MAY 2018 ASSOCIATE ARTIST
GEOFFREY CARMAN | baritone
Geoffrey Carman is currently a 2018 Pacific Opera Associate Artist. He is also studying a Combined Bachelor of Music Studies (Voice)/Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology & Germanic Studies), at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under tutelage of Anke Hoeppner Ryan & Michael Halliwell.
Geoffrey has performed in the ensemble for Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Sydney Conservatorium Opera), Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Operantics) and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Sydney Chamber Choir). Since July 2016, Geoffrey has held the Bass Choral Scholarship at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church. During his time at St. Stephen’s, he has also performed as the bass soloist in John Stainer’s The Crucifixion and the baritone soloist in Henry J. Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary with the St Stephen’s enlarged choir.
Geoffrey’s awards include 1st in the 2017 Ryde Eisteddfod Lieder prize & 2016 Sacred Solo prize. Geoffrey performs regularly with Sydney Chamber Choir, and is a former chorister with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Sydney Conservatorium Chamber Choir.
1. What have you been up to lately, performance-wise, and what's coming up?
I’ve recently had the privilege of singing Torelli’s “Tu lo sai” in the Pacific Opera Mother’s Day Concert, and performing as an ensemble member in the PO Chairman’s Dinner. Tomorrow, I’m driving to Canberra to perform in the Canberra Symphony Gala with PO as well, and then driving back to Sydney the morning after that to sing at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church, Macquarie St, where I’m the bass choral scholar. Later that day I’ll also be competing in Sydney Eisteddfod Opera & Support Group Vocal Scholarship Heats.
After that, I will be singing a solo in Pacific Opera’s VIVID Soiree (15 June), as well as competing in a number of other categories for 21-25 year olds at Sydney Eisteddfod in early July.
Later this year, I’ll be performing the Bass Solo in Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore for the Joubert Singers’ 25th Anniversary Concert in September. I’m also very excited to be producing a Double Bill Opera Performance of Mozart’s operas Apollo et Hyacinthus and Bastien und Bastienne, to be performed at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church in October.
2. Who is your favourite singer, and why?
I grew up listening to pop & R&B so I’d probably have to say either Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey. I think that they really truly sing from the heart and they’re not afraid to be vulnerable onstage.
However, I also have many favourite opera singers. I love Leontyne Price because I think that her tone is the most beautiful thing ever. I also love Natalie Dessay for her vocal mastery & acting skills. I appreciate Montserrat Cabelle for her vocal control; especially her pianissimi. I’m a big fan of Renee Fleming, because she has incredible artistry & musicianship, as well as a unique timbre. I’m also a big fan of the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky, because of his tone and his ability to create long legato lines.
3. What show has impacted you the most as an audience member?
In January 2016, I saw Tosca with my cousin at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Amanda Echalaz, who was originally starring in the title role, had to withdraw from the show due to illness. Subsequently, star-soprano Angela Gheorghiu stepped in at short notice to perform the role, and she was absolutely spell-binding. She portrayed Tosca as a dignified, yet defiant woman, who refused to be broken down or trampled on by the bullies around her. Consequently, I found the performance really inspiring, despite the opera’s tragic ending.
4. What experiences do you think have shaped you the most as a performer?
All of the experiences & opportunities I’ve received through Pacific Opera have played a massive role in helping me hone my skills as a performer. I was really grateful to perform recently in dramatic contralto Liane Keegan’s masterclass, because she taught me how to start to fix some vocal issues that I’ve been struggling with for months. (Thank you so much Liane!)
Aside from that, I really cherished the opportunity to perform as the Bass soloist in Stainer’s The Crucifixion at St. Stephen’s Uniting Church on Good Friday earlier this year, as well as the Baritone Soloist in Maunder’s Olivet to Calvary the year before that. Performing these larger works gave me the opportunity to explore creating a narrative in my performance, which is naturally more difficult to do within a single song.
I love the music from Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, although I’m yet to see a full production. My favourite part is probably Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung.
I also love Strauss Operas, especially “Ariadne auf Naxos”, which I saw at the Berlin Opera with fellow Pacific Opera artists Rebecca Hart & Daine Ellicott.
April 2018 - Daine Ellicott
March 2018 - Sarah Prestwidge
February 2018 - Elora Ledger
August 2017 - Joshua Oxley
July 2017 - Katherine Allen