AMBASSADORS
Italian Opera Fellowship Award

 


The Acclaim Awards Ambassadors

The Acclaim Awards is honoured to have as its Ambassadors:
• Cheryl Barker AO – Soprano
• Professor Valeria Esposito – Conservatorio Statale di Musica Gioachino Rossini-Pesaro
• William Graziosi – Chief Executive Officer, Teatro Regio of Turin
• Antoinette Halloran – Soprano
• Maestro Andrea Licata – Conductor
• Maestro Carlo Morganti – Teatro GB Pergolesi-Jesi

A little information about our Ambassadors.



Cheryl Barker AO – Soprano

Cheryl Barker studied in Melbourne with Dame Joan Hammond and in London with David Harper. Cheryl has established a distinguished opera and concert career throughout the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. She appears regularly with Opera Australia, where her roles have included Nedda in I pagliacci, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Mimì in the award-winning Baz Luhrmann production of La bohème, Violetta in La traviata, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Giorgetta, Suor Angelica and Lauretta (Il Trittico) and the title roles in Madama Butterfly, Tosca and Jenufa. She has also sung Violetta for Opera Queensland, and Madama Butterfly and Violetta for BTR New Zealand Opera.

Cheryl is particularly noted internationally for her performances of Madama Butterfly, singing the role for English National Opera, De Vlaamse Opera, in Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Houston. Other international appearances include the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Jenifer / A Midsummer Marriage), Opera du Rhin, Strasbourg (Emilia Marty/Makropoulos Case) and Katya Kabanova/Welsh National Opera and Geneva Opera House.

On the concert platform, Cheryl has appeared at many prestigious venues including London's Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, St John's Smith Square, and with the Halle Orchestra. She has sung in the Edinburgh, Spoleto and Melbourne Festivals.

Recent and future plans include performances for Opera Australia, Netherlands Opera, Bastille/Paris, English National Opera, Holland Park Festival/London and the London Symphony Orchestra and concerts with the Sydney, Queensland, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras. She holds an honorary Doctorate of Music conferred by the Victorian College of the Arts.



Professor Valeria Esposito – Conservatorio Statale di Musica Gioachino Rossini-Pesaro.

Born in Naples, Valeria Esposito graduated in voice at the Conservatory of Salerno and languages at the University of Naples (English, Russian, French). Later she studied Spanish and obtained the Proficiency Degree in English Studies, Grosses Deutsches Diplom and the Diplome approfondi de Langue Française.

Valeria has won many important competitions, including the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World (1987), and the As.Li.Co. (1987).

Valeria has performed, among others, the following roles:
• Queen of the Night - Zauberflöte - Staatsoper in Berlin, Hamburg, Wien, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Oper der Stadt in Bonn, Teatro Comunale in Florence, Liceu in Barcelona, Baltimore Opera, Maestranza of Sevilla
• Konstanze - Entführung aus dem Serail - Vienna Staatsoper, Opéra de Toulon, Verdi in Trieste
• Rosina - Barbiere di Siviglia by Paisiello-Petruzzelli in Bari
• Fiorilla - Turco in Italia - Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Bellini in Catania
• Giulia - Scala di Seta – La Fenice in Venezia
• Madama Cortese - Viaggio a Reims -Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro
• Amina - Sonnambula - Welsh National Opera, Macerata Opera, Rome Opera, Massimo in Palermo, Baltimore Opera
• Alaide - Straniera – Le Capitole in Toulouse
• Elvira - Puritani - Liceu in Barcelona, Bellini of Catania
• Linda - Linda di Chamonix - Comunale in Bologna, Carnegie Hall in New York, Vienna Staatsoper
• Lucia - Lucia di Lammermoor - Macerata Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Capitole in Toulouse, Tokyo, Baltimore Opera
• Marie - La Fille du Régiment - Teatro alla Scala, Comunale of Bologna
• Adina - Elisir d’Amore - S. Carlo in Naples, Vienna Staatsoper, Macerata Opera, Filarmonico de Verona
• Norina - Don Pasquale – Radio France
• Rita - Rita - Radio France
• Gilda - Rigoletto - Capitole in Toulouse, Colon in Buenos Aires, Vienna Staatsoper, Tel Aviv Opera
• Nannetta - Falstaff - Capitole in Toulouse, Teatro Regio of Parma, Comunale in Ferrara
• Manon Lescaut - Manon by Massenet Opéra in Toulon, Verdi in Trieste
• Violetta - Traviata - Festival of Carcassonne, Budapest Opera, Bombay and New Dehli
• Lakme - Lakmé - Opéra in Toulon
• Olympia - Les Contes d’Hoffmann - Opéra Bastille in Paris, La Fenice in Venice, La Scala in Milan, S.Carlo in Naples, Bellini in Catania, Vienna Staatsoper, Baltimore Opéra
• Adele - Fledermaus - Bellini di Catania
• Musetta - Bohème - Copenaghen
• Zerbinetta - Ariadne auf Naxos - Bellini in Catania, Vienna Staatsoper
• Cunegonde - Candide – Teatro Valli in Reggio Emilia
• Hanna Glawari, Valencienne - The Merry Widow - San Carlo Theatre in Naples, Salerno and Trieste
• Euridice - Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck, Bellini Theatre in Catania
• Micaela - Carmen by Bizet, Livorno, Pisa and Fano

Other roles in Valeria’s repertoire are: Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena, Beatrice di Tenda, Comte Ory, Oscar - Ballo in Maschera, Folleville nel Viaggio a Reims, Capuleti e Montecchi, Romeo et Juliette, Barbiere di Siviglia, Pecheurs des Perles, Dinorah, Mignon, Fledermaus - Rosalinde, Contessa - Comte Ory, Donna’Anna - Don Giovanni, Contessa - Nozze di Figaro.

In concerts she has sung: The Creation by Haydn, Exultate, Jubilate, the Mass in ut minor and Konzertarien by Mozart, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi und Rossini, Carmina Burana by Orff, the Concert for Coloratura soprano and Orchestre by Glière, Magnificat by Petrassi, lieder by Spontini, Cjajkovskij, Rachmaninov and Debussy.

Valeria has sung under the direction of conductors: Claudio Abbado, Spiros Argiris, Daniel Baremboim, Daniele Callegari, Bruno Campanella, Giuliano Carrella, Riccardo Chailly, Ascher Fish, Daniele Gatti, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Leopold Hager, Lù Ja, Gustav Kuhn, Alain Lombard, Kery Lynn-Wilson, Enrique Mazzola, Peter Maag, Jun Markl, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Oren, Zoltan Pesko, Eve Queler, Stefano Ranzani, Donato Renzetti, Sviatoslav Sutej, Marcello Viotti, and Simone Young.

Valeria has worked with the following stage directors: Pupi Avati, Henning Brockhaus, Filippo Crivelli, Hugo de Ana, Roberto de Simone, Beppe de Tommasi, Costa Gavras, Renzo Giacchieri, Werner Herzog, Jonathan Miller, Roman Polanskj, Luca Ronconi, Jerome Savarj, Maurizio Scaparro, Fabio Sparvoli, Mattia Testi, Flavio Trevisan, and Stefano Vizioli.

Valeria has also made Radio and Television recordings for Radio France, RTSI, Vara Radio, RAI, BBC, ARD, Antenne 2 and the DVD of Elisir d’Amore for Rai Trade.

Among her prestigious interpretations are Queen of the Night at the Berlin Staatsoper directed by M° Baremboim, and at La Scala directed by M° Muti, and the role of Nannetta (Falstaff) in Ferrara, directed by M° Claudio Abbado.

In 2006 Valeria sang in the New Year’s concert for the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, broadcast by RAI1.

Among her performances in 2008-2009 were two concerts with José Carreras in Naples and Monza (broadcast by Rai1), Elisir d’Amore in Piacenza, Zerbinetta (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Carmina Burana at Carlo Felice Theatre in Genova, and Konstanze in Entführung aus dem Serail in S. Carlo Theatre in Naples.

During the opera season 2009-2010 Valeria sang Violetta in Traviata in Jesi, Fermo, and Brindisi, Lucia di Lammermoor at the Carlo Felice in Genova, the role of Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow at San Carlo Theatre in Naples and the role of Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck at the Bellini Theatre in Catania.

In May 2010 Valeria performed at the Sala Nervi in the Vatican in the Salve Regina by Pergolesi, in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2011 Valeria sang the role of Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck at the Bellini Theatre in Catania and in December 2011 she sang in Jesi in a concert to honour Ms Clio Napolitano, wife of the Italian President.

In 2012 she reprised the role of Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow at the San Carlo Theatre in Trieste.

In 2013 Valeria performed in a concert in Florence (Maggio Musicale) and debuted as Micaela in Carmen at the Opera Theatre of Livorno.

Valeria has conducted masterclasses for Italian, Kazach and Australian singers - December 2010, October 2011 and December 2012, 2013 and 2014 – She has taught at the Conservatories of Riva del Garda, Potenza and Pescara between 2009 and 2017. She is now teaching opera singing at the prestigious Conservatorio Rossini of Pesaro.

In 2014 Valeria sang the role of Valencienne in the Merry Widow in Salerno and in 2016 she performed the same role at the San Carlo theater in Naples . In 2015 she sang Lucia di Lammermoor in Seoul, Korea. In 2017 – 2018 she sang in many concerts in Jesi, Catania and Antwerpen.

Besides music Valeria is interested in literature and has published a novel set in the difficult world of Opera, Spirto Gentil - Prospettivaeditrice, 2005, a book of fairy tales, l’Inventafiabe - Statale 11 Editrice, 2007, the collection of novels Violetta vendicata ed altri fantasmi al’opera - Graus Editore, 2009, the e-book Regina@.it - Lulu.com, a collection of poems Le Ali del Suono - ilmiolibro.it



William Graziosi – Chief Executive Officer, Teatro Regio of Turin.

William Graziosi is the General Director (CEO) of the Teatro Regio in Turin.

William was born in Switzerland, where he graduated in Business Administration. William began his career as artistic administrator of the Spontini Classic project, where he oversaw the organisation of three singing competitions and academies specialising in the work of Gaspare Spontini.

Since 1999 he has championed the work of Pergolesi, founding and later becoming executive director of the Pergolesi Spontini Foundation.

From 2000-2008 he was production coordinator of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where he collaborated which such directors as Werner Herzog, Frederico Vizioli, and Frederico Tiezzi.

 

Antoinette Halloran - Soprano

One of Australia’s most accomplished and best-loved sopranos, Antoinette Halloran performs regularly with all the major Australasian opera companies and symphony orchestras and appears frequently on national television and radio.

2017 engagements included the title role in Tosca for West Australian Opera (Helpmann Award nomination), The Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen for Victorian Opera, (Helpmann Award nomination), associate artist for José Carreras’ National Tour and concert appearances with the Melbourne, West Australian and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras. She returns to Opera Australia in 2018 as Praskovya in The Nose.

In 2017 Antoinette was awarded the Alumni Grant by the prestigious Acclaim Awards, enabling her to audition at leading opera houses including the MET and Covent Garden.

A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and recipient of an Honours Degree in Music from the University of Melbourne, Antoinette has appeared in many productions ranging from opera to musical theatre and cabaret.

Leading appearances for Opera Australia have included the title roles in Madama Butterfly and Rusalka, Mimi in La bohème, Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire (Green Room Award), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus; for New Zealand Opera – Mimi, Cio-Cio-San and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd; for Victorian Opera – Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Mrs Lovett (Helpmann Award nomination); for Opera Queensland – the title role in The Merry Widow; for State Opera of South Australia – Micaela in Carmen.

Antoinette also featured as a guest judge and panelist on the ABC television series Operatunity Oz, and appeared regularly on the hit show Spicks and Specks and was a presenter for ABC’s Art Nation – covering stories on opera and music theatre.

In concert, she has sung with Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet for the Sydney Festival, Mozart’s Requiem with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Carmina Burana with the Melbourne Chorale, El Niño with Sydney Philharmonia and Haydn’s Creation and Fauré’s Requiem with the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic.

Antoinette has also been a regular visitor to Japan, China and Indonesia where she is much in demand as a guest artist. She recorded Puccini Romance for ABC Classics with tenor Rosario La Spina and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.



Maestro Andrea Licata – Conductor

Maestro Andrea Licata has conducted many opera and symphonic orchestras in Italy and abroad, including the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Orchestra Regionale della Toscana, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Festival of Two Worlds Orchestra of Spoleto and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In Spoleto, he conducted the world premiere of Sarah - the contemporary opera based on the life of Marilyn Monroe composed by Paul Vy and directed by Petrika Ionesco.

In recent seasons, Maestro Licata has conducted Aida, Tosca, Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La fanciulla del West in Baltimore. In 2003/4, he made his Australian debut conducting a new production of Norma for Opera Australia in Melbourne with great success and was immediately re-invited for the 2004/5 season when he conducted Nabucco and La bohème. In 2005/6, he conducted Un ballo in maschera in Bari, La traviata at the Teatro Regio di Parma, Andrea Chenier at the Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Madama Butterfly with Opera Australia and La bohème in Baltimore. More recently, he conducted Rigoletto, Un ballo in maschera, Il Trittico, Cavaralleria Rusticana and Pagliacci for Opera Australia, Ernani in Messina, Tosca in Baltimore and a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor for the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

In the 2009/10 season, Maestro Licata made his debut with Welsh National Opera conducting a revival of David McVicar's production of La traviata and was re-engaged for Il trovatore the following season. He also returned to the Teatro Maestranza, Seville for La traviata and conducted Tosca for Opera Australia. In 2010/11, as well as Il trovatore for WNO, he made his Swedish debut conducting Norma for the Royal Opera in Stockholm and gave performances of Tosca in Palermo in concerts with the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana.

Among his recordings are Jacquerie by Gino Marinuzzi, Bianca e Fernando and Adelson e Salvini (Nuova Era), Preludes, Symphonies and Intermezzos from Italian Operas, Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, Jeux d’Enfants by Bizet and Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London (CD).

Recent engagements have included his debut in Beijing conducting Cenerentola, Norma in Messina and Turandot, Aida, La bohème and Don Carlo for Opera Australia and a new production of La forza del destino for Opera Australia in Sydney and State Opera of South Australia in Adelaide. In 2016, he conducted a new production of Luisa Miller in Sydney and Melbourne; he returned to Opera Australia in 2017 for Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci.



Maestro Carlo Morganti – Teatro GB Pergolesi-Jesi

Maestro Carlo Morganti graduated in piano cum laude, choral music, choral direction and composition. He won the Competition for chorus accompanist in 1971 at the Conservatory ‘G. Rossini’ in Pesaro. He taught continusouly there until 2005.

Since 2005 then has been Maestro at the piano in important theatres and foundations such as ‘Accademia d’Arte Lirica’ in Osimo, Arena Sferisterio of Macerata, Theatre "G. B. Pergolesi” in Jesi, alternating the roles of Maestro di sala and Chorus accompanist at the Italian Television headquarters in Milan. He was the "V. Bellini” Chorus Director in Ancona, Teatro della Fortuna in Fano, Teatro " V. Basso” in Ascoli Piceno.

Since 1980, when the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro was started, he has been Maestro di sala in many of Rossini’s operas and Maestro at the cymbal in recordings. He has also trained singers at the Accademia Rossiniana.

Maestro Morganti worked with many of the world’s leading Conductors including Gavazzeni, Gelmetti, Kuhn, Gatti, Renzetti, Chailly, Abbado and some of the most important vocal opera interpreters. Maestro Morganti has always been a leading teacher in Italian opera and he has been a guest teacher in the Lyon Theatre, the Opera Theatre in Amsterdam and Radio Vara in the Netherlands. He has occasionally given performance courses to American, Japanese and Korean singing students.




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