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.
Dimity Shepherd - Sorceress
4 time Green Room Award winner. Multiple appearances with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera, Melbourne Opera, South Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Chamber Made Opera and Others in repertoire including Carmen, Rosina, Dorabella, Cherubino, Orfee, Flora, Maddalena, Cenerentola etc.
Dimity has a reputation for performing in cross over repertoire such as Threepenny Opera and The Black Rider, and as a performer in new Australian works, including Lorelei, The Ghost Wife, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Love in the Age of Therapy, How to Kill Your Husband. Recent appearances - mezzo soloist in the Australian Ballet’s Anna Karenina, Orsini in Lucretia Borgia, Fricka, First Norn and Valkyrie in the Bendigo Ring Cycle and the Berio Folk Songs with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
Issie Hart - Witch 1
Issie Hart is an award-winning soprano and creator of theatrical and operatic cabaret works that have toured extensively across Australia and internationally.
Hart’s work has been described as ‘The Rarest of things... Theatre that mattered’ Arts Hub Australia and ‘Radical, Transgressive Chic’ The Guardian, UK.
‘A powerful soprano instrument…lebhaft und lustig’ Daily Review.
Hart has also received a number of awards in prestigious Australian classical singing competitions including: Liederfest, Sydney Eisteddfod, South Street Eisteddfod and many more. Hart has worked in opera, theatre, circus, musicals, independent film, community radio and television.
‘Truly original, delightful and accomplished’ Kate Copstick, The Scotsman.
A lively semi-staged performance of Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas:
This marvellous work tells the story of Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and her ill-fated love encounter with the Trojan Prince Aeneas.
Victoria Chorale plus 9 superb soloists will capture the fun of rowdy sailors and caustic witches alongside the stirring emotions of a tragic love story. Purcell’s evocative work culminates in one of opera’s great moments as Dido hauntingly sings ‘Remember me’.
The superb Magnificat in G minor by Vivaldi conveys a majestic sense of awe and drama. This work is truly a gem.
Sally-Anne Russell - Dido
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.
Christopher Tonkin - Aeneas
Australian baritone Christopher Tonkin has performed throughout the UK, Europe and Asia. His major roles include Marcello (La Bohème), Silvio (Pagliacci), Il Conte Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Albert (Werther) and Valentin (Faust).
Christopher is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and the VCA. He was resident principal baritone at the State Opera in Hannover from 2010 to 2016.
In Australia, Christopher has appeared with Opera Australia, Adelaide Festival, Victorian Opera, West Australian Opera and the Australian Contemporary Opera Company. Concert appearances include Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras (Messiah and Beethoven Symphony No 9).
Jessica Dean - Belinda
Australian Soprano Jessica Dean is a Masters graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, where she studied with Lillian Watson. At the RAM, she was awarded the Kohn Foundation scholarship as a soloist for the inaugural Royal Academy’s Bach Cantata concert series.
For State Opera of SA, she has performed Angela in Graham Koehne’s Love Burns, Marzelline (Fidelio) for which she received a Helpmann nomination; Beth in the Australian premiere of Mark Adamo’s Little Women; Yum-Yum (The Mikado) and Dew-Fairy (Hansel and Gretel). Recent concerts include ‘Handel’s London’ with the Adelaide Baroque, Haydn’s Berenice che fai? with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra as part of their Elder matinee series, the Mother in Tippet’s A Child of our Time, and Gorecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs with The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Her Australian and UK awards include the EMR Overseas Scholarship, The Dame Ruby Litchfield Scholarship, The John Lewis Award and The Jennifer Vyvyan Award.
Lisette Bolton - Second Woman
Two-time Green Room Award nominated soprano Lisette Bolton is a Masters student at the University of Melbourne and alumna of Opera Australia’s Regional Student Scholarship program, the Young Songmakers Development Program and Opera Scholars Australia. She has performed with Victorian Opera, IOpera, Lyric Opera, Australian International Productions, the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the Albury Chamber Music Festival. Stage credits include Bird in The Grumpiest Boy in the World (2023), Second Woman in Dido and Aeneas (2022), Girl in The Emperor of Atlantis (2022), Olive in Fly (2019), Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro (study-cover, 2019) and Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites (understudy, 2018).
Stephen Marino - Witch 2
Stephen Marino is a versatile musician with a breadth of experience traversing opera, oratorio and classical concert work, musical theatre, and cabaret. His previous opera performances include solo and chorus roles with The Albury Chamber Music Festival, Melbourne Opera and National Touring Opera. Stephen is particularly active as a singer, accompanist and assistant chorus master including work with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir, Melbourne University Choral Society, Victoria Chorale and The Choir of St. Peter’s Eastern Hill. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Music in classical voice from Monash University and recently completed a Master of Teaching at the University of Melbourne.
Austin Haynes - Spirit
Austin is a countertenor from New Zealand and Australia. He is now based in the UK where he is completing a master’s degree at Oxford University. Austin made his professional opera debut as Liang Shanbo in Richard Mills The Butterfly Lovers (Singapore, 2023), and has soloed with groups in the UK such as Instruments of Time and Truth, the Oxford Bach Soloists, and New Chamber Opera. He was the winner of the 2022 Herald Sun Aria and the City of Kingston Aria competitions. Austin’s vocal studies are supported by a scholarship from the TAIT Foundation.