Paul McMahon - Tenor
A graduate of the University of Southern Queensland, Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Sydney Conservatorium of Music, (Master of Music Performance), tenor Paul Mc Mahon began his career with the Lyric Opera of Queensland. Now highly regarded for his interpretation of baroque repertoire, particularly the Evangelist in the Passions of J.S. Bach, Paul’s career includes many performances from the operatic and concert repertoire of the 17th and 18th century.
As a Churchill Fellow in 2002 Paul undertook intensive study in baroque repertoire at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague, Netherlands. In 2005, he was appointed Lecturer in Voice at The University of Newcastle.
Highlights with some recent performances include appearances with all the state symphony orchestras of Australia, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Tippett’s Songs for Ariel with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Tippett’s David and Jonathan for Pinchgut Opera, Australia Ensemble, Auckland Philharmonia, Christchurch Symphony, Christchurch City Choir, Bach’s Magnificat with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Choir, Australian Brandenburg Ensemble, Handle’s Messiah for Collegium Choirs Perth and Orff’s Carmina Burana for Willoughby Symphony Orchestra. He also covered The Novice in Britten’s Billy Budd and Janek in Janacek’s The Makropoulos Secret for Opera Australia.
Examples from his discography include the debut solo album A Painted Tale – English, French and Italian lute songs, Handel’s Messiah – a CD and DVD recording broadcast nationally by ABC Television, Handel’s Semele, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Purcell’s The Faery Queen and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. A sample of further discs on which he features include two Swoon Albums, Prayer for Peace, Ye Banks and Braes and the soundtrack to the Australian feature film The Bank.
Upcoming engagements in 2010 include performances with The Melbourne Bach Choir and Dunedin Choir. He appears again with the Sydney Philharmonia in Purcell’s King Arthur and Monteverdi Whispers and performs the Messiah with Auckland Philharmonia.
Joshua Bloom – Bass Baritone
Joshua Bloom studied at the University of Melbourne, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (History). He was awarded the Opera Foundation Australia Wiener Staatsoper award and has been a finalist in The Australian Singing Competition (Mathy Awards), Metropolitan Opera Awards (Australian Regional Finals), McDonald’s Operatic Aria, the Melbourne Herald -Sun Aria and the Italian Opera Award.
He made his Opera Australia debut as Figaro in an OzOpera production of The Barber of Seville. Further roles for OA have included Schaunard in La Boheme, Dandini in Cenerentola, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress. He won Green Room awards for his performances of Dandini (2003) and Nick Shadow (2006). During his four months with the Wiener Staatsoper in 2002 he performed Fiorello in Il Barbiere Siviglia and The Imperial Commissioner in Madama Butterfly.
Three of the roles Joshua performed as an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera include the title role in Gianni Schicci, Bartolo in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and The Black Politician in the US premiere of Le Grand Macabre.
Since 2006, he has maintained a busy international operatic and concert career in America, Europe and Australia.
In 2007 Joshua covered Bryn Terfel as Mozart’s Figaro for the Metropolitan Opera, New York then made his performance debut as Masetto in Don Giovanni in 2008, returning for the same role in 2009.
He has made frequent concert appearances with the Melbourne, Queensland and West Australian Orchestras in such works as Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Bach’s St Matthew Passion and St John Passion, and Beethoven’s Symphony No 9.
In 2010, Joshua returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos and Opera Australia as Rodolfo in La Sonnambula. He also appears in concert with the New York Philharmonic and the Melbourne, Adelaide and Queensland Symphony Orchestras.
Jacqueline Porter – Soprano
Jacqueline Porter holds an Honours degree in Music Performance and a Bachelor of Arts (Italian) from the University of Melbourne. Upon graduating, Jacqueline became a Developing Artist with Victorian Opera and has gone on to perform principal roles for the company. The recipient of the 2010 Dame Nellie Melba Opera Trust Scholarship, Jacqueline was equal runner-up in the 2009 Herald Sun Aria and the winner of the 2008 Melbourne Welsh Male Choir Singer of the Year Competition.
A regular soloist with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras and the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, Jacqueline has performed with MSO Chorus, the Choir of St Thomas, Leipzig, Orchestra Victoria, the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society and the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. Her concert repertoire includes Bach’s Cantata BWV 207, Berlioz’ Les Nuits d’été, Boulez’ Don, Britten’s Les Illuminations, Faure’s Requiem, Haydn’s Maria Theresa Mass and Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 and Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Requiem.
In November 2009, Jacqueline performed Calvin Bowman’s I would sing a little while with Melbourne Chamber Orchestra conducted by Sir Neville Marriner. In the same week she performed Prokofiev’s The Ugly Duckling with Vladimir Ashkenazy and Sydney Symphony, which was recorded for international release. Jacqueline was also nominated for a 2009 Limelight Award for Best Newcomer and her performance with the Adelaide Symphony, ASO in Vienna, was the 2009 New Year’s Eve broadcast on ABC Classic FM. Most recently, Jacqueline worked with Maestro Ashkenazy for a second time, performing the soprano role in Rachmaninov’s The Bells with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Forthcoming engagements include Brahms Deutsches Requiem with MSO Chorus and her debut with State Opera South Australia as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel.
Belinda Paterson – Mezzo Soprano
Belinda Paterson is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and the former Victorian College of the Arts. Based in Melbourne, her roles for Opera Australia over the last few years include Vittoria in The Gondoliers; and two years with the Ozopera Schools Company, as Jody the Juggler in Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel.
Roles for other companies include Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Mercedes (Carmen), Zulma (The Italian Girl in Algiers) and Cherubino (The Marriage of Figaro) for Melbourne Opera; Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia) for Melbourne Lyric Opera; Hansel for In Good Company; and Hermia (Midsummer Night’s Dream), Suzuki (Madame Butterfly), Third Lady (Magic Flute), and Mercedes for Co*Opera Adelaide.
A past soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Belinda’s concert repertoire for other companies includes St Matthew Passion (Melbourne Bach Choir); Messiah; Mozart Requiem; Stabat Mater (Pergolesi; Rossini; Syzmanowski); and Britten’s Phaedra.
Belinda has appeared regularly with the Opera Australia Melbourne Chorus since 2000. She is also a member of the Victorian Opera Chorus and a past member of the State Opera of South Australia’s chorus. She is currently completing a PhD in Philosophy (Aesthetics) at The University of Melbourne.
Edmond Choo – Tenor
Edmond began his love of music from an early age after being cast in the 1990-91 production of The King and I at the Victorian Arts Centre. During this same year, he was accepted into the Australian Boys Choral Institute and it was here where his thirst for musical knowledge began.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Music Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2008, Edmond now currently resides in Sydney as a full-time chorister with Opera Australia. He recently performed as The Alchemist & Senòr 1 in Berstein's Candide at Opera in the Domain and made his Sydney Opera House debut as Giuseppe in Verdi's La Traviata. In 2008, Edmond debuted with Victorian Opera as Liberto & Friend of Seneca in their Green Room Award winning production of Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea.
Edmond's oratorio experience includes Messiah, Israel in Egypt (Handel); Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat in D (Bach); Requiem, Spatzenmesse, Vespers Solemnis de Confessore (Mozart); Elijah(Mendelsohn); St. Celia Mass (Gounod); The Creation (Haydn);Petite Messe Solemnelle (Rossini); Mass in G (Schubert); Stabat Mater (Dvorak); and Te Deum (Charpentier).
Christopher Tonkin – Baritone
Christopher Tonkin received his Bachelor of Music Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2004, before taking up a position at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Upon graduation in 2008, as well as receiving his Postgraduate diploma with Distinction, Christopher was awarded the coveted ‘DipRAM’ granted for performance excellence, distinguishing him as one of the Academy’s top graduates.
Christopher has extensive concert and oratorio experience throughout Australia and the United Kingdom having broadcast for both ABC and BBC. He has sung regularly with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Chorale and Royal Melbourne Philharmonic and has performed at such venues as Chichester Cathedral, The Barbican and The Royal Albert Hall in London. His soloist credits include Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat, Coffee Cantata, Cantata’s BWV 12, 22, 23, 75, 128 and 207, Mozart’s Vespers and Requiem, Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Maria Theresa Mass and Paukenmesse, Purcell’s Ode to St. Cecilia, Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater, Vaughan-Williams’ Five Mystical Songs and Songs of Travel, Rudi Stephan’s Liebeszauber, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Handel’s Messiah and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
As an operatic artist, Christopher made his debut in the title role of Melbourne Opera's Don Giovanni in 2005. Other roles since then include Antonio (Gondoliers) and Novice’s Friend (Billy Budd) for Opera Australia, Gugliemo (Cosi fan tutte), Belcore (L’Elisir d’Amore) for Victorian Opera, Silvio (Pagliacci) Romania, L’Horloge Comtoise and Le Chat (L’Enfant et les Sortileges), Happy (La Fanciulla del West) for MSO, Anténor (Dardanus), Robert (Iolanta), Marco (Gianni Schicchi), Tarquinius (Rape of Lucretia), Drebyednyetsov (Cheryomushki) and Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro) for Royal Academy Opera.
In June, Christopher will relocate to Germany to commence a contract as a principal baritone with Hannover State Opera, performing, among others, the roles of “Schaunard” (La Boheme), “Ping” (Turandot), “Pantalone” (Love of Three Oranges) and “Morales and Dancairo” (Carmen) in his first year.
Matthew Thomas is a graduate with an Advanced Diploma of Opera from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has a Masters of Music from the Australian National University in Canberra. He was the ACT’s Young Australian of the Year in 2005 and the recipient of a Helpmann Fellowship and the Chappell Bremner Award in 2006 and 2007 from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He was a finalist of the Opera & Arts Support 2007 McDonald Performing Arts Challenge, of Opera Foundation Australia’s New York Study Award in 2008 and also of Opera Australia’s Young Artist Auditions during 2009. He currently studies voice with Anna Connolly and lives in Melbourne.
He began his career as a stage actor in such roles as Hortensio in Shakespeare’s The Taming of The Shrew and Reverend Hale in The Crucible. He started singing professionally in 2005.
In 2008 and 2009 some of his solo performances in oratorio included J.S. Bach’s St John Passion for Bel Acapella, J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV21 for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Early Music Ensemble, and Handel’s Messiah with the Ho Chi Minh Symphony Orchestra.
His recent opera performances include Ishidukuri in The Princess & the Moon for Tokyo Experimental Opera in 2006, and with Opera Australia, he covered the Sergeant in The Pirates of Penzance in 2007. During 2009 he understudied the title role in Victoria Opera’s production of Don Giovanni.
Future plans include the role of Escamillo in Carmen for ‘In Good Company’and a series of opera concerts at the Melbourne Recital Centre as one of the four members of the ‘Aria Co’.
Frederica completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne in 2006. She is a recipient of the Melbourne University Professional Development Award, the Clarice Malyon Middleton Memorial Scholarship and the Mabel Kent Bursary. She is currently in the final year of a Bachelor of Music Performance at Southbank, The University of Melbourne.
Frederica is a soprano in the Victorian Opera Chorus and has performed in their productions of The Damnation of Faust, Seven Last Words of the Cross, Carmina Burana and the Opera Showcase with the MSO.
Some of her solo performances include the Bach Cantata Series with VCA Bach Orchestra broadcast on ABC Classic FM, Angelina in Trial By Jury with Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Victoria, Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas for Lyric Opera and Mrs Peachum in The Beggar’s Opera for OzOpera. Future engagements include iOpera 2.0 for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Frederica has a private teaching practice and has worked as a choreographer and as a director of opera and musical theatre. She has obtained AMEB Grade 8 (Hons.) in piano, performs as a Cantor for St Joseph’s Collegium in West Brunswick and has written an English adaptation of Offenbach’s La Belle Helene for Lyric Opera.