Opera Queensland Returns with Young Artist Program and Show Dates
Ed Saba | On 11, May 2021
Opera Queensland has gathered Brisbane’s best voices for this year’s Young Artists Program.
Singers Rebecca Cassidy, Sofia Troncoso, Xenia Puskarz Thomas and Timothy Newton are featuring in OQ’s productions this year. Troncoso, Puskarz Thomas and Newton are rehearsing for The Marriage of Figaro, set for July 15 – 31. Meanwhile, Rebecca Cassidy is understudying the star role of Isolde in Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde.
Cassidy’s soaring soprano was the highlight of last year’s program, which was cut short by COVID-19. But, OQ have brought the singer back for 2021, showing their dedication to nurturing artists. ’I hope the program will continue to bridge the gap between young artist and professional principal artist’, says Cassidy. With merits like the QCGU Wagner Prize, Trinity College London Exhibition Award, we’re likely to see that hope made real.
Likewise, Xenia Puskarz Thomas, a mezzo-soprano, faced setbacks due to travel restrictions between Australia and United States. The Brisbane-born singer graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium, earning a scholarship to America’s top performing arts school, Julliard. Thankfully, Puskarz Thomas can rehearse as Cherubino for The Marriage of Figaro.
All thanks to a virtual study program devised by OQ.
Artistic Director and CEO Patrick Nolan says, ‘Opera Queensland is passionate about nurturing Queensland artists, and it shows. Youth Artists Program alumni include success-stories Katie Miller-Heidke, Kiandra Howard and Kanen Breen. So, it was special when American-born Sofia Troncoso landed in Brisbane and caught OQ’s attention. ‘Opera Queensland has been the light at the end of the tunnel for many artists, myself included’, says Troncoso. The acclaimed singer performed at last year’s Under the Light Concert and is rehearsing to play Susanna in Figaro.
Meanwhile, Timothy Newton’s nimble bass-baritone is sure to bring the scheming Figaro to life. The Gold Coast-raised singer returned to Australia after a year-long tenure at Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Works include playing Colline in La bohème (with New Zealand Opera) and Quince in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s exciting to see this year unfold for these singers, with plenty of big productions in the pipeline. Finally, be sure to keep an eye out for the announcement of Tristan und Isolde, which hopefully resumes this year.
What: Opera Queensland’s The Marriage of Figaro
When: July 15 – 31
Where: QPAC Playhouse, Cnr Grey and, Melbourne St, South Brisbane QLD 4101
How Much: Adult $65-145 Weekdays, $75-165 Weekends (and Friday night)
More information Find tickets here. Each night features different performers, please make sure to choose the correct date if you want to see the singers featured in this article.