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2018 Concert 1

Mario Dobernig - Conductor


Mario is the Artistic Director and Conductor for Victoria Chorale and the Art of Sound Orchestra.


Engagements for the 2017/2018 season include performances with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in Doha for the Qatar Festival, Hobart’s MONA FOMA, Brahms’s Requiem and Alto Rhapsody, Schubert’s Masses No. 5 and 6, Mozart Vespers K. 339, Mozart’ Piano Concerto K. 449, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Eroica, Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, festival appearances with Electronic Dance Music Producers,  cultural exchange programs between Austria and Australia and returns to Europe in 2017 and 2018.

Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is the Soviet young person's guide to the orchestra.  It has been a favourite ever since its first performance in 1936. Our fabulous narrator, Mairi Nicolson from ABC Classic, will add to the program’s delight. Don’t tell the kids but neither Peter nor the wolf come to any real harm. Pity about the duck!


Gounod’s wonderful Requiem, composed after his grandson died at four, converts deep private sorrow into great melody and sustained reflection.

Mairi Nicolson - Narrator


Mairi’s long and varied career as a broadcaster and music journalist for both the ABC and BBC has taken her from the Sydney Opera House to New York’s Avery Fischer Hall, from the Royal Albert Hall, London to the Myer Music Bowl, MRC and Hamer Hall, Melbourne.


Currently  Mairi is the ‘Queen of Opera’ at ABC Classic.  In 2019 she presents the long running Opera Show, Sunday Opera, Legends and The Lunchtime Concert and hosts ‘live’ broadcasts of MSO and Musica Viva concerts, Opera Australia productions and a variety of major music competitions.


Mairi writes for Limelight magazine, and leads several Opera and Music tour groups to Europe and America every year for Renaissance Tours, and conducts Media training with singers and instrumentalists.

Ayako Ohtake - Soprano


Sydney-based Soprano Ayako Ohtake recently appeared as a soloist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Coast Opera Australia and Blush Opera.


Ayako completed her Masters at the Royal Academy of Music in London and also holds a PhD in Musical Arts from the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo.


Her operatic roles include the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Violetta in La Traviata, and Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann.  Ayako is currently a Pacific Opera Young Artist and Coast Opera Australia Emerging Artist.

Juel Rigall - Mezzo Soprano


Juel holds a BMus/BArts from Melbourne University. Roles include Mrs Anderssen (A Little Night Music), Green Fairy (Sleeping Beauty), Turnspit (Rusalka), Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel) and Flower Maiden (Parsifal) for Victorian Opera, and Flora Bervoix (La Traviata) for Melbourne Opera.


She has recently performed in Victorian Opera’s productions of William Tell and Pelleas et Mellisand, in an overseas concert tour with Melbourne Opera and as a guest soloist with Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra (Nanjing).


Juel has been a participant in the prestigious Lisa Gasteen National Opera School and has received the Acclaim Awards Chief Justice’s Award.

Jiacheng Ding - Tenor


Jiancheng Ding received his Bachelor of Music Performance in China, and won the Chiangjiang Cup, the first prize in a National Students Singing Competition. 


Now doing a Masters of Music at Elder Conservatorium in SA, his performance experiences include Don Pasquale for the State Opera of SA, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni; Co-Opera), and tenor soloist roles in the Messiah (Adelaide Harmony Choir), Nelson Mass (Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus). Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (State Opera of South Australia) and Mozart Requiem (Co-Opera, Australia)

Jack Stephens - Bass


Jack Stephens, a young Sydney-born bass, is currently the Principal Lay Clerk at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.  He performs regularly as a soloist throughout Sydney.


Jack has worked closely with David Hill, John Rutter, Nigel Short, Barry Rose and Stephen Darlington;  made recordings with the ABC and BBC and performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Snape Maltings.


Jack was also featured on True Story with Hamish and Andy alongside comedians Kitty Flanagan and Ed Kavalee.

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