CAST

Iain Henderson - Tenor

Australian tenor Iain Henderson is a widely sought-after performer with a strong ringing sound and an energetic performance style. Currently a Principal Artist with Opera Australia, Iain made his Company debut as Don Jose Carmen (Opera Australia National Tour) and made his mainstage debut as Pang Turandot (Opera Australia).

 

Iain studied at the Royal Northern College of Music (Manchester) with Peter Wilson and Susan Roper and was invited to undertake their highly regarded International Artist Diploma. 

 

Iain has performed regularly with Glyndebourne Festival (UK), Buxton Festival (UK) and Opera Queensland (Aus). He was also a participant in the 2013 and 2014 Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, where he worked with John Fisher, Giovanni Reggioli, Richard Hetherington and Stuart Maunder. In 2022 Iain will perform the roles of Gastone (La Traviata), Ruiz (Il Trovatore) and Wagner and Nereo (Mefistofele) as well as covering Leopold (La Juive) and Goro (Madama Butterfly all with Opera Australia. 

 

Dominique Fegan - Soprano

Dominique is excited to be making her debut appearance with Vavachi Entertainment for Opera in the Gardens. 

 

She appears regularly as a soprano soloist with Underground Opera and has performed with Opera Queensland in over 20 productions in the chorus, as a soloist, an understudy and in small roles. Career highlights include Mrs Nordstrom in A Little Night Music (Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra), Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera (Savoyards & Triple Threat Theatre Co), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (QCGU), Violetta in La Traviata and the title role in Tosca (Park Opera UK), Musetta in La Boheme (Candlelight Opera UK), Mother and Witch in Hansel & Gretel (Opera Queensland), and numerous guest appearances with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra including Beethoven’s 9th, Mahler’s Symphony No 2 and Music on Sunday’s concerts. Dominique sings the role of Santuzza in the recording of the Easter Hymn from Cavalliera Rusticana on Opera Queensland’s album “Great Opera Choruses”.

Gabrielle Jack - Soprano

Gabrielle Jack is a coloratura soprano currently living in Brisbane. She graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a Graduate Diploma of Music (Opera Performance stream) after completing a Bachelor of Science (Biology) at the University of Newcastle. She sang with the University of Newcastle Chamber Choir for three years, performing in television and radio broadcasts, on international tours and contributed to four CD recordings before moving to Perth to pursue operatic studies. While in Perth she won the Operatic Aria – Kevin Sullivan Memorial Award and went on to be a finalist in the National Aria competition and the City of Sydney Opera Awards. She was a semi-finalist in the prestigious MTO German Australia Opera Grant for two consecutive years and won the English Opera and Art Song Award in Sydney.

Gabrielle has performed around Australia in operatic roles including Frasquita (Carmen), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Pamina and Papagena (Die Zauberflote) and Dorilla (La Serva Scaltra). Being passionate about new music, Gabrielle has performed in three premiers; Marguerite Verdi in Verdi’s Women (a play written by Regan Flor and produced in Brisbane by Success on Stage), Freya in The Aqueduct (a chamber opera by Australian composer Jennifer Game-Lopata, performed at the Powerhouse in Brisbane) and the Prophetess in The Return of Elijah, (an oratorio by Toowoomba-based composers Lance and Nina Clark). More recently she toured regional QLD and NSW with the 7sopranos, was the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse and has performed regularly as a guest soloist with the Amadeus Orchestra and Brisbane City Pops Orchestra.

Clarissa Foulcher - Mezzo Soprano

Clarissa holds a Diploma of Opera from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music as well as achieving a distinction in her Licentiate of Music with the AMEB & is an accomplished performer of opera, oratorio and musical theatre.

 

She has toured America and Canada as a soloist with the Sydney Conservatorium Chorale and has been the Mezzo soloist for Handel’s Messiah in the Sydney Townhall, Mendelssohn’s Elijah (broadcast on ABC FM) and Bach’s St John Passion under conductor Richard Gill. She has also appeared as the Mezzo soloist for the Beethoven C Minor Mass and Beethoven Fantasia in The Great Hall of Sydney University for the Sydney Conservatorium Chorale. 

 

Originating from Sydney, Clarissa has performed in many musicals across the state from a very young age. Some of the role highlights include Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Gianetta in The Gondoliers, Katisha in The Mikado, Patience in Patience, Madame Thernardier in Les Miserables and The Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd.

 

Joining the extra chorus of Opera Australia in 1997 she has performed in over 30 operas at the Sydney Opera House including Pearl Fishers, Andrea Chenir, The Marriage of Figaro, Madam Butterfly, Pagliacci, Lady Macbeth, Aida, Die Meistersingers, Othello, Eugene Onegin, Cosi Fan Tutte & Sweeney Todd. She was also part of a live broadcast of Lohengrin under Maestro Carlo Felice Cillario. In 2012 Clarissa performed in the first Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour – La Traviata.  She has toured nationally as part of Opera Australia’s Pirates of Penzance and My Fair Lady in the role of Mrs Eynsford Hill. 

 

After moving to Brisbane in 2014, Clarissa has performed in La Traviata, Candide,  Kiss Me Kate, Barber of Seville, The Pearlfishers & The Merry Widow with Opera Queensland & has been an active participant in Opera Queensland’s Open Stage Workshop Program. 

Leon Warnock - Baritone

Leon graduated from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University with a Bachelor of Music and a Postgraduate Diploma in Opera Performance, and also holds a Bachelor of Education from Griffith University.  He has sung chorus and solo roles with Opera Australia, Victorian Opera and Opera Queensland, and toured NSW schools with Oz Opera.

 

Leon’s concert performances include Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ German Requiem, Haydn’s The Seasons (performed in German in Germany).  He has also won prizes in the Herald Sun Aria and the National Eisteddfod Canberra and was a semi-finalist in the International Sacred Solo Competition in Rome.

 

While based in Germany, Leon was a chorus member of the Theatre Freiburg, also performing many solo roles including Kilian (Der Freischütz) and Paolo (Simon Boccanegra).  Since returning to Australia, he has been a regular chorus member of Opera Queensland, covered many major roles and performed as soloist with The Queensland Choir, Brisbane Chorale and the ensemble Soirees Musicales. He recently performed as soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass, Schumann’s Dichterliebe, recorded for Opera Queensland’s “An Aria a Day” and sang with his wife, Leanne Kenneally-Warnock in Carmina Burana with the Queensland Choir, recorded by 4MBS Radio.

Roger Davy - Tenor

A well-known face in Queensland and across Australia for his outstanding corporate and private performances, along with Opera Queensland & Opera Australia. 

 

After performing in the UK and Europe, he returned to Australia to become a driving force behind the much-celebrated singing sensation The Ten Tenors. With his unique trademark performance tributes, to the one and only Pavarotti with his show “Pavarotti Forever” and Phantom of the Opera and the Singing Waiter and Surprise by Disguise. Roger made a name for himself in Asia, performing under contract at the Venetian Casino in Macau and regular performances at the annual Singapore F1 Grand Prix. 

 

Career highlights have been performing for Olivia Newton-John and partners at the exclusive GAIA Retreat and Spa (NSW) singing at Landaa Giraavaru Four Seasons Resort in the beautiful Maldives, working alongside international soprano Louise Kennedy as a featured artist in “Puccini and Fettuccini” and his involvement in local community theatre productions. Piangi (Phantom of the Opera), Alfredo (Die Fledermaus) and Alfredo in La Traviata. In February 2022, Roger sang the role of the Bishop in the Main Stage production of the iconic Broadway musical Les Miserables at Redcliffe Entertainment Centre. 

Mark Conners - Musical Director/Accompanist

Mark Connors is a graduate of Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU), having studied classical piano under the tutelage of Oleg Stepanov. As an undergraduate Mark assisted as a repetiteur for QCGU's 2016 production of Albert Herring, directed by Bruce Beresford. He was the winner of the Hilda Woolmer Scholarship Prize for piano accompaniment at QCGU, and has participated in the International Art Song Academy at WAAPA twice, where he worked with the renowned accompanist Dr Graham Johnson. He was repetiteur for Opera Q’s 2017 productions of The Pearl Fishers and Ruddigore, or the Witch's Curse, as well as their 2018 seasons of Peter Grimes and Don Giovanni.

 

Mark collaborated for a number of years with Brisbane City Opera (BCO), with whom he worked in 2019 as musical director. With BCO he conducted Handel’s Apollo & Dafne as well as the Australian Premiere of Richard Ferguson’s Opera Galactica. Mark plays regularly for several school choirs and for The Queensland Choir, conducted by Kevin Power. In 2018 he commenced working as a studio accompanist for classical voice at QCGU. In 2019 Mark was a finalist in the Sydney Song Prize with soprano Louise Keast. He was also engaged as the Children’s Chorus Master for Opera Australia’s regional touring production of Madama Butterfly. Mark continues to perform as pianist/musical director for the Underground Opera Company. 

Leslie Martin-Nightingale - Compere

Leslie Martin-Nightingale has been performing professionally for over 25 years, working with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and internationally. Her enthusiasm for sharing her love of opera and the stage has also seen her perform for Corporate functions, Festivals, in parks, restaurants and local halls, in schools, with circus performers, and on the beach.

Career highlights include singing Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in the Czech Republic and the Queen of the Night under Moffat Oxenbould’s direction; working with Anthony Warlow in Patience and with Director, Gale Edwards in Sweeney Todd.

Leslie puts her vast performance experience and vocal expertise to use by sharing her knowledge with aspiring Brisbane singers of all levels, ages and styles.

Another string to her bow is as announcer of Thursday Night Opera on 4MBS Classic FM for whom she also creates workshops, performances and other events. Listen out for her podcast, Aria Listening.

Viva La Musica Voices Choir - Choir

The Viva La Musica Voices Choir is under the expert direction and founder, Rhonda Davidson-Irwin. The choir is a group of non auditioned choir members who come together for the love of music and song.With accompanist Jessica Eagleson, the choir has always striven to be a welcoming and friendly group of adults who love to sing and to share the gift of music.

 

Viva La Musica Choir has performed for The Governor of Queensland, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, and alongside a national televised broadcast with Normie Row and Johnny Young.They give their time freely to perform for many community organisations and new members are welcome.In 2021 Rhonda founded Viva La Musica Children's Choirs for children ages 5-18. 

Vavachi Entertainment - Producer

 

Queensland-based company Vavachi Entertainment specialises in presenting outstanding musical experiences. Providing more than memorable moments, we specialise in presenting outstanding musical experiences that you will cherish for years to come. Bringing together a unique and innovative blend of music theatre, cabaret, opera and comedy, our performances feature music ranging from the best of Broadway and opera favourites, to jazz and swing, for corporate and private events and functions. Since its conception eight years ago, Vavachi performers have entertained tens of thousands of people at home in Australia and abroad, on stages and sand dunes, under lights and under stars.”

 

Founder and managing director of Vavachi Entertainment, Roger Davy, considers himself fortunate to have been involved in the rewarding world of entertainment for more than 30 years, treading the boards of opera, musical theatre, film and television. As a former member of the internationally acclaimed Ten Tenors, Roger’s industry exposure has enabled him to bring together the finest group of performers.

 

All Vavachi entertainers are solo performers in their own right, with extensive professional experience in both opera and musical theatre. Vavachi performers are not only outstanding vocalists, actors and improvisers, but each performer brings with them a unique personality.

 

At Vavachi, we believe passionately in promoting Australia’s musical talent and use Vavachi events as a platform for talented young Australian singers to develop their craft and gain invaluable experience. With a vast pool of talent at our fingertips, together with our creative, musical direction and experienced production teams, we are able to create an entertainment package to suit your special requirements. We are perfectionists at Vavachi and will work closely with you to ensure that your event meets all your needs and exceeds your expectations.

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