Melbourne-based baritone Michael Lampard was born in Tasmania and is emerging as one of Australia’s leading young operatic baritones. Already amassing extensive experience in opera, musical theatre, oratorio and recital, Michael has appeared in major Australian cities, as well as in the United Kingdom, Asia, Europe, and the United States of America. Making his operatic debut at age 16 his repertoire encompasses roles from the medieval period to many world and Australian premieres. A keen, and acclaimed recitalist, Michael has performed most of the standard repertoire with a focus on the German lied of the Romantic period and of English Art Song. A supporter and regular commissioner of Australian music, Michael has performed works by many leading Australian composers and encourages the commission of new works. An experienced composer and conductor, Michael’s own compositions have been performed in Australia, Italy, Japan and the United States. www.michaellampard.com
Alan Hicks is one of Australia’s foremost vocal coaches and accompanists. He currently works in the Vocal and Opera Studies Unit at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. In the course of eight years as a freelance pianist in London, Alan appeared at major recital venues including the Wigmore hall, the Purcell Room, and St John’s Smith Square. As pianist with the London-based Australian contemporary music group the Bennelong Ensemble, he toured to Italy and the UK. Returning to Australia, he was appointed Head of Voice at the School of Music in Canberra, 2008-12 and was Musical Director of the University of Canberra Choral, 2013-16. As well as being an accomplished recital and concert accompanist, Alan’s operatic credits include: Albert Herring, Dido and Aeneas, Grimm and the Blue Crown Owl, Die Zauberflöte, Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi and Die Fledermaus and chorus master for Tosca, The Barber of Seville, La Traviata and the ARIA-nominated From a Black Sky.
Nigel Featherstone is an Australian writer of adult fiction – his contemporary dramas plunge into family dynamics, new relationship types, masculinity, history, and the lure of secrets. He is the author of three thematically linked but standalone novellas. The Beach Volcano (Blemish Books, 2014) has been described as ‘Elegant and original’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘Accomplished – an intense fiction range’ (Canberra Times), ‘Utterly enthralling’ (Newtown Review of Books), and ‘Unforgettable’ (Verity La), and was recognised with a 2014 Canberra Critics Circle Award. I’m Ready Now (Blemish Books, 2012) was short-listed for both the 2013 ACT Book of the Year and the 2013 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction. Fall on Me(Blemish Books, 2011) won the 2012 ACT Writing and Publishing Award for Fiction. His critically acclaimed novel Remnants was published by Pandanus Books in 2005; he is also the author of the short-story collection Joy (2000). In addition, Nigel is the author of 50 short stories published in Australian literary journals including the Review of Australian Fiction, Meanjin, Island and Tincture, as well as in the US. Nigel’s non-fiction has been published by Fairfax Media, and has also appeared in Overland and The Millions. In 2014 Nigel was commissioned by the Goulburn Regional Conservatorium to write the libretto for an original song-cycle, with the score being composed by James Humberstone from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. This work, titled The Weight of Light, is currently going through a creative development process at the Street Theatre in Canberra and will have its Australian premiere in March 2018. Nigel has been awarded residencies at Varuna, Bundanon, and the Kingsbridge Gatekeeper’s Cottage, courtesy of the Launceston City Council, Tasmania. In 2013 he was a Creative Fellow at UNSW Canberra/Australian Defence Force Academy. Nigel lives in the Southern Tablelands of News South Wales and is represented by the Naher Agency, Sydney. For more information, please visit www.opentopublic.com.au.
James Humberstone’s output is influenced by his research background in experimental music, and his interest in composing for children and community ensembles. Born in London, Humberstone migrated to Australia in 1997 after completing a degree in composition at the University of Exeter. His honours thesis was on the music of Howard Skempton, with whom Humberstone studied briefly after graduating. Humberstone has often cited Skempton as his greatest influence.
By combining postgraduate studies in composition and experimental music with education qualifications and an 11 year residency at Sydney’s MLC School, Humberstone developed an approach to combining new and challenging music for children with a pedagogical approach, and continued to extend his experimental research and practice. He also combined knowledge about technology gained through nearly a decade at Sibelius Software with his compositional and education experience, and has become a leading authority in this field, publishing and regularly speaking at conferences internationally. In 2013 Humberstone completed his PhD and joined the faculty at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he remains as a tenured senior lecturer. Today he works in the fields of composition, music education and technology research, as well as experimental music.
Recent notable works include Cycles and Circles, for Ensemble Offspring (2012), Campanella, for Synergy Percussion (2013), Noise Husbandry, for the Australian National Maritime Museum (2015), and Odysseus : Live, featuring Luka Lesson (2016). www.composerhome.com
The beautiful artwork for The Weight of Light was painted by Katy Mutton www.katymutton.com.au