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2018 Concert 1

Sara Brodie - Director


Sara is a director and choreographer based in New Zealand.  She has a MA in theatre from Victoria University, Wellington and is a New Zealand Arts Laureate. 


She has directed the opera premieres of: The Bone Feeder (Auckland Arts Festival/New Zealand Opera), Hohēpa (New Zealand Opera/NZ International Arts Festival Iris Dreaming,  (Grimebourne Festival), L’Oca del Cairo (Days Bay Opera, NZ) and Kia Ora Khalid (Capital E National Theatre for Children, NZ). 

Productions include: Aindamar (New Zealand International Arts Festival), Nixon In China (Auckland Arts Festival), Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte (New Zealand Opera), Opera Highlights tour for Scottish Opera, most recently Hotspur/Pierrot Lunaire for the Grimebourne Festival and worked as the Associate & Movement Director on Breaking the Waves at the Edinburgh International Arts Festival.

Mario Dobernig - Conductor


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


On a global quest to make a musical difference, innovator Mario Dobernig is fast emerging as one of the most inspiring conductors of his generation. Whether it be on the classical concert platform or the unconventional wonderland of electronic dance music his energy and passion for music is infectious. Mario Dobernig is Artistic Director and Conductor in Chief for the Victoria Chorale and the Art of Sound Orchestra and has conducted among others the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Kapfenberger Symphoniker, Orchestra Capella Calliope, Australian Romantic and Classical Orchestra and at prestigious venues in Europe, the Middle East, China and Australia.

Discography includes releases for ABC Classics and being a featured guest on various radio programs around the globe. He was awarded his PhD in 2014 and also holds multiple Master and Bachelor Degrees. 

Mario produced a number of highly successful festivals in multiple cities and countries (Australia, Austria, China, Germany, Italy, Finland) and has recently been appointed as the co-artistic director of the Albury Chamber Music Festival. He also organizes unique cultural exchange tours for music and cultural groups between Australia and his other native Austria.

Don Bridges - Narrator


Don Bridges is a popular actor whose impressive career includes spans TV, film and theatre.

Theatre: Columbia University (New York), Geary Theatre (San Francisco) Unicorn (London), over 30 Melbourne Theatre Company plays.


Films: Judy and Punch, Two Heads Creek, Paper Champions, Tender Hook, Romper Stomper, Evil Angels, Quigley Down Under, Malcolm, Rikki & Pete, Road to Nhill, The Hard Word, The Oyster Farmer, Charlotte’s Web, and Cohen the Barbarian in TrollBridge.


Television: Jack Irish, Blue Heelers, Man from Snowy River, Neighbours, Stingers, The Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries and Upper Middle Bogan.Don is also a musician, playing guitar, mandolin, ukulele and bodhran (Irish drum).


He is Vice President of the Victorian Actors’ Benevolent Trust and enjoys the opportunity to assist others in the industry.

Steven Gallop - Zuniga


Steven Gallop studied at the Queensland Conservatorium before becoming a member of Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program.  He studied in Vienna subsequently singing in Boris Godunov and Fidelio for Welsh National Opera, in Peter Grimes in Santiago, in Der Freischutz at Reinsberg Festival,  in Tea, and Powder Her Face in Vienna, Rome, Naples, and Chicago and in Osborne’s The Piano Tuner for Covent Garden.


His recent roles for Opera Australia include Angelotti in Tosca, Nourabad in Pearlfishers, Wurm in Luisa Miller, Sarastro in Magic Flute and Bartolo in Marriage Of Figaro and The Bonze in Madam Butterfly on tour in China.


Other appearances include Mephistopheles in Faust and Sarastro for Eugene Opera in the USA, the Marquis of Calatrava in Force Of  Destiny , Commendatore in Don Giovanni  and Bonze for State Opera Of South Australia and Commendatore, Sarastro,  Ariodate in Xerxes and Achilla in Julius Caesar all for Victorian Opera.


A sizzling look at Bizet’s great opera


Experience all the passion and drama of Carmen in a stylish semi-staged performance that will have you on the edge of your seat. The irresistible music of Bizet’s masterpiece will be performed by an outstanding Australian cast, including Sally-Anne Russell (Carmen), Bradley Daley (Don José), José Carbó (Escamillo) and Desiree Frahn (Micaëla).  You will thrill to the rich sound of 100 Victoria Chorale singers and the Art of Sound Orchestra in this vibrant production.

Sally Anne Russell - Mezzo Soprano


With over 70 operatic roles in 25 countries, 40 CD’s and DVD’s and an ARIA award, Sally-Anne Russell is one of Australia’s most successful and highly regarded singers.  Sally-Anne has performed with Opera Australia and all State opera companies, Washington Opera, Oper der Stadt Köln, all Australian and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian String Quartet, Musica Viva, major Festivals including Spoleto Festival (Italy), Carmel Bach festival (USA) and in concerts throughout Asia, Europe, Canada and the USA.   Sally-Anne is also a member of the Belvedere International Singing Competition in Vienna and on the Kathaumixw Festival International Artistic Council in Canada.

Bradley Daley - Don José


Since making his debut with the English National Opera as Rodolfo/La bohème, Bradley has worked for Opera North, ENO, Holland Park Opera, Co-Opera Ireland, Muziektheatre Transparent/Belgium, Compagnia d'Opera Italiana di Milano, Opera Nomade/Paris and Kiel Oper/Germany.

Bradley won Green Room awards for his performances as Curley/Of Mice and Men and Mao Tse-tung/Nixon in China.

Recently Bradley sang Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) for Opera Queensland and Opera Australia, Sigmund (Der Ring des Nibelungen) for Opera Australia, Siegfried (Siegfried and Götterdämmerung) and Der Kaiser (Die Faau ohne Schatten) for Kiel Oper Germany.

José Carbó – Escamillo


Argentine-Australian baritone José Carbó is one of the most exciting operatic artists of his generation; he has performed in the leading houses of the world including Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Real Madrid, Los Angeles Opera, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Seattle Opera and Opera Australia.

In 2018, José toured Australia with superstar Sumi Jo and sang Germont (La traviata) for Opera Australia; he returned to OA in 2019 as Sharpless (Madama Butterfly) and sang Scarpia in Opera Queensland’s new production of Tosca.  In 2015, José joined the roster of principal artists at The Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Desiree Frahn - Micaëla


Desiree Frahn is a graduate of the Elder Conservatorium, and alumni of the 2014/16 State Opera of South Australia James and Diana Ramsey Foundation Opera Program. With SOSA she has performed several main stage roles including Leïla, Rose Pickles, Pamina, and Rosalinde and sung as a soloist in their regional tours, concerts and broadcasts. She has performed leading roles throughout South Australia, and been a soprano soloist in both new and established works with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Elder Conservatorium Orchestra and the Adelaide University Choral Association.

Claire Patti-Chehade - Frasquita


Claire Patti-Chehade made her international opera debut as Belinda in Dido and Aeneas and has since performed the roles of Saffi in The Gypsy Baron, Adina in Elixir of Love, Frasquita in Carmen, Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld and Sharon Graham in Master Class.  She was a sponsored Young Artist with Pacific Opera and also performed on the television series Married at First Sight singing a duet with tenor Lorenzo Rositano.

Claire will next make her debut in the role of Musetta in La Bohème in at The Mediterranean Opera Studio and Festival Sicily, Italy.

Celeste Haworth - Mercédès


Celeste Haworth has performed many roles as a principal artist in Europe, Australia and Asia and has been a regular principal artist with Opera Australia, the State Theatre of Wiesbaden, Germany, and the annual Wien Modern Festival in Vienna. Celeste’s singing has been broadcast on ABC Classic FM and Fine Music 102.5FM and she has performed extensively with renowned orchestras including the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Kammerorchester and the Frankfurter Philharmoniker.

Henry Choo - El Remendado


Henry Choo is regarded as one of Australia's finest lyric tenors.  He possesses a voice that displays great versatility and clarity across a range of styles. Henry is an alumnus of both the Young Artist Program of Opera Queensland and the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Development Program of Opera Australia. He has received multiple Green Room Award nominations and has performed to international acclaim with leading opera companies and symphony orchestras. 

Michael Lampard - El Daincaïro and Moralès


Michael made his debut for Opera Australia as Schaunard in this year’s Sydney season of La Boheme.   Past performances include Dr. Kanzler in The Princess & The Pea and The King in Sleeping Beauty for Victorian Opera, Biterolf in Tannhauser, Morales in Carmen, Zurga in The Pearlfishers, Killian in Der Freischutz and Kurwenal in Tristan & Isolde for Melbourne Opera and Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte for the Rome Opera Festival.  At only twenty-one years of age, he was a finalist in Placido Domingo's Operalia competition.

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