Skipworth has won the Orchestral Prize while Dean has taken out the Song Cycle category in the 2016 awards.In November, Limelight reported the nominations for the 2016 Paul Lowin Prizes and the winners have now been announced. Lachlan Skipworth’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra has won the 2016 Paul Lowin Orchestral Prize while Brett Dean’s And Once I Played Ophelia for soprano and string quartet has taken out the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize.
The Paul Lowin Prizes, which are run every two or three years, are among the richest in Australia for music composition and are managed by Perpetual in collaboration with the Australian Music Centre. Since the first prizes in 1991, over $440,000 has been awarded.
Below is the link to vote for Limelight’s Artist of the Year. We are thrilled to see that Tait Awardees; Amy Dickson, saxophone & Jayson Gillham, piano, have been nominated.
Amy was recently awarded the honour to be the Young Australian of the Year in the UK for 2016, the latest accolade in a quickly growing list of prizes. The UK Australia Day Awards, introduced by the non-profit Australia Day Foundation, recognise those Australians who excel in their fields in the United Kingdom.
Australia Day Foundation Director, Dick Porter said: “Amy is an outstanding young Australian and we are delighted to recognise her success with this award.”
The award was presented by the Australian High Commissioner, the Honourable Alexander Downer AC at Australia House, London.
Jayson is currently enjoying great success in Australia, to date he has played at QPAC in recital for Medici Concerts, Beethoven’s 4th piano concerto with the Sydney Symphony, a recital at Sydney’s Recital Hall and he is to play Beethoven’s 3rd piano concerto with the Adelaide Symphony, his tour ends with a recital in the Melbourne Recital Centre.
Who will be Limelight’s Artists of the Year?
Vote here for who you’d like to see honoured in our Australian and International Artists of the Year Awards.
Each year, Limelight’s experienced team of reviewers painstakingly selects a group of winning recordings in each of five categories for our annual Recording of the Year Awards. In addition, this year our critics have created a shortlist of 40 outstanding musicians and ensembles – 20 Australian and 20 International artists – for our annual Limelight Artists of the Year Awards.
Some are established artists and some are relative newcomers. Several of the international artists have thrilled Australian audiences in performance while others have released stunning recordings or have achieved accomplishments of note in their field. The nominees include performers, composers, ensembles and conductors, all of whom are in the running to win one of two inaugural Limelight Artist of the Year Awards.
Now it’s your chance to be involved. We’d like you, Limelight readers, to vote for the Australian and international artist that you would most like to see honoured. The public vote will then be combined with the votes of our critical panel, and the announcement of the lucky winners will be made in our special holiday issue of Limelight, out January 5, 2017. And please note, for the purposes of these awards, a non-Australian with a post at an Australian orchestra has been counted as an Australian artist rather than as an International.
Voting closes at midnight on Sunday November 6
Australian Haydn Ensemble
Australian World Orchestra
Alondra de la Parra
Choir of Trinity College Cambridge
Christoph von Dohnányi
Please note: By entering this poll you agree to receive Limelight’s Weekly Newsletter. If you already receive our Weekly Newsletter you still need to fill out the form; this will update your information with your vote. If you have any trouble accessing the voting button above, please click here.
The Australian soprano reflects on the challenges of singing Donizetti’s tragic Anna Bolena.
While Anna Bolena is definitely on the larger end of the bel canto roles, it still requires great flexibility, as well as heft and drama where required. It is a great thrill to sing and while it is perhaps ‘heavier’ than some other bel canto roles – mostly due to the intense dramatic situation Anna finds herself in – one must remember to maintain a lilt and ease so that the voice remains flexible. There are also a number of lower notes: the bottom register is well applied by Donizetti to add drama and colour, and I absolutely love using a wide range of colours to characterise her journey. The challenges of the role lie in matching the tessitura and the weight or volume.
There are also a number of added cadenzas and high notes, so finding the balance between the elements is crucial. Anna is extremely fun to sing, as well as technically challenging – but again therein lies the fun too! Donizetti’s Anna Bolena departs from the historical details in a number of ways, done for dramatic licence. However, there is much that corresponds with the historical Anne Boleyn’s journey. In my opinion, her trial itself was a complete set-up, and the nature of it is made very clear in the opera.As for Anna’s mad scene, I would say it is less ‘mad’ than many! She begins the mad scene in a state of delusion, drifting in and out of awareness of her real situation. It begins in some respects like the Lucia di Lammermoor mad scene, in both concept – Anna is imagining a wedding – and orchestral colour. However, it soon shifts to much more dramatic colours and intense melodic shapes. It is perhaps less florid than roles like Elvira or Lucia, but is no less impressive. The role of Anna Bolena has been performed by a great number of sopranos, including Callas, Sutherland, and Netrebko. In an ideal world we would all love the dramatic intensity of La Callas, as well as the beauty of tone and flexibility of La Stupenda. Of the other major exponents of the role, I admire Beverly Sills for her recordings, which are extremely ornamented – perhaps too much? I would like to be at least as inventive where required. And though no recordings of Giuditta Pasta exist, one would hope to have a voice as strong and flexible as hers at the top, with the same depth and colour in the middle and bottom. Pasta, the original Anna, was a mezzo-like soprano, who was both the first Norma and Amina, the latter of which is substantially lighter and requires more limpid flexibility. Given the original Anna’s voice, and contemporary audience expectation for extemporised top notes, balance and care must be taken in order to maintain ease at both ends of the registers, to give the widest range of possible colour. Knowing the repertoire of Donizetti’s Tudor Queens, it would be a joy to one day have the opportunity to sing Queen Elizabeth in Roberto Devereux.
Elena’s performance of Mozart’s, Ch’io mi scordi di te? K 505, with Jayson Gillham and the Tait Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Kelly Lovelady, at the 2014 Tait Winter Prom at St John’s Smith Square.
Elena Xanthoudakis appears in the Australian premiere of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for Melbourne Opera November 2, 5 and 9. Buy tickets here
Melbourne Opera stages the Australian premiere of Roberto Deveraux in 2017.
Following the sold out triumph of Maria Stuarda last year, Melbourne Opera continues the great Donizetti trilogy bringing the bel canto masterpiece Anna Bolena to The Athenaeum for the first time this November.
Starring Elena Xanthoudakis (Anne Boleyn), Sally-Anne Russell (Jane Seymour), Eddie Muliaumaseali’i (Henry VIII), Boyd Owen (Richard Percy), Dimity Shepherd (Mark Smeaton) and Phillip Calcagno (Lord Rochefort).
One of the more curious things you might have noted about the passing of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies earlier this year is how a composer who was such an enfant terrible back in the 1960s could end up the fondly admired Master of the Queen’s Music with a host of ‘popular’ compositions to his name like the catchy An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise, or suites of songs to be sung by Scottish schoolkids.
Next week in Sydney, the ambitious Verbrugghen Ensemble are aiming to put the record straight by winding back the clock on Sir Peter in a programme entitled Of Magic and Madness, the centrepiece of which will be a performance of one of his seminal early works: Eight Songs for a Mad King. Directed by Kate Gaul, the production will feature baritone Simon Lobelson as the deranged King George III as well as a bold new work by composer Matthew Hindson (This Year’s Apocalypse) and the lyrical Sextuor Mystique by Heitor Villa-Lobos.