HARRIET O'SHANNESSY - SOPRANO
Harriet O’Shannessy completed a Bachelor of Laws and practised as a criminal lawyer before attending the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts from 2002-2003. She then completed a Masters of Music (Opera) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2005, and attended the Neil Semer Vocal Institute in Coesfeld, Germany in 2009.
As a Young Artist with the West Australian Opera from 2011-2012, Harriet made numerous concert appearances (including Morning Melodies, Opera Lovers concerts and Opera in Education concerts), and performed roles including the Fourth Maid in Elektra, Ida in Die Fledermaus, and Cousin in Madama Butterfly. She also covered Nedda in I Pagliacci.
Other roles performed include Abigail in the Australian premiere of The Crucible, Gretel in Oz Opera, Hansel and Gretel, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Nerina in La Fedelta Premiata, Mrs Hildebrand in Street Scene and La Speranza in Orfeo.
On the concert platform and in recital, Harriet has sung in Australia, Germany and London. She has been the recipient of scholarships including the Bendat scholarship, the Barbara MacLeod scholarship, the Helpmann scholarship and the Wagner Society scholarship, and has been a finalist in the Wiesbaden and Puccini competitions.
Harriet is the founder of Freeze Frame Opera Inc. Harriet's vision is to provide performance opportunities for professional singers to enable them to gain the necessary experience to perform main stage roles, and to introduce new audiences to the magic of opera.
In 2017, Harriet performed the role of Sylviane in The Merry Widow for WA Opera and also appeared in Tosca and Opera in the Park in WA Opera's 50th anniversary year. Harriet appeared as Mimi in FFO's La Boheme in May & June 2017.
ILEANA RINALDI - MEZZO SOPRANO
Born in Bucharest Romania, Ileana Rinaldi appears regularly with the West Australian Opera. She studied at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) after which she was awarded a full scholarship to the Australian Opera Studio where she performed the title roles in Carmen (Bizet) and The Rape of Lucretia (Britten), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Mozart), Der Komponist in Ariadne Auf Naxos (R. Strauss), Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Die Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck), Mother in Les Contes d’Hoffman (Offenbach) and Cornelia in Giulio Cesare (Händel).
Ileana was a Young Artist with the West Australian Opera in 2009 and in 2015 became an inaugural West Australian Opera Mentored Artist and in that same year was the recipient of the Bendat Scholarship.
During her time with the West Australian Opera, Ileana has performed Marthe in Faust (Gounod), Teresa in La Sonnambula (Bellini), Mercedes in Carmen (Bizet), Praskovia in The Merry Widow (Lehár), La Principessa in Suor Angelica (Puccini), the Grandmother, Duchess and Crone III in Nostradamus (Z. de Voight), La Madre di Cio Cio San in Anthony Minghella's English National Opera production of Madama Butterfly (Puccini) and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi (Puccini) for the 2016 state-wide regional telecast of Opera in the Park.
Ileana made her international debut as Maddalena in Rigoletto with the Tokyo National Opera and appeared later as the alto soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony. She has also appeared in Tokyo in an international singer’s concert collaboration for the National Opera of Japan as well as in concert in China with the Beijing State Opera.
Ileana’s oratorio appearances are extensive and include the Verdi Requiem, Dvořàk’s Stabat Mater, Händel’s Messiah, Solomon, Israel in Egypt, As Pants the Heart, and Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle. She has given many recital performances, including the prestigious Swan Songs Series, of works from the broadest spectrum from Mozart to Richard Strauss and Wagner. She has also recorded for ABC Classic FM.
Ileana Rinaldi’s future engagements include the Verdi Requiem, Amneris in Aida (Verdi), Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Contessa Ceprano in Rigoletto (Verdi), title role Solomon (Händel), The Forester’s Wife and The Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček) and The Witch and Foreign Princess in Rusalka (Dvořàk).
JUN ZHANG - TENOR
Jun Zhang was contracted to the Chinese National Opera Company in BeiJing from 2002 to 2005 before leaving China to join The Australian Opera Studio as principal tenor for two years where his roles included Hoffmann in Les Contes d’Hoffmann(Offenbach), Des Grieux in Manon (Massenet), Tamino in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Contino Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera(Mozart) and Herisson in L’Etoile (Chabrier) among others.
In 2010 Jun Zhang joined the West Australian Opera Company where his performances included Carmen, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci , La Sonnumbula, Elektra, Madama Butterfly. He has also performed the role of Borsa in Rigoletto and Giuseppe in La Traviata in 2013. In June 2014, he took the role of Harlekin in LOST AND FOUND OPERA’s production The Emperor of Atlantis.
Jun Zhang has performed in numerous other productions including Ké-ki-ka-ko in BA-TA-CLAN (Offenbach) for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, L’Aumonier in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Alfredo in La Traviata (Verdi), Prince Sou-Choung in The Land of Smiles (Lehar), Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio for the West Australian Ballet.
PAULL-ANTHONY KEIGHTLEY - BASS
West Australian Opera’s Wesfarmers Young Artist Paull-Anthony Keightley is a recent graduate of Manhattan School of Music, which he attended after completing his undergraduate studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). He was a finalist in the Fremantle Eisteddfod Open Aria competition and won first place at the North of Perth Eisteddfod. He was awarded the Royal Schools of Music Club Anniversary scholarship and won the Royal Over-Seas League Singing Competition. He is the recipient of awards from the Dame Joan Sutherland Fund and the Australian Music Foundation.
In Australia and America Paull-Anthony’s operatic credits include Frank in Die Fledermaus, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Baptista in the Australian Premier of Goetz’s The Tamingof the Shrew, Fiorello in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rev. Mr. Jones, Major Peter Labelliere, Alderman Birch, Mr. Worrall and Phillip Thicknesse in English Eccentrics, Gloster Heming in The Mother of us All and Pasquale in Orlando Paladino.
In concert he has appeared in the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, as Bass Soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, as Bass Soloist in Mozart's Missa Brevis in F major and as a soloist at the annual Vienna Pops at the Perth Concert Hall. He has given significant recitals of the works of Tchaikovsky, Vaughan Williams, Ravel and Schumann.
Since returning to Australia, Mr. Keightley participated in the WAAPA International Art Song Festival and joined West Australian Opera. He is the recipient of the 2016 Bendat Scholarship from West Australian Opera and has appeared as Pinellino in Gianni Schicchi in addition to productions of Faust, L’elisir d’amore and Les pêcheurs de perles.
EMMA PETTEMERIDES - SOPRANO
A graduate from the Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Emma has performed a wide variety of roles including; Laurey Oklahoma, Carlotta Phantom of the Opera, Barbarina Le Nozze di Figaro (Stowe Opera), Leila Manifest Destiny (OperaUpClose), May-Queen Merrie England (Opera South), Annio La Clemenza di Tito, Lisa La Sonnambula (Brent Opera), Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten), Elena Paride ed Elena, Susan A Dinner Engagement, Rose Street Scene, La Musica L’Orfeo, and Marionetta The Water of Life (Brownrigg).
Emma has sung with the West Australian Opera Company in performances of The Elixir of Love, Madama Butterfly, The Magic Flute, Otello, La Boheme, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Götterdammerung, Carmina Burana and the world premiere of Nostradamus. Other productions include; La Belle Helene (Offenbach), The Threepenny Opera (Weill), Cosi Fan Tutte (Mozart) and Susannah (Floyd).
She also performs in the West Australian Opera touring education program and is an ambassador for Healthways Smarter than Smoking campaign.
Concert performances in 2016 have included singing at The Perth Concert Hall for the hugely popular Best of British Concert, Viva Italia and performing at Government House Ballroom under the baton of Mark Coughlan in An Afternoon in Vienna.
She studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she was awarded the Barbara McCleod Scholarship for most outstanding graduating student before continuing her training at the Sydney Conservatorium and the Royal Northern College of Music.
Her performance highlight to date is singing for the late Dame Joan Sutherland’s 80th birthday in her presence.
PRUDENCE SANDERS - SOPRANO
Having graduated from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Prudence Sanders completed her MMus at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where she has based herself for the past nine years.
After being offered chorus contracts with Danish National Opera, Prudence has sung with the Royal Opera House in their productions of Nabucco, Tannhauser, Carmen, Le Nozze di Figaro and a new ballet adaption of Carmen, choreographed by Carlos Acosta.
In London, Prudence has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and delivered live recorded broadcasts for the BBC 'Friday Night is Music Night'. She has worked consistently for Opera Rara and the Halle Orchestra under the baton of Sir Mark Elder (Le Duc D'albe, Les Martyrs, Semiramide) and also for the esteemed London Voices, under Terry Edwards (Royal Opera House).
Recent roles include Violetta (La Traviata), Micaela (Carmen, Cambridge Philharmonic) and Pedro (Don Quichotte, Grange Park Opera). Complete roles include Jacqueline (Cover, Fortunio, Grange Park Opera), Almirena (Cover, Longborough Festival Opera), Elsie Maynard (Buxton Gilbert and Sullivan Festival), Musetta (La Bohème), Governess (The Turn of the Screw), Adina (L’elisir d’amore), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Lisette (La Rondine), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Cunegonde (Candide).
In concert, Prudence has been engaged as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah (Lund Kammerkor, Sweden and Winchester Cathedral, Papagena in Die Zauberflote (Cambridge Philharmonic), The Creation (Bradford Choral Society), Poulenc’s Gloria (Ripon Cathedral), Alexander’s Feast, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle (Bradford Choral Society) and the Brahms Requiem.
Upon returning to Australia, Prudence has been engaged with Opera Australia in their recent 'silent opera' The Eighth Wonder, performed on the steps of the Sydney Opera House and will also join the West Australian Opera Company in their new production of Lehár's The Merry Widow in 2017.
LACHLANN LAWTON - BARITONE
MICHAEL LEWIS (BARITONE)
PAUL O'NEILL (TENOR)
NAOMI JOHNS (SOPRANO)
SAM ROBERTS-SMITH (BARITONE)
CAITLIN CASSIDY (MEZZO-SOPRANO)
Caitlin made her principal debut with West Australian Opera in 2013 as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto and has subsequently performed the roles of Third Lady (The Magic Flute) and Marcellina (The Marriage of Figaro) with the company. Caitlin is an alumna of WAOʼs Young Artist Programme and received the Wesfarmers and Bendat scholarships. She recently attended Lisa Gasteen’s National Opera School and sang Olga (Eugene Onegin) under the musical direction of Richard Hetherington (The Royal Opera).
Caitlin completed a Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College in New York. She sang Zita (Gianni Schicchi), Zelatrice (Suor Angelica), Older Woman (Flight) and Alma March (Little Women) with Mannes Opera under the baton of Joseph Colaneri.
Caitlin is a graduate from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) where she completed a Bachelor of Music, a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Creative Arts and sang the roles of Mother Marie (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Tituba (The Crucible) and Mrs Worrall in English Eccentrics by Malcolm Williamson. At WAAPA Caitlin received the Barbara McLeod scholarship for the Most Outstanding Classical Female Student and was a Semi-Finalist and the winner of the Tinkler Encouragement Award at the Australian Singing Competition.
Pagliacci is Caitlin’s second project with Freeze Frame Opera. She has previously appeared as a principal in Freeze Frame’s Opera Heroines, which she also directed.
ROBERT HOFMANN (BARITONE)
EMMA PEARSON - SOPRANO
Emma Pearson was a principal artist with the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, from 2005 until 2014, where she performed over 30 roles for the company, including the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor, Lolita, La Calisto and Lulu (nominated “Singer of the Year” by OpernWelt Magazine), Hilda Mack (Elegy for young Lovers), Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) with critical acclaim. In July 2014 Emma was awarded the title of “Kammersängerin” by the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
Further highlights have included her Semperoper debut in the role of Clorinda (La Cenerentola), guest at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele 2008 and 2015 conducted by Marc Piollet, the role of Gilda (Rigoletto) for Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken and Theater St Gallen, Switzerland, Nannetta (Falstaff) for Nationaltheater Mannheim and Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) for Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest conducted by Sir Andrew Litton and Orquestra de Valencia conducted by Lawrence Foster. She was awarded the 20th Anniversary Prize in the Neue Stimmen International Singing Competition and was a finalist in the Montserrat Caballé Concurso Internacional de Canto.
Next to her work in Europe, Emma returns to sing with Opera Australia, NBR New Zealand Opera, Opera Queensland and now the West Australian Opera. She was nominated for Helpmann Awards as Queen of the Night in David Freeman’s production of The Magic Flute and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for Opera Australia, the latter released on DVD and Blu Ray by the company.
Emma holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Australia (1998-2001), with further training at the Australian Opera Studio and Goethe Institut, Berlin. She won the 2004 Australian Singing Competition’s prestigious Marianne Mathy Scholarship and Opera Awards, and also the 2004 More Than Opera German-Australian Opera Grant, which led to her first engagement in Germany.