Chloé Charody (composer/director)
Chloé Charody is one of Europe’s leading female composers whose work is paving a new path for classical music in the 21st century. In 2011 Charody's second circus opera, 'The Carnival', debuted on London's West End. The show was an instant success and went on to run sell out shows in the United Kingdom and Europe. Charody has since composed 3 more circus operas.
Charody’s violin caprice ‘The Phoenix’ was created into a ballet by Remi Wortmeyer for solo violinist and dancer. It was premiered by the Dutch National Ballet in June 2016. Charody’s seventh opera, ‘Morning Blossoms’ is a large-scale operatic musical produced by ODD Continent in collaboration with the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. It is touring The Netherlands in autumn 2016. Charody currently lives in Berlin and is writing her eighth opera ‘Venalon’.
BIOGRAPHIES of KEY PEOPLE
Sonja Schebeck (violin)
Sonja Schebeck is an Australian-born violin virtuoso based in Vienna. She has toured extensively across Europe/UK and Australia as a member of Nigel Kennedy's Orchestra of Life and guests with the Wiener Sympohoniker, Concertino Wien and Extra Sounds Ensemble (Krakow).
Sonja has a special interest in fusing classical music with elements of modern circus, creating such projects as ‘The Freestyle Orchestra’ and ‘Pyroviolinist’ fireshow. She has appeared as violinist/fire artist at the Vienna Konzerthaus New Year's Eve Gala and Lucerne Festival 2015. Sonja has premiered many of Charody's works including ‘Magdalene’ (Dutch National Ballet), ‘The Phoenix’ (Musikverein, Vienna) and ‘Phoenix’ Concerto for Violin, Fire and Orchestra (New Moves Amsterdam 2016).
Valda Wilson (soprano)
Valda Wilson is an internationally acclaimed Australian soprano based in Germany. Valda has appeared in major operatic roles and concerts at such famous venues as the Semperoper Dresden, Teatro di San Carlo Naples, Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Grosses Festspielhaus and Mozarteum Salzburg, Westminster Abbey, and in many international music festivals including the Salzburg, Verbier, Lucerne and London Handel Festivals.
Valda features as ‘Rodelinda’ on ABC Classics CD recording of ‘Rodelinda’ with Richard Bonynge and in the four part TV documentary ‘Sängerkrieg auf hoher See’ about the prestigious Stella Maris International Singing Competition which she won. Valda Wilson was chosen by Richard Bonynge to be the sole singer at the Memorial Service for Dame Joan Sutherland accompanied by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.
Jessica O'Donoghue (vocalist)
Jessica O’Donoghue is an experienced and versatile vocalist. She was a Young Artist with Opera Queensland and at The Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Jessica has performed extensively as a principal artist and soloist for numerous operas and concerts.
Jessica performs regularly as the lead vocalist with the highly acclaimed pop group CODA who have featured at The Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide International Arts Festival, the Bangkok International Festival of Music and the Vivid Festival of Light in Sydney. Jessica also performs as a jazz vocalist. She has released CDs with The Renaissance Players, CODA (Aria nominees) and Kinderjazz, as well as two music videos. She wrote and recorded her debut solo EP in 2016. Jessica regularly appears at special events including Carols in the Domain and singing the UK national anthem for the Ashes Cricket Series.
Van-Anh Nguyen (pianist)
Van-Anh Nguyen was born to Vietnamese refugee musicians. She began piano studies at the tender age of 13 months and went on to win several national and international competitions. Van-Anh is an Australian pianist, composer and TV host who maintains an intense global touring schedule.
Since hitting the no.1 spot on the iTunes Classical charts (March, 2016) with her first single ‘Billie Jean’ on the Classical Crossover album Crossfire, Van-Anh has become a worldwide sensation. Her bubbly personality and emotive playing has graced such international stages as the Sydney Opera House, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre ( China), Segerstrom Centre of the Arts (USA) and San Francisco Botanical Gardens. She regularly guests with the Ho Chi Min City Symphony Orchestra, and the Vietnamese American Philharmonic Orchestra (California USA).
Michaela Leisk (soprano)
Michaela Leisk is a graduate of the Royal College of Music, London. In the UK, Michaela performed the Gilbert and Sullivan roles, Julie, Mabel, Josephine and Patience. In Sydney, she has played the title role in Mary Poppins with the Willoughby Theatre Company for their 2016 production at The Concourse.
Other roles include Rose Pickles in the creative development of 'Cloudstreet', Envy ('Pleasure Opera'), Maria ('West Side Story') and Calisto ('Daphnis and Chloe') with Pacific Opera. Michaela performs regularly with close harmony trio Midnight Avenue, the 7 Sopranos, Vavachi Entertainment, and has been broadcast live on both ABC Classic FM and Fine Music 2MBS FM.
Allegra Giagu (mezzo soprano)
Allegra Giagu was born in Australia and studied on full scholarships at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. She is currently a Studio Young Artist at Gertrude Opera.
Allegra has performed extensively in the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. Allegra loves opera and has sung numerous leading roles. She also enjoys appearing in concert and recital and working with new composers.
Allegra first appeared in the media spotlight as soloist for ‘The Edinburgh Military Tattoo – Salute to Australia’, which lead to a collaboration with Dame Judi Dench and ClassicFM in London.