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Mozart and Salieri were brilliant composers who dominated the late 18th century musical scene.  This unique concert enables you to hear them at their finest. The concert also includes a beautiful contemporary work by Australian composer: Jodie O'Regan.

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Esther Counsel - Soprano

Praised for her “Melting vocal technique” (Operachaser) and “Expressive largesse” (Limelight
magazine), Esther Counsel is an emerging soprano based in Melbourne.  Esther studied a Master of Opera Performance at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.  She is also a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, with both a Bachelor of Music (Classical performance) and a Graduate Diploma (Vocal performance). Esther was also selected to participate in the inaugural State Opera of South Australia Opera Academy.

This year Esther debuted as Mimi in La Boheme (Puccini) for City of Boroondara’s Opera in the
park.  Esther also recently performed the role of La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart) with The CoOperative Sydney, First Witch in IOpera’s Dido and Aeneas (Purcell) as well as in Melbourne Opera’s Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti) as Princess Negroni.

Some of Esther’s other previous roles include First Lady in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Angelica in
Suor Angelica (Puccini), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (Britten), Diana in Orfée aux enfers
(Offenbach), and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten), as well as scenes of Donna
Elvira in Don Giovanni (Mozart) and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffman (Offenbach).

Mario Dobernig - Conductor


On a quest to make a difference, innovator Mario Dobernig is one of the most inspiring music makers of his generation.  Mario is Artistic Director and Conductor in Chief for the Victoria Chorale, the Art of Sound Orchestra, and co-artistic director of the Albury Chamber Music Festival.  He has conducted among others the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Kapfenberger Symphoniker and Orchestra Calliope, and at prestigious venues and festivals in Europe, the Middle East, China and Australia. 

Mario was awarded his PhD in 2014, holds Master degrees in Percussion, Conducting and Musicology as well as Bachelor Degrees in Percussion and Music Education. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and is an adjudicator for the Belvedere International Singing Competition. 

Discography includes online releases for ABC Classics and being a featured guest on various radio programs around the globe.  Mario has produced a number of highly successful festivals in Australia and Austria and also organises unique exchange tours for cultural groups between Australia and Western Europe.  He enjoys conversations in English, German, French and Italian, and has a keen interest in geopolitics.

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Sitiveni Talei - Baritone

Sitiveni Talei is a Fijian-Australian baritone.  Winner of the prestigious Marianne Mathy Competition, he has performed with many of Australia’s state companies and orchestras.  Sitiveni has sung for 10 years with Opera Australia, appearing in their chorus and in a range of supporting roles. 

His operatic repertoire includes:  Amonaso, Aida; Zurga, Les Pecheurs des Perles; Sharpless, Madama Butterfly; and Belcore, L’Elisir D’amore;

His concert repertoire includes: Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs, Bach’s St Matthews and St John’s Passions, Haydn’s The Seasons.

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Sally-Anne Russell - Mezzo-soprano

Sally-Anne Russell has appeared in twenty-five countries and has recorded over 40 CDs and DVDs including her solo aria disc Enchanting with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.  She has over 80 operatic roles in her repertoire and regularly works with all the major opera companies and symphony orchestras in Australia. International highlights include the Spoleto Festival Italy, Washington National Opera (DC) and Carmel Bach Festival.


Sally-Anne is co-artistic director of Albury Chamber Music Festival, a member of the Kathaumixw Festival International Artistic Council, Canada and the Belvedere International Singing Competition, Vienna.  Sally-Anne is proudly sponsored by the Bee Family Foundation.

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Henry Choo - Tenor

Henry has an exciting tenor voice and has appeared regularly for Opera Australia, WA Opera, SOSA and Melbourne Opera and at the Edinburgh Festival and Macau International Music Festival.

He has performed as soloist in such works as Messiah, St Matthew and St John Passion, Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, with all the Australian symphony orchestras and with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, NZSO, Christchurch Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia and Bach Musica NZ and the Sydney Philharmonia Choir and in Tippett’s A Child Of Our Time for the Adelaide Festival.

Henry is a multiple Greenroom Award nominee, most recently for his performance of Leicester in Melbourne Opera’s production of Maria Stuarda.

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