Other highlights include a performance as a nightclub singer in the short film ‘The Black Pine Road’, and work as the soloist in various Oratorio performances and festivals including the Canberra Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Port Fairy Spring Festival, Darebin Music Feast and Melbourne Fringe Festival.” In 2015 Justine completed a fellowship with the Australian Academy of Music, focussing on seminal works for the soprano voice post World War II.
Scottish born soprano Vivien Hamilton is one of Australia’s most versatile singers. She knew she wanted to be a professional singer from the age of 7 years and studied the piano to support her aspirations. Vivien completed a Bachelor of Music degree (Honours) at the University of Western Australia in musicology with Professor David Tunley, and singing with acclaimed Australian Soprano Molly McGurk, and postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne. Vivien regularly performs throughout Australia, in recital, on radio and television.
Vivien is known throughout Australia for her passion for early music. She has worked with early music groups such as e21, Ludovico’s Band, consort eclectus, Rosemary Hodgson (lute); the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and Collegium Symphonic Chorus (WA). She sings as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, the role of ‘Clorinda’ in Monteverdi’s opera Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (Sydney Opera House, Utzon Room Series), and many early music specialist projects covering Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque repertoire.
Vivien’s career, however, covers a wide portfolio of musical styles and genres, which includes:- 20th-century vocal ensemble work, e.g. Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians (MSO Metropolis Festival with Blackbird Ensemble from Chicago 2012), Brian Eno’s Music for Airports with Bang on a Can, Barry Kosky’s Voice, Jam and Videotape for 4 singers (Adelaide International Festival), Steve Reich’s Tehillim (Melbourne International Festival); theatre, e.g. A Little Night Music with Melbourne Theatre Company, Michael Hurd’s The Aspern Papers for the Collins Street Promenade; opera, e.g. ‘Papagena’ in Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Kent Opera (UK), New Sadlers Wells Opera, Gilbert and Sullivan the London Savoyards, ; and in artsong recital with pianist Len Vorster and Glenn Riddle, e.g. Gallic Muse (Faure, Debussy etc), Music of Andre Previn, Scotch Strathspey and Reel (Grainger, Grieg, Delius), Six Degrees of Separation (Poulenc, Tailleferre, Durey, Honegger, Auric, Piaf, Weill, Stravinsky etc)
Vivien has recorded for ECM with The Hilliard Ensemble (Passio by Estonian composer Arvo Part); TER Classics with New Sadler’s Wells Opera (Léhar’s The Merry Widow); ABC Classics with Rosalind Halton (Olimpia: Cantatas of Alessandro Scarlatti) and for Move Records (Tyrannic Love: Choice Songs and Ayres of the Restoration Stage)
“Vivien Hamilton is the star of the show. Words are subtly coloured .. an approach which is in sympathy with the music.”
Vivien’s most recent CD Burns and Beyond: Songs of Robert Burns pays tribute to Scottish poetry and was released in the Scottish Year of Homecoming, 2009. Currently Vivien can be seen on the Classical Destinations TV show with Glenn Riddle (hosted by Aled Jones) on a 1 hour special on musical destinations in Australia.
Vivien is on staff The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music where she directs the historically informed performance projects for the Early Voices Vocal Ensemble (Early Music Studio). Her next oratorio performance will be as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah in the Perth Concert Hall, December 15, 2012 with Collegium Symphonic Chorus (Director – Dr Margaret Pride, Orchestra Leader – Paul Wright).
Australian mezzo-soprano Jeannie Marsh enjoys a varied musical career as singer, community choir leader, and music educator (secondary and tertiary). Her achievements were recognised in 2004 when she was the recipient of a Sounds Australia/APRA award for Long-term Contribution to the Advancement of Australian Music. She studied music at University of Melbourne (B.Mus.Ed. with Honours in Singing 1981), and continued her studies at Victorian College of the Arts (Diploma, and Postgraduate Diploma, in Opera and Music Theatre). Jeannie has won a number of competitions and awards, including a major travelling scholarship from University of Melbourne, and grants from the Music Board of the Australia Council, enabling her to continue her singing studies in Italy and England in 1987, and 1990-91. Jeannie has performed around Australia and internationally for over 25 years, with organisations including Victoria State Opera (roles included Third Lady in The Magic Flute, Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin; member of Young Artist program), Chamber Made Opera, Seymour Group, Melbourne Theatre Company (in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music), Musica Viva, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and the international festivals of Melbourne, Sydney, Berlin, Adelaide and Brisbane. Jeannie has performed major works by composers ranging from Mozart and Beethoven, to Boulez, Schoenberg, Ravel, Berio, Sculthorpe, Poulenc, Stravinsky, Britten. She has performed in Asia, Europe and the UK, and has been heard regularly on ABC Radio (including her series The Twentieth-Century Voice), singing contemporary classics, cabaret, and many premieres of Australian works. She produced her acclaimed CD Madrugada (Australian and Latin American music for voice and guitar, with Ken Murray) in 1999, and sings in Latin jazz duo Dry Martinis. Since 2011 she has sung with Icon Trio, singing Medieval and contemporary vocal music.
From 2002 – 2011 Jeannie taught senior music at Distance Education Centre Victoria (a Victorian government P – 12 school). This involved researching, writing, producing, and teaching a range of music courses (years 9 – 12) based on listening, analysis and composition. These courses have been widely acclaimed for their clarity and accessibility (essential in distance learning). She initiated and organised annual concerts of student compositions at DECV (80 new works performed since 2006), and was a regular presenter at music teachers’ conferences, encouraging teachers to include more creative work in senior music classes. For Opera Australia, Jeannie has written resource kits introducing opera to secondary school students. In 2012-2013 she has been assistant to the Curriculum Manager Performing Arts at the Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority, working with singing teachers and top young composers.
Community arts work is an important part of Jeannie’s career, with Dandenong Ranges Music Council from 1998 – 2001 (Emerging Composers; Ballad of Birdsland; Centenary of Australian Federation), and Canto Coro choir from 1993 – 2003 (Canto General; Little City; Teatro; 1975). In these organisations she worked collaboratively with teams of creators and performers to bring large music-theatre projects from research stage to successful performance seasons. This work involved many roles, including arts administrator, creative assistant to composers, choral conductor, publicist, performer. As one of the music staff in Canto Coro (an open-access choir presenting major choral repertoire from Greece, Chile, Australia), she devised and applied strategies for teaching complex music by ear, to people who cannot read music. Movement, games, creative exercises, were successfully used to achieve this goal. This approach continues to be at the core of Jeannie’s choral leadership in the community choirs she currently directs in suburban Melbourne. Jeannie has also been a guest workshop leader for many choirs.
As a singer, Jeannie has worked extensively in the development and performance of new music-theatre, including in England: two seasons of new operas in the Garden Venture at Covent Garden; at Dartington International Summer School; and at the Royal National Theatre. As an artist-in-residence and ensemble leader at music faculties in Adelaide, Hobart, Sydney, and Melbourne, she has worked with tertiary students in the creation, development, rehearsal and performance of hundreds of new compositions. At Melbourne University Faculty of Music she worked with Merlyn Quaife as a leader of the ground-breaking Opera Project for ten years, assisting in the birth of student operas (including directing Beijing Spring – the story of the Tiananmen Square massacre – in 2000). Since 2012 she has taught at Deakin University.
In 2003, Jeannie performed in the sell-out premiere season of the new Matthew Hindson/Brian Lipson opera Love, Death, Music and Plants – a musical infringement on the life of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller (the extraordinary story of the first Director of Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens). This was a project which she initiated, produced, funded (via Federal, State, and local government grants), and brought to successful fruition after seven years of development. She has also directed new music theatre for the National Music Camp (2005), and Australian Contemporary Chorale (Broadstock’s Stations of the Cross, 2006-7). In 2011 Jeannie produced and sang in Vox Pix, which combined visual arts and vocal music.