Tag Archives: Opera

Gilbert and Sullivan Extravaganza _Update


Miranda & Rowena Evans performing in Iolanthe

Gilbert and Sullivan Extravaganza

Cooma, cure 1st & 2nd June 2012

page helvetica, sans-serif; color: #222222;”>Coming soon: “A Gilbert and Sullivan Extravaganza”. This unique production is the brainchild of Robert Shearer and will be presented by the Cooma Harmony Chorus and the Snowy Mountains Ensemble. The performances will also feature local and visiting soloists, including singers from the ANU School of Music. The concept of this Gilbert & Sullivan Extravaganza (everyone is now calling it simply “the G&S”) has grown out of the successes of last year’s musical colaborations in Cooma, namely: Gilbert and Sullivan’s, “Trial by Jury”, “Sing Your Own Handel’s Messiah” and the “Australia Day Music Celebration-Let Our Stars Shine”.


Robert Shearer, who is co-directing the production with Petra Lindsay, has selected excerpts from “The Mikado”, “HMS Pinafore”, “Pirates of Penzance”, “Yeomen of the Guard”, “The Gondoliers” and “Iolanthe”.

Ann Tame as the Duchess from The Gondoliers

He has ingeniously written a script that combines all these excerpts into a single musical narrative. While remaining true to the composers’ original vision, Robert has added modern references that will delight and amuse a present day audience. The popularity of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works has not diminished over the years. Their appeal lies in the combination of wonderful music and comedy.

“A Gilbert and Sullivan Extravaganza” will feature timeless favourites such as: I’m Called Little Buttercup, On A Tree By A River, A Policeman’s Lot Is Not A Happy One, When I Was A Lad, Three Little Maids, I Am The Captain Of The Pinafore, and many more.

A major focus of this production will be big, bold and lively musical performances by 21 talented soloists accompanied by a 20 member chorus and a full 26 piece orchestra conducted by Rodney Clancy. Lavish costuming, lighting effects, dance and movement will also add to this exciting production.

Important Details:

There will be 3 performances only:

  • Friday 1st June at 7.30pm (Evening Performance)
  • Saturday 2nd June at 1.30pm (Matinee Performance) and at 7.30pm (Evening Performance)

Venue: Cooma Ex-Services Club, Vale Street, Cooma

The Soloists (in no particular order): Richard Hopkins, Jack Clayton, Elizabeth Barnes, Deb Law, Nick Giger, Rowena Evans, Charles Bradshaw, John Price, Miranda Evans, Robert Shearer, Jesse Greig, Josh Burke, Dave Learoyd, Judy Gibson, Keren Dalzell, Tala Ferguson, Ann Tame, Nigel Griffiths, Julia Clancy and Hilary Keighley


Divine Divas and A Bloke…Opera Comes To Cooma This Saturday!

This Saturday (26th November) a troupe of extremely talented singers will be coming to Cooma. This fantastic concert will be a mix of popular songs, treat
arias and duets from well-loved Classics, view
Operas and Musicals.

Concert Details:

  • When: Saturday 26 November 2011 at 7.00 pm
  • Where: St Paul’s Anglican Church Hall, pilule
    Commissioner Street, Cooma
  • Tickets: Adults $20, Concessions/Students $15, Students 10-18 years $10, Children under 10 years Free.
  • Tickets available at Cooma School of Music or at the door.
  • Bookings 6452 6067

The Programme:

  1. Sound The Trumpet / Henry Purcel
  2. Besame Mucho / Consuelo Velázquez
  3. Nella Fantasia / Ennio Morricone
  4. La Ci Darem / Don Giovanni by Mozart
  5. Mon Coeur S’Ouvre á ta Voix / Samson et Dalilah by Camille Saint-Säens
  6. Some Enchanted Evening / South Pacific by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
  7. How Can Love Survive / The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
  8. Hymne `a L’Amore / Marguerite Monnot
  9. If I Loved You / Carousel by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
  10. Send In The Clowns / A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim
  11. Vienna, City of My Dreams / Rudolf Sieczynski
  12. The Flower Duet / Lakmé by Leo Delibes
  13. Soave Sia Il Vento / Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart
  14. Musetta’s Waltz Song / La Boheme by Puccini
  15. I Heard You Singing / Eric Coates
  16. Edelweiss / The Sound of Music
  17. Climb Ev’ry Mountain / The Sound of Music
  18. Pastorello D’un Povero Armento / Handel
  19. Barcarolle / Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach
  20. Waltz of My Heart / The Dancing Years by Ivor Novello
  21. We’ll Gather Lilacs / Perchance To Dream by Ivor Novello
  22. Seguidilla / Carmen by Georges Bizet
  23. Granada / Agustín Lara
  24. You’ll Never Walk Alone / Carousel by Rodgers & Hammerstein


The Artists:

Shelley Hayton - Mezzo-Soprano/Contralto

Shelley HAYTON – Mezzo-Soprano/Contralto

Shelley made her musical debut in Gilbert and Sullivan. She has studied at the Elder, Melba and Sydney Conservatoria, and Victorian College of the Arts. She has performed with the State Opera of South Australia, the Victorian Opera and Opera Australia. Shelley has won a number of major competitions and performed as Soloist in Concerts and Oratorio, as well as principal roles with SOSA, Rockdale Opera and Opera Events. She understudied numerous roles in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in both 1998 and 2004 (SOSA).

Shelley fulfilled a lifelong wish, performing the role of Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music (2005), and the Third Lady in The Magic Flute (2006). She was also an ensemble member in the contemporary original cast recording of the musical Angels.

Shelley is the driving force behind this group. The “Divas” have been performing together since 2000.

Shelley teaches voice privately – to singers and speakers! She has recorded 2 CDs as well!

Lyndall Rees - Soprano

Lyndall REES – Soprano

One of the original members of Blue Mountains- based opera group, Opera Events (prev. Mountain Opera), Lyndall, originally a folksinger, became interested in opera and a love of the stage after performing her first role of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro in 1987.

Since then she has sung many principal roles for this group including Violetta in La Traviata, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Adele in Die Fledermaus, Elvira in Don Giovani, Musetta in La Boheme, Giulietta in Tales of Hoffman and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance.

She was thrilled to sing the role of Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro for a production held in the Cathedral Cave at Jenolan Caves, arguably the first full opera performed in a cave in the world.

Robert Horn - Baritone

Robert HORN – Baritone

Robert studied in Italy and England – also pursuing a career as a Shakespearean actor before returning to Australia in 1983. He has since combined a singing career with vocal instruction.

Robert performed regularly with ‘Opera Afloat’ on the Captain Cook Cruise Line, Sydney, and played the lead role in Amahl and the Night Visitors in Singapore (Dec 2000). He sang lead baritone in 2 ‘Verdi Spectaculars’, as well as the title role in Rigoletto at Alfredo’s Restaurant, Circular Quay, Sydney.

Robert enjoys both sides of the footlights, being an accomplished director for Opera Events (Blue Mountains) and a librettist for Galia, a brilliant Opera (Shelley)

Robert currently teaches voice privately in both Sydney & Blue Mountains.

Emily Courtright - Pianist

Emily COURTRIGHT – Pianist

Emily is a Graduate of the University of New York State, with a degree in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education and a major in Pipe Organ. She has accompanied singers and instrumentalists for many years in both the U.S.A. and Australia.

Emily has played a major role in the development of many, many singers and other musicians, and has spent hours of her time playing for charity, the elderly and tirelessly helping students learn roles – always cheerfully and with great encouragement.

Robert Shearer

Special Quest Artist – Robert Shearer – Tenor

Robert Shearer is an extremely gifted tenor, singing teacher and composer. He has since first starting music studies in1999 been passionately committed to his singing career and he has undergone extensive vocal training and music studies in some of Australia’s leading Tertiary music institutions .

Robert received a Bachelor of Music Degree (Performance) from Queensland Conservatorium of Music Griffith. He studied there with Adele Nesbit. Since then he has completed a Master of Music in Voice and Opera at ANU in Canberra under the tutelage of Stephen Bennett. He is currently a student of Helden Tenor Glenn Winslade.

Robert has performed extensively in opera and musical theatre.

Robert Shearer moved to Cooma about a year ago after completing his masters of music degree.

Grimm and the Blue Crown Owl by Joshua McHugh


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grimmLeslie, heart
myself and our daughter Hannah (Kit) were lucky enough to attend the first performance of “Grimm and the Blue Crown Owl”, treatment
 a new opera by Joshua McHugh. This was a sold-out performance at the Street Theatre ANU on Saturday 19th September 2009. It was a wonderful performance.  Joshua and the rest of the cast, ailment
drawn from the Vocal students of the ANU School of Music should be congratulated for their amazing performances.

There is a “Cooma Connection” here as well. Joshua was a Cooma boy and he learnt piano with Rod Huff, and theory/musicianship with Leslie at Cooma School of Music.

“Joshua McHugh is a pianist, composer, singer and music teacher,

Joshua McHugh

Joshua McHugh

currently undertaking his third year majoring as a classical voice student at the ANU School of Music.  His portfolio of works include three publications, various chamber works, the score for a film titled No Junk Mail and a song cycle; the latter having premiered mid last year at Wesley Music Centre. His first opera is inspired by the voices of fellow students and their vocal capacity and shape the artistic cast of Grimm and the Blue Crown Owl.

As the story unfolds, a band of Mad Scientist Rats plots to take over the world, a young hero is torn between the love he feels for a beautiful girl, and the jealous notions that are steering him towards the dark side of his nature. Keefer, the last owl of his kind, becoming embroiled in both of these stories, finds redemption from his vengeful past when he realizes that the only darkness we need to conquer is the one that lives within us.

Twenty-seven performers take to the stage in Grimm and the Blue Crown Owl in 41 characters that cross between humans and intelligent creatures in a love story set in a dark city in the underworld. Ben Connor, acclaimed for his performance at The Street Theatre in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, plays the leading role of Grimm. His love interest, Abigail d’Espairs, is performed by Karen Fitz-Gibbon, last seen in the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute. Recently returned from a tour to Germany with Adelaide based Co-Opera, Sonia Anfilloff plays the role of Sly, one the Mad Scientist Rats who is half human/half creature.

PJ Williams, Imogen Keen and Nick Merrylees bring their collective years of theatrical experience coupled with fresh ideas to direct, design and light the performance.” (from ANU School of Music website)


Joshua did the illustrations for the programme as well!