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Internationally Renowned Soprano's Only Australian Performance

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

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In July the corridors of WAAPA will ring with the sound of song as the third WAAPA International Art Song Academy gets underway.

An initiative of WAAPA’s Classical Music department, the Festival aims to promote the training and performance of art song (poetry set to music, sung in a classical style) in order to better prepare young Australian singers for an international career. To facilitate this, WAAPA invites international artists of the highest calibre to mentor the aspiring singers and pianists in a week-long series of master-classes.

In 2016 we are delighted to welcome internationally renowned soprano Dame Felicity Lott who will lend her expertise in the performance of mèlodie: the art of French song, and accompanist and coach par excellence Dr Graham Johnson OBE. Their visit to Western Australia has been facilitated by the Jackman Furness Foundation for The Performing Arts.

In a rare treat for lovers of song, Dame Felicity Lott and Dr Graham Johnson will present a recital in the beautiful surrounds of Government House Ballroom on Wednesday, 6 July at 7.30pm. This is a rare treat, not only for WAAPA students and Art Song Academy participants but for all lovers of classical vocal music. It is also their only Australian appearance. In their forty-year partnership Dame Felicity and Dr Johnson have established themselves as the foremost English proponents of art song – making this a “not-to-be-missed” event.

Dame Felicity Lott is one of Britain's best-loved sopranos. In opera, her portrayals of the Strauss and Mozart roles in particular have led to critical and popular acclaim worldwide. Her concert engagements have taken her to the major orchestras, working with Rattle, Haitink, Mehta, Previn, Masur, Welser-Möst, Sawallisch and Sir Andrew Davis. Much of her concert and recital repertoire is recorded, as are many of her great operatic roles: from her wonderful Marschallin under Carlos Kleiber to her Belle Helene, with which she enchanted the Parisians when she sang the role for the first time at the Chatelet in Paris in 2000. A founder member of The Songmakers' Almanac, Dame Felicity has appeared on the major recital platforms of the world and in June 2005 she celebrated the 30th anniversary of her recital debut at the Wigmore Hall, with whom she has a particularly close association and received the Wigmore Hall Medal in 2010 for her exceptional contribution to the hall.

A noted exponent of French song, she has been awarded the title Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government. She was made a CBE in the 1990 New Year Honours and, in 1996, was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In February 2003 she was awarded the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin. Most recently, she was made Doctor Honoris Causa of the University Paris Sorbonne, has been honoured with the 2015 Incorporated Society of Musicians Distinguished Musician Award and won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 International Classical Music Awards.

Dr Johnson is a protégé of accompaniment doyens Gerald Moore and Geoffrey Parsons. Dr Johnson has had a distinguished career marked by frequent concert appearances in the greatest recital halls of the world. In both the recording and recital arenas, Dr Johnson accompanies singers of the highest renown. Dr Johnson has received many honours and awards, including an OBE, the prestigious Wigmore Hall Medal and the title of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

“I learnt more about Schubert in 30 minutes of Graham Johnson talking about the great composer than I have in the previous 30 years. Passionate and witty, he guided us on a journey through the world of Lieder, encouraging and sharing his passion for Schubert’s songs with some of Australia’s best young singers … this was world standard.” - Guy Noble, conductor and broadcaster

For all venue and performance details, please visit the Dame Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson In Recital performance web page.

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