Dates | 5pm – 7pm, 19th March 2023
Venue | Wesley Music Centre, National Circuit, Forrest.
Concert will be followed by support in the foyer of the Welsey Music Centre.
Australia soprano Louise Keast joined the Opera Australia chorus and company in 2021.
A former member of the Richard Divall Emerging Artists Programme, Louise is an Associate Artist with Melbourne Opera and has performed the roles of Wellgunde (Wagner’s Das Rheingold), Countess Almaviva (Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro) and Marzelline (Beethoven’s Fidelio) with the company. In 2021 Louise performed in the ensemble for Kevin March’s new Australian opera Echo & Narcissus with Victorian Opera.
Other operatic experience includes the roles Fiordiligi (Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte), Donna Elvira (Mozart’s Don Giovanni), Micaëla (Bizet’s Carmen), Mimi (Puccini’s La Bohème), Clotilde (Bellini’s Norma) and Ofglen (Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale). In 2021 Louise performed in the ensemble for Kevin March’s new Australian opera Echo & Narcissus with Victorian Opera. Most recently, Louise presented two solo operatic recitals at the Steingraeber & Söhne Kammermusiksaal in Bayreuth, Germany, performing as a principal artist in the Festival Junger Künstler Bayreuth. In previous years Louise has been a Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation scholarship recipient and represented Australia in 2019 at the final rounds of the 38th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Villach, Austria.
A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium High School, Donna Balson continued her studies at the ‘Con’, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and the Diploma of Opera.
After many years living and working in Europe and in New York, Donna returned permanently to her home town of Sydney in 2018 to take up the position of Manager of the Young Artist Program at Opera Australia, also providing specialist coaching to the program’s participants.
She has performed with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland, Opera Canterbury, and Opera Frankfurt, and with the symphony orchestras of Sydney, Prague, Amsterdam, and Stuttgart, as well as with Ensemble Modern, the National Chorale at Lincoln Center, the Symphony of the Americas, and the China National Symphony. She was a core member of the American Chamber Ensemble in New York and has performed both as a singer and collaborative pianist in recitals across the United States.
As a coach, she has prepared singers for performances at Opera Australia, Oper Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, La Scala, the Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera, and for successful auditions for the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera.
Donna is a voice teacher and opera coach at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and in her private studio in Sydney. She was senior adjunct professor of voice at Hofstra University in New York from 2005-2018.
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