Picture perfect pitch: Caroline Bennett, Bethany Wright, Lyndon Green, Robyn Antoine, Jessica Carrascalao-Heard, Vincent Sully and on piano Gwen Kennelly will all be performing at Art Gallery of Ballarat in early March. Photo: FIONA WATSON

Operetta in the Oddie

February 24, 2020 BY

THE Art Gallery of Ballarat’s Women’s Association first introduced its Last Sunday of The Month concerts in 2001 to encourage a broader interest in the arts, nearly 20 years later a great success and are still going strong.

Perhaps it has something to do with it being a leap year, but February’s concert is going to be held on the first Sunday in March.

Set for the stage is Enduring Classics, founded by Ballarat singer Robyn Antoine. The groups will perform music that will delight lovers of operetta, with favourite works by Romberg, Novello and Lehar, as well as arias by Mozart, Bizet, Massenet and Dvorak along with favourites from musical theatre.

“We always feel welcome at the beautiful Oddie Gallery, where we are able to showcase first-class musicians with both local and with International experience,” Antoine said.

A classically trained singer at the Melba Conservatorium of Music, when Antoine arrived in Ballarat, she saw there was an opportunity to revive operetta classics.

“We are fortunate to have a group of first-class performers to bring you this music in our third Oddie Gallery concert,” she said.

The line-up for Enduring Classics includes some of the region’s greatest voices and musicians.

Carolyn Bennett is a well-known vocalist and vocal teacher who specialises in both classical and contemporary voice and was involved in last year’s Ballarat Carols by Candlelight.

Bethany Wright studies singing under Bennett and said she enjoys having the opportunity to further her experience with Enduring Classics.

Lyndon Green has performed widely in Europe and Australia with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, State Opera of South Australia and Opera Australia.

Jessica Carrascalao-Heard made her professional debut last year in Opera Australia’s production of The Barber of Seville and her success continued when she became a semi-finalist in the 2019 Sun Aria.

While Vincent Sully is a well-known voice in Ballarat and has been a student of Connie Lemke and more recently Brian Hansford. He said he was looking forward to his third Sunday afternoon concert amongst friends, where he will perform several duets as part of his repertoire.

The singers will be accompanied by pianist Gwen Kennelly, who when not performing with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra chorus, or as Ballarat Grammar’s school accompanist, enjoys the opportunity to support Enduring Classics.

Violinist Nicci Dellar has recently formed Klemantyne Ensemble, and will be showcasing her passion for the violin, playing alongside Kennelly.

The event is set to be memorable afternoon of voice, piano and violin, performed by an eclectic group of dedicated musicians. Entry is by donation to the Women’s Association.