Opera Panel

Angus Grant - Panel Chair

ANGUS GRANT is a graduate of Melbourne University and the VCA opera studio. He has performed with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera and Melbourne Opera. As a composer his opera, CONTACT!- a netball music drama, which he conducted, was commissioned by the Arts Centre Melbourne, toured regional Victoria and was nominated for three Green Room Awards. He is the director of Victorian Opera’s Youth Chorus Ensemble (VOYCE) where his work The Train Cantata was premiered he and conducted the company’s production of The Second Hurricane. He is heavily involved in Music education both in schools and through Victorian Opera’s education program.

Alan Barker

ALAN BARKER studied Mus. Bach. & Dip. Ed. Melbourne University Conservatorium and had a Lectureship in Opera School at the Con. for 2 years. He joined the Australasian tour of Offenbach's ORPHEUS and THE MERRY WIDOW, the Australian tour of NZ Opera"s PORGY & BESS; Mus. Dir. NZ Ballet: Acting Art.Dir. NZ Opera; Resident Conductor Australian Ballet; Princ. Cond. American Ballet Theatre; Mus. Dir. Pittsburgh, Sacramento, Scottish and Teresa Carreno (Venezuela) Ballets. Guest Conductor with Royal Swedish, Royal Danish, Gothenburg, Birmingham and Covent Garden Royal Ballets. Japan tours with Royal Swedish and ABT; also guest conductor New National Theatre Ballet and Noriko Kobayashi Ballets, (4 productions) in Tokyo.

Margaret Haggart

MARGARET HAGGART has been a professional Opera Singer since 1972, singing teacher since 1976. Studied in Melb with Antonio Moretti-Pananti. Won Sydney Sun Aria 1970, moved to London. Debut with Welsh National Opera (UK), then joined English National Opera on full contract for 5 seasons, performing 9 major roles annually. Freelanced from 1978, with major U.K. companies, BBC Radio & TV broadcasts, R Albert Hall Prom Concerts & various Festivals. Returned to Melb 1984 & has sung with all Australian Companies & major Festivals, ABC TV & Radio, Opera in the Domain, & most Symphony Orchestras. Her Rep of more than 90 major roles includes the title roles of Madama Butterfly, Katya Khabanova, Lucrezia Borgia, the Merry Widow, La Traviata, & Turandot. She has sung many Mozart heroines & is known for the Queen of the Night; performances include 25 Orchestral & Choral works, & World Premieres of works by the Australian Composers: Michael Bertram, Barry Conyngham, Michael Easton, Paul Grabowski, Alan John, & Graeme Koehne. Margaret has performed in Chile, France, Italy, N Zealand, Singapore & USA.

Liane Keegan

LIANE KEEGAN received scholarships from the Opera Foundation Australia, Shell Royal Covent Garden Scholarship which enabled her to study at the National Opera Studio London. She attended the AIMS summer School in Graz Austria on the Opera Australia Foundation Scholarship and in 1997, she won a Bayreuth Bursary from the Wagner Society of Great Britain. Liane came to the attention of both critics and public alike with roles including Azucena Il Trovatore for Opera of South Australia and Ulrica Un Ballo in Maschera for Opera Australia, conducted by Simone Young. Concert appearances have included Mozart Requiem with Sir Neville Mariner and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Barbara in the British Premier of Korngold’s Violanta at the1997 BBC Proms conducted by Paul Daniels. Since returning to Australia permanently in 2012, Liane has appeared with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/BBC UK in The last night of the Proms singing Elgar’s Sea Pictures conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and as Albine in Thais by Massenet and as the Alto Soloist in Beethoven 9th symphony. Liane appears as Erda, 1st Norn and Waltraute Die Walkure on the 2004 Melba Records recording of the first Australian Ring Cycle conducted by Asher Fisch.

Kerry Murphy

KERRY MURPHY is head of musicology at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, The University of Melbourne. Her research interests focus chiefly on 19th-century French music and music criticism and colonial Australian music history and she has published widely in these areas. For over twenty years she has taught historical opera studies at the Melbourne Conservatorium and she is a passionate lover of opera..

Shauntai Batzke

Wiradjuri soprano and composer, SHAUNTAI BATZKE is a principal artist with Short Black Opera and an Alumna of the Melba Opera Trust. Shauntai holds a BoM at the Melbourne Conservatorium and has spent two summers in New York in vocal and performance training at Belle Arti Center of the Arts and recently gave a world premier of her original song cycles for chamber ensemble and orchestral works at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival '19. Having recently made her debut as a solo artist with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2020, Shauntai is thrilled to be giving her professional debut performance with Victorian Opera in Deborah Cheetham AO’s new opera Parrwang Lifts the Sky in June 2021. Noted productions include; Pecan Summer (Short Black Opera), Ragtime, Showboat (The Production Company), Beginning of Nature (Australian Dance Theatre), RICERCAR (Present Tense Ensemble), Fidelio (Melbourne Opera) and Corrugation Road (Black Swan Theatre)..

Lisette Bolton

LISETTE BOLTON Born in Wagga Wagga NSW, soprano Lisette Bolton is currently studying at The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM). She is soon to complete her Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours), majoring in Performance. She is an alumna of Opera Australia’s Regional Student Scholarship program and Opera Scholars Australia (OSA) where she was recipient of the White Foundation Scholarship. In 2019 she was also nominated for a Green Room Award in her debut role of Olive with Lyric Opera of Melbourne in their production of Barry Conyngham’s Fly. More recently, Lisette was a part of an interstate collaborative composition and performance project with cellist Clare Brazil during Wagga Wagga’s hosting of Artistate in 2020.