Nicholas Routley – Artistic Director

Nicholas Routley is a pianist, conductor, composer and university lecturer in classical music who moved to the Northern Rivers region in 2009.

As a pianist he specialises in chamber music, especially with singers, and he has given concerts with many international artists, including Hartley Newnham, throughout Australia, and in Europe and East Asia.

In 1988 he conducted Mozart’s Idomeneo in Sydney. He was musical director for Gluck’s Orfeo and Bellini’s Norma in Hong Kong, and has been chorus master for production by Opera Australia and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. He was founder director of the Sydney Chamber Choir for thirty years. He is the founder and musical director of the Lismore-based chamber choir, Vox Caldera. Recently he conducted the Sydney Chamber Choir in the Brahms German Requiem, and the Northern Rivers Symphony Orchestra in program including Strauss’ “Four last songs” sung by Lecia Robertson, Ravel’s Scheherazade sung by Gaynor Morgan, and symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Brahms.

At present he is engaged in the composition of three operas on the subject of the Indian epic, Mahbharata.

Lecia Robertson – Soprano

Leonora, La forza del destino, State Opera of South Australia

“…Her rich soprano voice is compelling and accurate, with a golden bloom at the top, and she performed with true dramatic involvement”.

Sandra Bowdler, Opera Brittania

“…Her first aria drew forth huge applause and cries of “Bravo!”

Barry Lenny,  BWWOperworld.com

“… Lecia Robertson’s Susannah was a full –scale realisation of the part    … Robertson invested it with real emotion and not a little ingénue eroticism.”

Nick Kimberley – Opera

Soprano Lecia Robertson is a multifaceted performer with extensive experience on the operatic stage as well as in theatre, cabaret and musical theatre.

Performances in the UK include the title role in Floyd’s Susannah and Mimì in La Bohème for London City Opera at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Verdi Requiem with West London Sinfonia and RSC/Opera North production of Showboat at the London Palladium.  Other roles performed include the title roles in Manon Lescaut, Il Coronazione di Poppea, Suor Angelica, Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Lauretta  in Gianni Schicchi, Micaëla in Carmen, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, First Lady in The Magic Flute and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte.  For the Spoleto Festival Opera, Italy, she performed the role of the Milliner in Der Rosenkavalier under Richard Hickox. In recital, she has sung in Italy, Germany, England, Scotland and Wales as well as a highly successful cabaret season in Japan.

Since returning to Australia in 2006, she has appeared with State Opera South Australia as Leonora in La Forza del Destino, the High Priestess in Aida and covered the title roles of Aida and Salome. For Opera Queensland, Micaëla in Carmen, High Priestess in Aida and covered Aida, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Leonore in Fidelio and was invited to sing Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle for Victorian Opera.

Most recently, Lecia performed Strauss’ Four Last Songs, sang at Bangalow Music Festival, Opera at the Channon, live broadcasts with ABC Classic FM and in recital with David Helfgott

 

Geof Webb – Tenor

Geof grew up in Melbourne and Adelaide and can’t remember a time he wasn’t singing! While studying with with David Ashton-Smith at the Melba Conservatorium he performed in various productions including: La Vie Parisienne (Offenbach), The Beggars Opera (Britten) Bastien and Bastienne (Mozart) and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Bedford) with the Victorian Youth Opera

Living in London from 1989-2005 Geof sang in the London Symphony Chorus, Southwark Festival Chorus and the Whitehall Choir, with whom he was also a soloist. Since returning to Australia in 2006 he has performed with the Melbourne Chamber Choir, CHIME and Yarra Gospel in Melbourne; Coro Innominata (Sydney); and, more recently, Vocal Chocolate and Vox Caldera in Lismore, with whom he performed in NORPA’s Railway Wonderland in 2012 & 2015.

Last July Geof sang with Queensland Opera in the chorus of The Barber of Seville at the Gold Coast Arts Centre, and as tenor soloist for the Byron Music Society’s People’s Messiah in December.

 

Gaynor Morgan – Soprano

Gaynor Morgan was born in Cardiff, Wales and studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London where she gained an AGSM in Singing.  She then went on to complete the Guildhall Post-Graduate Opera Course under Johanna Peters.  Gaynor also studied at the European Opera Centre in Belgium with the aid of scholarships from the Countess of Munster Trust.

Gaynor made her UK debut for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, singing Barbarina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro under the direction of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. As a result Gaynor was invited to make her Glyndebourne Festival Opera debut in the same role in 1991 under Sir Andrew Davis. At Glyndebourne, Gaynor also covered several major roles in the Festival including Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Miss Wordsworth in Britten’s Albert Herring, Zdenka in Arabella and Mrs Frestln in the world premiere of The Electrification of The Soviet Union.

Gaynor performed roles throughout the UK with English Touring Opera including Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Papagena in Die Zauberflote, Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff under Stephen Barlow and Ivor Bolton and Norina in Don Pasquale for the Cheltenham Festival.  For Music Theatre London, she also sang Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte at Kammerspiel Theater in Hamburg. Gaynor made her debut in France in 1997 with Jean-Claude Malgloire and the Atelier Lyrique de Tourcoing singing Despina in Cosi fan Tutte in Massy, Brest and San Brieuc.

As a concert soloist Gaynor has performed at major concert venues throughout the UK. This includes the world premiere of Elgar’s The Spanish Lady with Bryn Terfel at St. John’s, Smith Square, London.  She has also performed with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, BBC Symphony Orchestra in Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg (also recorded for BBC Radio 3).

Gaynor’s recordings include Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orphee for ASV with London’s Matrix Ensemble under Robert Ziegler and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro for the Auvidis Astree under Jean Claude Malgoire in Paris.

In 2005, Gaynor made her Australian operatic debut with Opera Queensland in the role of the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw. She also covered the role of Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, singing the final performance in the season. She has since covered the role for Opera Australia in Melbourne and Sydney. Gaynor returned to Opera Queensland in 2008 to sing the role of First Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

In 2009 she was soprano soloist in Opera Queensland’s Sunset Opera on South Bank.

In the 2010 season Gaynor sang the role of Praskowia and understudied the title role in

The Merry Widow. She performed the role of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro as part of  the 2010 Brisbane Festival with the Queensland Orchestra.

Gaynor has been a guest lecturer at the Griffith University Queensland Conservatorium and given Master classes and directed and conducted the Val Machin Opera Scenes.

This year she has been a guest professor at the University of Queensland. Gaynor is also a vocal examiner for the AMEB.

Patrick Donnelly – Baritone

After studies at the N.S.W Conservatorium of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, Patrick Donnelly embarked on an international career in opera and music theatre followed.

Highlights include his UK debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a role repeated at the Hong Kong Festival. Further roles for Glyndebourne included Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Masetto in Don Giovanni and Dr Grenvil in La Traviata. Principal roles at  English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Doyle Carte, Wexford Festival, Teatro Regio Turin, L’Opera de Lille, Theatre de Champs Elysees, Paris and Teatro Maestranza, Seville followed, including World and UK premieres of contemporary works at the Munich Biennale and the Almeida Theatre, London. Patrick worked as a concert and oratorio soloist at all the major UK venues including Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Festival Hall, and Victoria Hall, Geneva. He was a Principal Guest Artist for Opera Australia as The Herald in Lohengrin at the Sydney Opera House, Victoria State Opera, (The Pearl Fishers and Figaro), Opera Queensland, (Count Almaviva) and State Opera of South Australia, (The Barber of Seville and Figaro) in 1995 and 1997.

Collaborations with orchestras included the London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic. Patrick’s discography include labels ASV and Auvidis Astree and the complete recordings of the Mozart / Da Ponte Trilogie in Paris. He was also a soloist with Dame Joan Sutherland at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, for the Australian Bi-centenary celebrations, 1988. Awards include the Esso-Glyndebourne Award (Glyndebourne Touring Opera) and the Ricordi Opera Prize (Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London)