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 will perform the role of Sylviane in The Merry Widow for WA Opera and also appear in Tosca and Opera in the Park.
ILEANA RINALDI - MEZZO SOPRANO
Mezzo-Soprano Ileana Rinaldi was West Australian Opera Company’s Mentored Artist and the Bendat Scholarship Winner for 2015. Ileana debuted in 2015 with Lost & Found Opera as La Nourrice in Darius Milhaud’s Médée. After migrating to Perth from Romania, Ileana studied at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). She then gained a scholarship to the Australian Opera Studio where she performed the title roles in Bizet’s Carmen and Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and other roles such as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Der Komponist in Ariadne Auf Naxos, Die Knusperhexe in Hänsel und Gretel, Mother in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Mrs McLean in Susannah, and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi.
After her studies at WAAPA and the Australian Opera Studio, Ileana made her international debut as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Tokyo National Opera. She was invited back to Japan to perform the alto solo in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
She has extensive experience in oratorio, operatic and art song performances with a recital planned for July 2016 for Swan Songs, with composers ranging from Mozart to Strauss and Wagner. She has recorded songs by Mahler and Elgar and the Berlioz song cycle Les Nuits D’été with pianist David Wickham for ABC Classic FM.
Ileana was selected as a finalist for the New York Study Award competition and in the same year took part in the Young Artist Program with West Australian Opera. During her time as a soloist for the West Australian Opera, she has performed roles such as Teresa in Bellini’s Sonnambula, Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen and La Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, the Grandmother, Duchess and Crone III in Ziggy de Voight’s Nostradamus, La Madre di Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly and this year performed in the WA Opera Company’s Opera in the Park as La Ciesca in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.
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
TOMMASO POLLIO - PIANIST AND MUSIC DIRECTOR
Tommaso Pollio graduated with honours in piano performance from the University Of Western Australia School Of Music and later continued his studies in the United States, London and then returning to Perth to work with the esteemed vocal/pianist teacher Molly McGurk.
He has worked with a variety of ensembles such as The Western Australian & Australian Youth Orchestras as well the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra.
Tommaso’s extensive touring itinerary has seen him perform in London, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, and USA. He has also toured extensively throughout Australia from the remote outback of Western Australia through to the major cities.
Tommaso has been part of many ensemble groups such as The Trio Di Romanza, Enaria Ensemble, Darlington Piano Trio and most recently The Chimera Ensemble, a piano trio featuring the talents of Melinda Gourlay (Cello) and Rebecca Glorie (Violin).
He had been a part of the faculty for the WA Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University from 1994 - 2006 and has recorded several recitals both as soloist and accompanist both for the Young Australia and Sunday Live Programs for the ABC. Tommaso has worked with many prestigious schools such as Penrhos College, Perth College, Presbyterian Ladies College, Wesley College, Santa Maria, Trinity College and Guildford Grammar, running chamber music master classes as well as teaching piano.
Tommaso is also sought after as a repetiteur, working for The Lucca Opera Festival, Opera Australia, and West Australian Ballet and West Australian Opera Company.
As well as keeping up a busy schedule of teaching and freelance accompanying, Tommaso had co-founded the Chamber Opera Group Millio Opera with the acclaimed director John Milson preparing 1-act operas for WAAPA (2000), Terrace Proms (2000, 2001, 2003), Perth International Arts Festival (2003), and The ABC Sunday Live Broadcasts (1999-2003).
Tommaso is much in demand as a cabaret pianist for Fringe festivals. He has toured nationally and internationally with the Award Winning Cabaret show “Desperately Young at Heart” with Robert Hofmann to Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Edinburgh. He has also formed the Lark Chamber Opera with composer Emma Jayakumar and Musicbook Stories, two new ensembles of West Australian Artists committed to bringing classical music and Opera to a wider audience, beginning with young people.