Chairman, Isla Baring OAM
Caroline Almonte, Concert Pianist
Julian Gavin, Operatic Tenor
Dr Leslie Howard, Concert Pianist
Deborah Humble, Operatic Mezzo-Soprano
Liane Keegan, Operatic Dramatic-Contralto
Cameron Menzies, Stage & Opera Director
Anthony Roden, Operatic Tenor & Teacher
We were delighted to learn that Western Australian composer and Tait Awardee, Kevin Penkin has composed an original score commissioned by Rio Tinto in 2016, to mark 50 years since Rio Tinto’s first contracted shipment of iron ore which departed Dampier for the Yawata Iron and Steel Company in Japan.
Ahead of this milestone, thousands of Australian contractors and suppliers laid almost 300 kilometres of railway, moved 12 million cubic metres of earth and rock and installed 300,000 tonnes of plant and equipment. The company also built the towns of Dampier and Tom Price, and dredged a port to accept the largest ore carriers of the day. Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said
“When the MV Houn Maru set sail 50 years ago nobody could have predicted that Pilbara iron ore would underpin Australia’s economic growth. “The Pilbara’s vast iron ore deposits, and the people who developed them, have helped build modern Australia and some of the world’s leading economies,”
Kevin was our first Tait Scholar which enabled him to complete his studies at the Royal College of Music. The debut performance of Hoan Maru, by Perth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jessica Gethin was recorded live at the 50th anniversary celebration on Friday 26th August, 2016 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.
B i o g r a p h y
Kevin Penkin is an Australian composer who has written for video games, anime, film and the concert stage. He won ‘Outstanding Vocal Theme’ at the 2013 Video Game Music Awards for his song ‘I Race the Dawn’, and was nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ in 2012 by Square Enix Music Online for his work with Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu on the game ‘Juza Engi Engetsu Sangokuden’.
Since developing an interest for Japan at an early age, it was always a goal for Kevin to compose for both video games and anime. Recent efforts have seen him write for the anime series ‘Norn9’, and the highly anticipated sci-fi film ‘Under the Dog’. While expanding in the world of anime, he has remained passionate about video games, composing for the indie hits ‘Defenders Quest’, ‘Implosion – Never Lose Hope’, and ‘Deemo’.
Kevin moved to London in 2013 to attend the Royal College of Music to pursue a Masters of Composition for Screen, from which he graduated from in June of 2015. He was selected as the inaugural Tait Scholar which gave him a £5,000 per annum scholarship to support his studies. The Tait Trust commissioned an original piece for solo flute and Chamber Orchestra entitled ‘Changing Feet’ which was debuted at the 2014 Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith’s Square in December 2014.
Changing Feet is about changing pace. Leaving the world’s most isolated city to live in one of the most industrious and compact environments requires a huge mental change. This piece tries to reflect not only the mentality of someone who grew up in Perth, but the experience of moving to London and ultimately returning home back to Australia. This work explores what one could miss of Perth, be it the silence, the space or the natural beauty.
During his time as a student, he heavily expanded his efforts to be involved in local projects. As a result, Kevin is now working on UK based short films and theatre. He is also involved in concert music, writing for ensembles such as the ‘Perth Chamber Orchestra’, ‘Greywing Ensemble’, and the ‘And So Forth Opera Company’.
We are thrilled to report that Tait Awardee, Panayiota Kalatzis, won the coveted 2016 Herald Sun Aria in Melbourne’s, Hamer Hall a few days ago. Panayiota was the 2014 recipient of the Australian International Opera Awards which gave her the funds to study at the Wales International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill.
SCINTILLATING soprano Panayiota Kalatzis swept all before her last night to win the 2016 Herald Sun Aria.The 30-year-old Brisbane vocalist, trailing an elegant train, won the coveted prize in its 92nd year ahead of four other outstanding classical singers.“I never thought it would happen,’’ she said after accepting the prestigious award from Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston. “You work hard and enter competitions and then someone, ‘Yes’. Winning this changes everything.’’Kalatzis, of Greek background, captivated a 1500-strong audience at Hamer Hall with thrilling performances of Massenet and Verdi. A huge ovation greeted her win which carries $15,000 cash and a $22,500 scholarship for overseas tuition.“The plan is to go back to the UK, make some connections there, and then go to America,’’ she said. “Winning this makes all that possible.’’Jessica Harper, a 26-year-old soprano from Sydney, was runner up while the encouragement award went to Douglas Kelly, a Victorian-based tenor.Judges Richard Mills, Margaret Haggart and John Bolton-Wood praised the high standard of competition and Penny Fowler, Chairman of the Herald and Weekly Times, paid special tribute to Richard Divall — the Aria’s long serving maestro and chief adjudicator.
We are delighted to introduce you to Jo Dee-Yeoh. Jo is one of our musical awardees this year, and is continuing her Masters Degree in Performance at the Royal College of Music. Jo is to play with the Tait Chamber Orchestra in our Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square on Wednesday 30th November.
A review of Jo Dee Yeoh’s performance at the 2015 Open Instrumental Finals Concert
Townsville Civic Theatre 7.30pm 28 July 2015
Review by Katy Frewen-Lord, Townsville
The Open Instrumental Finals Concert gave Townsville a chance to hear some of Australia’s finest up-and-coming musicians. Adjudicator Carl Pini had his work cut out for him, given that the standard of this year’s entrants were very high.
Hailing from Melbourne, Cellist Jo Dee Yeoh opened the night with Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor. Immediately, Yeoh proved herself to have complete control over the character and strength of her sound. The second movement provided an opportunity for Yeoh to bewitch the audience with her beautiful, lush low notes and song like phrasing. The third and final movement erased any doubt that the audience could possibly have about Yeoh’s technical prowess, as her fingers flew across all four strings with precision and vigour.
To read more about the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition please click here
1. Dazed or distracted with romantic sentiment.
2. Mentally deranged; crazy.
Vivien Conacher is an operatic mezzo-soprano from Sydney, Australia. She now holds a Tier 1 UK Exceptional Talent Visa and currently based in London where she studies under the tutelage of Yvonne Kenny. Vivien trained at the Royal College of Music, where she achieved a Distinction in her Masters degree in Vocal Performance. She then completed the Opera Works training scheme at English National Opera. Vivien is also an alumna of the Oxford Lieder Festival Mastercourse with Roger Vignoles and has participated twice in the prestigious Britten Pears Young Artist Programme.
Vivien has performed for Opera Australia, Grange Park Opera, the BBC Proms, Wexford Festival Opera, Iford Arts Festival, British Youth Opera, and Bloomsbury Opera. On the concert platform in Sydney, she has appeared as a soloist for Pacific Opera, Opera & Arts Support Group, and The Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation. In the UK, Vivien has performed in concert at the historical St-Martin-in-the-Fields, the Foundling Museum, and her new solo show entitled ‘Moonstricken’ will be performed at this year’s Bloomsbury Festival on 20 October. Vivien wishes to express her sincere gratitude to the Tait Memorial Trust for their support of her continued study and training.
Les Chemins de l’amour by Poulenc
Vivien Conacher (mezzo soprano) & Simon Kenway (piano)
copyright Puresonics Media for Pacific Opera.