• Music. Theatre. Social Justice.

    The Cooperative

  • Hello & Welcome!

     

    The Cooperative is a young Sydney-based arts company, founded to stage productions of new, rare, and canonic works, which are impactful, relevant, and necessitate social change.

     

    Read more about us in our Mission Statement

     

  • Our People

    Who are The Cooperative?

    Menila Moineaux

    Artistic Director | Director

    Productions: The Consul | Sāvitrī | Orfeo ed Euridice

    Iphigénie en Tauride | Tosca | Le nozze di Figaro

    Originally from the Adelaide Hills, Menila is an emerging Anglo-Burmese opera director, currently based in Sydney. She completed a Bachelor of Music Studies with First Class Honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2017, on full scholarship.

     

    At the Conservatorium, Menila’s performance highlights included Bernstein’s MASS at the Sydney Opera House, Haydn’s Orfeo ed Euridice under the baton of Richard Bonynge, several regional outreach tours, and four years with the Conservatorium Chamber Choir under the directorship of Dr Neil McEwan. Whilst a student, she also performed in the ensemble of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at the NSW Art Gallery for the inaugural Spectrum Now Festival, attended the Bel Canto voice program in Munich as a grant recipient, and held a choral scholarship at St Stephens Uniting Church. In 2018, Menila made her professional operatic debut touring China with the Australian International Opera Company in the ensemble of Verdi’s Aida.

     

    Founding The Cooperative in 2019, Menila made her directorial debut with The Consul in 2020. In 2021, she is the assistant director for the Australian premiere of Percy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and will direct Sāvitrī, Orfeo ed Euridice, Iphigénie en Tauride, Tosca, and Le nozze di Figaro at The Cooperative.

    Edwin Spark

    Musical Director | Conductor

    Productions: The Consul | Sāvitrī | Orfeo ed Euridice

     Iphigénie en Tauride | Tosca | Le nozze di Figaro

    Edwin has two degrees from the University of Sydney, with Honours in both Musicology and Pure Mathematics. His studies, for which he was awarded the University Medal, also included oboe and conducting. He has participated in Symphony Services’ conducting programme, learning from Christopher Seaman and the Auckland Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras, and participated in masterclasses with Sasha Mäkilä in Pärnu, Estonia and Mark Shiell in Newcastle.

     

    Keenly interested in the ways music contributes to theatre, Edwin has taken lessons in opera literature and conducting from Richard Gill AO. In 2018, he was a vocal collaborative fellow at the Miami Music Festival, where he was Assistant Conductor on Dido and Aeneas, Handel’s Teseo and The Medium by Menotti. For Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Sydney, Edwin has been Assistant Musical Director since 2016. Elsewhere in Sydney, he has music directed The Yeomen of the Guard and conducted Camelot and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

     

    Edwin’s first experiences with conducting were with the Bendigo Youth Choir, of which he was a long-time member and sometimes accompanist. He founded and conducted a choir for 5 years while at university, and remains convinced of the importance of community music-making, continuing to participate as conductor, accompanist, vocal coach and continuo player.

    Rebecca Moret

    Soprano

    Roles: Magda Sorel - The Consul | Title Role - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Celebrated for her compelling dramatic interpretations and moving vocal performances, Rebecca Moret is a Sydney-based soprano who has performed with Victorian Opera, Opera Projects Sydney, Blush Opera, Pacific Opera, and Opera Australia. This year in addition to making her role debut as Magda Sorel, she will sing die Vertraute and study Chrysothemis in Strauss’ Elektra at the Dramatic Voices Program in Berlin.
     
    Her performed roles include the title role in Suor Angelica, Giorgetta (Il Tabarro), Marcellina in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, Elisabetta in Cimarosa's Il Matrimonio Segreto, and Amor and Euridice in Gluck's Orfeo. She has sung with Opera Australia as a member of the Schools Touring Company in The Barber of Seville and in the chorus. A frequent performer of new works, she has created roles in premiere productions of Paul Smith's How to Build a Billy, Ursula Caporali's An Italian in Ethiopia, and Anne Boyd’s Daisy Bates at Ooldea, as well as the Australian premiere of Paul Smith’s The Spidermaiden and the Runaway Plum Blossom.
     
    She has been a recipient of both the Deborah Riedel Award and the Dante Alighieri prize as a finalist in the Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Award, and received the University of Melbourne's Dame Nellie Melba Prize. An alumna of the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, she has performed Mozart’s Donna Anna and Elettra with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Melbourne before moving to Sydney to study for her Advanced Diploma of Opera at the Sydney Conservatorium.

    Laura Wachsmann

    Soprano

    Roles: John Sorel - The Consul | Alto II - Sāvitrī

    Orfeo - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Laura is in her final year of Undergrad at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she is completing a BMus Performance (Classical Voice) under the tutelage of Narelle Yeo. 2019 marked Laura's operatic debut. She played 'Second Woman' in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (The Other Theatre Co.) and 'Coridon' in Handel's Acis and Galatea (Ensemble Polyphème). She was also a chorus member for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's semi-staged production of Britten's Peter Grimes, as well as Ravel's L’enfant et les sortilèges (Sydney Conservatorium of Music).

     

    Last year, Laura made her debut with The Cooperative, where she played 'John Sorel' in a re-imagined production of Menotti's The Consul. This year, she has already had the pleasure of performing with this wonderful company again in Holst's Sāvitrī. Later this year, Laura will also be joining the Pacific Opera's 'Pocket Opera' production of Die Zauberflöte'. Laura is extremely excited to be working with The Cooperative again this year and hopes to have a safe and flourishing year of performance.

    Ellen Malone

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Roles: John’s Mother - The Consul

    Ellen Malone, mezzo soprano, holds her Bachelor of Music in performance from ANU, and her postgraduate Diploma in Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
    Ellen has performed in opera, oratorio, cabaret and recital, and at gala functions in many prestigious venues including the Sydney Opera House, Parliament House (ACT), Floriade, the National Gallery and St Mary's Cathedral (Sydney). She has sung with many orchestras including the SOM, NCO, and Melbourne Opera Orchestra.
    She is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, and has released her first CD, a duet album entitled 'For Two Equal Voices'.

    Ellen's performing career began in earnest when she was selected as the primary alto soloist for St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney. Many performance invitations soon followed, along with the decision to pursue singing full time. During her undergraduate degree, she was supported with the Wesley vocal scholarship, and was invited to represent the ANU at numerous gala functions for the 'Friends of Opera', in addition to performing major works with the ANU and NCO orchestras including Mozart's 'Requiem', Mahler's second symphony, ‘ El Amor Brujo’ and Handel's 'Messiah'. In 2009, she was selected as a
    finalist in the international Haydn competition. She has worked with several leading internationally recognised musical coaches and teachers, including Geoffrey Lancaster AM, Maree Ryan, Tessa Bremner and Knut Schoch. In 2010, she premiered the role of 'Scout', which was written especially for her, in the CAT award winning ' Grimm and the Blue Crown Owl'.

    She has performed several major song cycles for the mezzo soprano, including the Brahms ' Zigeuner Lieder', for which she was awarded the Margaret Smiles Award for most outstanding vocalist, and was recently the soloist for a gala Beethoven concert with the NCO in Canberra. Ellen currently runs her corporate performance business ‘ Sopranos on Stage’ and appears regularly in oratorio and corporate functions across Sydney.
    In addition to her singing accomplishments, Ellen is a public speaker, writer, and award winning make up artist.

    Joanna Dionis Ross

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Roles: The Secretary - The Consul | Title Role - Sāvitrī

    Joanna Dionis Ross is quickly gaining recognition as a rising young dramatic mezzo-soprano.

    Recent engagements include Baba the Turk cover (The Rake’s Progress) at the Princeton Festival, Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) and Medoro (Orlando) at the Siena Music Festival, Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos) at the Johanna Meier Opera Theater Institute, Maddalena (Rigoletto) with Bleecker Street Opera, Mrs. Nolan (The Medium) with Taconic Opera, and Mrs. Sedley (Peter Grimes) and Cornelia (Giulio Cesare) with One World Symphony. Recently, Joanna sang the role of Aunt Nicey in Stefan Weisman’s new opera The Scarlet Ibis, co-produced by American Opera Projects and the Opera America New Works Forum. She has also been a young artist at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, singing Ortrud in excerpts from Lohengrin with acclaimed Wagnerian baritone Alfred Walker.

    Joanna has a strong interest in new music, and has appeared with the Brooklyn New Music Ensemble, Opera on Tap New Brew, and New Music Mannes, singing the works of such contemporary composers as Christopher Berg, Toshio Hosokawa, and Mike Rose. She is an American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award Finalist, and the recipient of a Wagner Society of New York grant.

    Joanna earned a professional studies diploma in voice performance from Mannes College the New School for Music and a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University.

    She made her Australian operatic debut as the Secretary in Menotti's The Consul with Cooperative in 2020, and will return to sing the title role in Sāvitrī in 2021.

    Jeremy Boulton

    Baritone

    Roles: Police Agent - The Consul | Death - Sāvitrī

    A former recipient of the Opera Australia Student Scholarship and graduate of the Talent Development Project, Jeremy has featured as a concert soloist for the Opera Australia Benevolent Fund, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Early Music Ensemble), Argyle Orchestra (Hobart, Australia), Opera Projects Sydney, con voci Chamber Choir (Wollongong, Australia) and Fiori Musicali (Armidale, Australia).

    Jeremy has also been engaged professionally by the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs as well as the Gondwana Choirs with The Muffat Collective as Aeneas in Dido & Æneas (Purcell) and The Co-operative as the Secret Police Agent in The Consul (Menotti). Additionally, Jeremy has featured in the ensembles of Don Giovanni (Mozart) and I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

    Winner of both the Margaret Olive Stewart Bequest Scholarship and the PATIM Fund Scholarship, Jeremy studies with Maree Ryan AM. In the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod, Jeremy was the Runner Up in the Intermediate Vocal Scholarship (Dame Joan Sutherland Memorial Award). In 2020, Jeremy was awarded the Demant Dreikurs scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and gratefully received artist assistance from the Sidney Myer Fund & The Myer Foundation's National Assistance Program. He also received an Italian language merit scholarship to L'Università Per Stranieri di Perugia (The University for Foreigners Perugia, Italy) through L'Istituto di Cultura (Italian Cultural Institute, Sydney).

    Jeremy is currently reading for a Bachelor of Music (Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Masterclasses include that by Jessica Pratt and Dr. Graham Johnson OBE.

    Jeremy’s other work includes scoring for short films (Absence - Best Film, Martini Awards 2017) and stage productions of The Tempest (Shakespeare, Phoenix Theatre Company), Blood Wedding (Lorca) and Ash Girl (Wertenbaker). He is a Full Member (Arranger & Copyist) of the Music Arrangers’ Guild of Australia (M.A.G.A.) and an Ambassador for ClassikON. Jeremy is also the Manager of APRA Art Music Award Winning ensemble, Steel City Strings Chamber Orchestra.

     

    Orchestral commissions include The Curious Story of the Bushy-Tailed Drop Bear (tone poem for orchestra) and a re-worked production of Dido and Aeneas (Purcell).

    In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys attending the symphony, opera, chamber music recitals, jazz and straight theatre. Of a summer, Jeremy turns into a cricket tragic.

    He also takes a keen interest in Australian politics and Michael Leunig.

    Martin Everett

    Tenor

    Roles: Nika Magadoff - The Consul | Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Martin recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Music with a Bachelor specialising in Musical Theatre. He has since set out to develop his acting.

    This past year Martin was privileged to perform Much Ado About Nothing (B’ard Work) in several pubs around Sydney. Martin loved this opportunity to work alongside the talented actors from various Pop-Up Globe tours. Martin’s other roles include Charlie Price in Kinky Boots (Free-Rain Theatre Company) under the direction of Derek Walker, and Steve Hart in Ned: A New Australian Musical (Plush Duck). Since then he’s been training in screen acting as well as stage.

    The Consul is Martin’s first foray into Opera and he hopes to tackle the role of Nika Magadoff and give it an authentic and entertaining spin.

     

    Alexandra Nixon

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Roles: Vera Boronel - The Consul | Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Second Priestess / Ensemble - Iphigénie en Tauride

    From Jindera New South Wales and residing in Sydney, Alexandra Nixon completed a Bachelor of Music Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2015.

    During her studies, Alexandra performed with the Conservatorium on numerous occasions, highlights including Bernstein’s MASS at the Sydney Opera House for the Conservatorium Centenary celebrations, Haydn’s Orfeo ed Euridice under the baton of Richard Bonynge. She was a member of the Conservatorium Chamber Choir for five years, and with them performed a range of repertoire spanning from Nyman, Bach to Britten, via many world premières.

    In 2017 Alexandra graduated from the Conservatorium with a Master of Music (Performance) under the tuition of Anke Höppner-Ryan.

    In 2018 Alexandra travelled to Brandenburg to participate in the Lotte Lehmann Akademie and studied the role of Contessa from W.A Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro under Karen Armstrong.

    In 2019 Alexandra joined Rockdale Opera Company in role of Mirabella in their production of Johann Strauss II The Gypsy Baron. Alexandra made her debut with The Cooperative in their maiden production of The Consul in February 2020 as Vera Boronel and is thrilled to be joining The Cooperative again in 2021.

    Kirralee Hillier

    Soprano

    Roles: Anna Gomez - The Consul

    Kirralee Hillier is a recent graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium Music where she completed her Bachelor Music Performance (Classical Voice) under Narelle Yeo. Her passion for performing has led her to perform with a number of internationally acclaimed artists such as Hans Zimmer and, most recently, Patti Lupone.

     

    Other recent Opera credits include singing Cunagonde in Berstein’s Candide, Belinda in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Jessie in Kurt Weil’s Mahagonny Songspiel. Kirralee has also had the honour of playing the roles of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Griddlebone in Cats, Carrie in Carrie: the Musical and Pauline Hansen in the award-winning Asutralian Musical The Colour Orange. Kirralee is so excited to be performing in The Consul.

     

    Samanta Lestavel

    Soprano

    Roles: Anna Gomez - The Consul | Soprano I - Sāvitrī

    Pylade - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Samanta graduated in November 2017 with a Graduate Diploma in Music (Opera Performance) from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she was the recipient of the Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Scholarship and the Helpmann Family Fellowship. She studied German extensively in university, adding to her native proficiency in French, Italian and English.

    Samanta gained extensive operatic stage experience while completing her studies, performing the following principal roles between 2016-2018: Adele (J. Strauss, Die Fledermaus), Belinda (Purcell, Dido and Aeneas), Pamina (Mozart: Die Zauberflöte), Blondchen (Mozart: Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Calisto (Cavalli: La Calisto), Zerlina (Mozart: Don Giovanni), Patience (Gilbert and Sullivan, Patience), Despina (Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte), Lucy (Menotti: The Telephone), Mary Crawford (Jonathan Dove: Mansfield Park, Australian premiere), and Angelina (Gilbert and Sullivan, Trial by Jury). Samanta has been privileged to work with companies including Operantics, Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Sydney, Rockdale Opera, The Macquarie Singers, Opera Hunter, Opera Bites, Phoenix Choir, and the Penrith Symphony Orchestra.

    She has also gained much concert experience (Bach, St Matthew Passion, Handel Messiah, Handel, Alexander’s Feast), and has participated in a number of experimental projects such as The Millenial Opera Project (recording project), Long Walk Diva (BEAMS Arts Festival), and The Cleopatra Project ( The Independent Theatre).

    Emma Nightingale

    Soprano

    Roles: A Foreign Woman - The Consul

    Emma is a soprano from Brisbane, Australia. In 2019 Emma was selected as a Young Artist for the Pacific Opera program, with concert credits including soloist in A Viennese Gala with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dr Nicholas Milton AM. She made her Opera Queensland principal debut as Gretel in the 2019 schools touring Hansel and Gretel and covered the roles of Novizia and La Maestra Delle Novizie in Suor Angelica (Puccini) for Pacific Opera. Emma also appeared in the ensemble for Opera Queensland’s 2019 production of A Flowering Tree (Adams).

     

    Across 2017 and 2018, Emma performed with Opera Queensland in Lindy Hume’s acclaimed production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore (Bridesmaid) and was an ensemble member in Britten’s Peter Grimes and Mozart’s Don Giovanni. She also performed as part of the ensemble of the 2019 Opera Queensland season launch and at The Brisbane Airport “Artist in Residence” program.

     

    During her time as an undergraduate at the University of Queensland she performed varied roles in excerpts including: Juliette (Romeo et Juliette), Magda (La Rondine), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), First Lady (The Magic Flute). She was also awarded the Margaret Nickson prize in voice and accompaniment, and concert credits such as soloist in the Schumann Requiem for Mignon with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and University of Queensland Chorale, the Rutter Magnificat with The University of Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, and the Vivaldi Gloria with the Alexandra Chorale.

     

    Early 2020 will see Emma make her Sydney debut as ‘A Foreign Woman’ (The Consul) for The Cooperative .

    Andrew Pennycuick

    Baritone

    Roles: Mr. Kofner - The Consul | Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    A Minister of the Sanctuary - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Andrew is a graduate of the music theatre course at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied singing with the late Howard Milner.

    Originally from Melbourne, Andrew has performed a wide variety of roles in the thriving amateur theatre scene there including: Assassins (Balladeer), Les Miserables (Enjolras), Company (Robert), Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Milt), The Pajama Game (Sid), Carousel (Billy), Arsenic and Old Lace (Mortimer), Chess (Anatoly).

    He has performed in schools’ tours for Echelon Productions as part of Book Week and has sung in the chorus of several productions for Melbourne Opera, including Madam Butterfly, Der Freischutz and The Barber of Seville.

    A recent convert to the wonders of Gilbert & Sullivan, Andrew most recently played Sir Despard in The Ghosts of Ruddigore and Pish Tush in The Mikado, both for Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Sydney. Andrew currently studies with Arax Mansourian.

    Emma Fearnley

    Soprano

    Roles: Assan - The Consul

    Emma is an English Teacher who moonlights as a singer.

    Since completing her AMusA in Singing, Emma has regularly appeared as a Soprano Soloist with St Peter's Choir and Artes Christi, singing such works as Faure's Requiem, Haydn's Missa Brevis, and Sebastien De Brossard's Stabat Mater.

     

    She has dabbled in community theatre, including playing Kate in The Pirates of Penzance and Jimmy in The Iceman Cometh, and can occasionally even be found wearing black and playing Viola or Violin.

    More often, though, you'll find her in her classroom trying to convince teenage boys that reading can be fun.

    Tony Guyot

    Tenor

    Roles: Ensemble - The Consul

    After careers in IT, natural medicine, journalism, and personal security Tony felt a need for a challenge so he retrained in the performing arts, supporting himself in the process by singing lefty social justice songs in cafes & restaurants. Today he is a director, actor, lighting designer as well as a singer. His range runs from stand up to Shakespeare and as a singer, G&S comic baritones, regular church soloist & cantor positions, soloist for an ABBA tribute group, supporting tenor roles in Verdi Opera, as chorus for a large number of groups, interspersed with the odd bass part here & there. Tony has been an advocate for social justice his entire life but craves variety.

    Marianna Poghosyan

    Soprano

    Roles: Ensemble - The Consul

    Born in Yerevan, in 2007 Marianna has graduated from French University of Armenia holding her BA in Law and Political Science. Meanwhile, in 2004 was awarded entry to IREX student exchange program to do undergraduate studies in International Relations at Utica College, NY. In 2008, she obtained her MA degree in Advanced European and International Studies from Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes Internationales (IEHEI), Nice, France.

    In 2009 she was entitled as Policy Officer to European and International Organizations.

    In 2013 her Monograph Happiness vs GDP got published in Germany by Lambert Academic Publishing.

    Apart from her formation in Political and Legal aspects since childhood she was involved with and has mastered few forms of Performing Arts such as singing, dancing and composing.

    Having graduated with excellency Musical School after Sayat-Nova piano department in 1998 later on in 2006 she has won the First Prize at Naregatsi Young Composers Award in Piano Improvisation category.

    For 12 years she sang at the internationally proclaimed best children choir Little Singers of Armenia lead by Conductor and Artistic Director Maestro Tigran Hekekyan where she has formed and developed refined and deep understanding and appreciation of spiritual, secular and contemporary music dating from 5th century till nowadays. The Choir has toured around the World performing at the most renowned concert halls, cathedrals and festivals.

    Later on Marianna has started a solo career in singing while taking private classes at Yerevan State Conservatory at Sergey Danelyan’s class. Meanwhile she has attended trainings and masterclasses with singers like Vladimir Chernov, Raina Kabaevanska, Darina Takova, Arax Mansourian etc.

    In 2009 she has been accepted to Regional Conservatory of Niceright away to the 3rd year of Voice Department.

    Since childhood Marianna has been involved and trained in various dance companies which later on has led her to have a dream of becoming ballerina.

    Her first victory was in 2008 when she has won a Grand – Prix at First Armenian Dance Olympiad in Adults Modern Solo Category with a piece danced and choreographed by her.

    Later on after enormous vigor, efforts and unimaginable will power in 2009 she made her dream to come true and got accepted to the National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre of Armenia as a Featuring Actress and Ballerina. She has worked there for 8 years and even had a number of solo roles in Ballet Romeo and Juliet, Opera Carmen, Opera Sayat – Nova.

    In 2016 at the same Opera theater she has played Maria at the A. Piazzolla’s Operita Maria de Buenos Aires inviting featuring famous bandoneonist Maestro Carlos Buono.

    From 2014 – 2017 she has worked as an instructor, actress and dancer at the Yerevan National Center of Aesthetics, Small Theater where in collaboration with British Council of Armenia she was sent to London to be trained at Candoco Inclusive Dance Company. After the training with her colleagues they have formed the first inclusive dance company in Armenia.

    Currently Marianna is based in Sydney with her husband and daughter. She is an assistant of the instructor at Tamzara Armenian Folk Dance Group by AGBU as well as the vocal teacher of Sunday School Children Choir at the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection in Chatswood.

    She has performed at Concourse Chatswood, Avoca Beach Theater as well as at the Critical Path for Unity Space Air Project.

    Paul McLeod

    Tenor

    Roles: Ensemble - The Consul | Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Paul studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, UNSW, and at the Universität der Künste Berlin, and was awarded several scholarships throughout his studies.

    He has performed many roles, including 1st Gehärnischter - Die Zauberflöte (Pacific Opera),
    Triquet - Eugene Onegin (UdK Berlin), Tamino - Die Zauberflöte (UdK Berlin), Pappacoda - Eine Nacht in Venedig (Kammeroper Schloβ Rheinsberg), MacHeath - The Beggar’s Opera (Opera Australia Education), The Mayor - The Happy Prince (Opera Australia Education), Hirsch – The Great Waltz
    (Rockdale Opera) and Alwa - Auf Wiedersehen, Lulu (Rockdale Opera). Paul is also a frequent oratorio soloist, recitalist, and actor, and currently performs regularly with the Opera Australia chorus.

    Paul is passionate about social justice and human rights (as well as music of course!), and is looking forward to joining The Cooperative for The Consul.

    Tarryn Frappell

    Soprano

    Roles: Ensemble - The Consul | Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Tarryn has performed with Rockdale Opera Company since 2010 in Chorus, and has had a few minor roles within that time.
    She also performed in Orfeo Ed Euridice in the NSW Art Gallery in collaboration with the Spectrum Festival in 2015.
    Tarryn also performs with Sydney University Musical Society in their yearly choral performances
    She looks forward to working with the Cast of The Cooperative in their first production of The Consul.

    Elizabeth Hylton

    Mezzo Soprano

    Roles: Ensemble - The Consul

    Elizabeth has completed a B/Mus and Grad/Dip in Music, majoring in Classical Voice at The Australian Institute of Music. Elizabeth enjoys all facets of singing, including performing in the genres of Opera, Operetta, Musical Theatre, Oratorio, Recitals, Classical Contemporary Fusion and some facets of Contemporary Music.

    Elizabeth is currently performing with Troupe Viva and is a regular soloist for The Christian Science Church (Dee Why). She sung as regular soloist for The Sydney Welsh Choir, in 2010 - taking part in their Tasmanian tour. She took part in Symphony of Australia as part of the Sydney Festival in January 2010 and toured Australia as part of The Ten Sopranos from July 2006 – July 2008.

    Elizabeth has performed many roles, highlights which include: Mezzo Soloist in Christmas Oratorio under Dr Steve Watson for The Beethoven Society of Australia, Alto Soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria under Philip Chu for The Australian Institute of Music, Lichas in Hercules and Ino in Semele for Opera Events. Gilbert and Sullivan roles include: Iolanthe in Iolanthe, Tessa in The Gondoliers, Kate and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore, and Lady Saphir in Patience.

    Rachel Mink

    Soprano

    Roles: Soprano II - Sāvitrī

    Rachel Mink, soprano, is a 2021 Pacific Opera Young Artist and ensemble member of Luminescence, a virtuosic vocal consort.

    Highlights of Rachel’s operatic credits include Émilie in Kaija Saariaho’s Émilie; Colin in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s opera Le Devin du Village, Belinda and the First Witch in Dido and Aeneas, and Zirphile (cover) in the American premiere of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Sympathy with Victory Hall Opera. Rachel was an active chorus member with Charlottesville Opera and performed in La Traviata and Amahl and the Night Visitors. In masterclasses, she has had the honor of working with Renée Fleming, Karita Mattila, Danielle Telemantes, and Rachelle Fleming.

    Originally hailing from the USA, Rachel studied vocal performance and musicology at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland and earned her BA from the University of Virginia with a double major in music and arts administration. In her spare time, she works as a fundraising professional for the Boulanger Imitative, a non-profit committed to promoting music composed by womxn.

    Elias Wilson

    Tenor

    Roles: Satyavān - Sāvitrī

    Elias Wilson is an emerging tenor, with experience around Australia as a performer of opera, chamber music and musical theatre.

    Elias graduated with a BMusSt in Classical Voice at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2019, and is currently completing a Masters in Opera Performance at the Con with Dr Rowena Cowley, for which he was the recipient of the Donald Lionel Edgerton Scholarship and Helpmann Family Fellowship in 2020.

    Elias appears regularly as an associate artist with The Song Company, and as cantor and tenor scholar for the choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Railway Square. Elias has recorded for ABC Classic as part of Luminescence Chamber Singers, directed by Tamara Anna Cislowska, and in 2019 toured Australia with Luminescence and the Consort of Melbourne with conductor Roland Peelman.

    During his studies he has performed as concert soloist for the Conservatorium Early Music Ensemble alongside Erin Helyard, the Con Wind Symphony under John Lynch, and with the Con Chamber Choir and Choir under the batons of Neil McEwan, Paul Stanhope and Elizabeth Scott. These engagements have included two international premieres, by Australian composers Jodie Blackshaw and Alice Chance.

    Most recently Elias appeared as Madame de la Haltière in Sydney Con Opera School's filmed 2020 production of Massenet's Cendrillon, directed by Kate Gaul. Elias has previously appeared in the ensembles of Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges for the Con Opera School, Verdi's La Traviata and Floyd's Susannah for Opera New England, and makes his live operatic principal role debut as Satyavān in Holst's Sāvitrī for The Cooperative in 2021.

     

    Cassandra Doyle

    Mezzo-soprano

    Roles: Alto I - Sāvitrī | Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Cassandra is a young mezzo-soprano, entering her second year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, completing a BMus Performance (Classical Voice), studying under Dr. Rowena Cowley. In 2020, she was awarded the Patricia Bell Scholarship. Her roles covered include Leila in Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘Iolanthe’ (2018), Prince Charming in Open Academy’s ‘Cinderella’ (2018) and a chorus member in the Conservatorium High schools ‘A Bernstein Story’ (2017) and ‘Shrek’ (2015).

    During her studies at the Conservatorium High School, she was a featured artist in the NSW Schools Spectacular and a concert soloist at the Sydney Opera House, as a part of the NSW Arts Unit Festival of Music. In 2019, Cassandra performed as a soloist with SUMS in Rossini’s ‘Petit Messe Solennelle’ mass.

    Cassandra has toured extensively with Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Children’s Choir throughout Asia and the Baltics. She currently sings with the St James Choir, as a choral scholar.

    Joanna Swadling

    Soprano

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice | Diane - Iphigénie en Tauride

    This is Joanna’s first production with the Cooperative, and she is excited to be a part of this wonderful team, diving into the psyche of grief and how we process loss. She is currently completing the last semester of her Master’s of Music Performance at Excelsia college, where she has been exploring different vocal styles with her vocal teacher Julia Michaels, as well as completing a research paper on music in aged-care.

    Joanna previously graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she studied classical voice under Barry Ryan. She has also loved being involved with amateur musical theatre companies, where she played roles such as Lucy in “Narnia” with Eastwood Uniting Church Musical Society (EUCMS), Alice in “Through the Looking Glass” (2015) and Mabel in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” (2019) with Normanhurst Uniting Church Musical Society (NUCMS), as well as taking part in several cabaret and variety concerts throughout the years. She was set to play Princess Ida in G&S’ “Princess Ida” in 2020, a production which was sadly postponed due to COVID-19, but will hopefully resume at a later date.

    Ava Madon

    Soprano

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Ava began her training at The Victorian College of the Arts completing the foundation program before going on to train overseas at Lasalle College of the Arts, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and First Class Honours in Musical Theatre.

    Ava’s professional stage credits include The Great Wall: One Woman’s Journey (dir. Darren Yap), Purgatory (L’arietta) and Hi-5 Adventure Discovery Tour (Hi-5 World).

    Ava’s television credits include Definitely Not News (ABC) , The Pack Down (ABC), Code of Law (Weiyu Films) and Stacked! (ABC). In 2021 Ava is set to appear in a new musical sitcom, Mikki vs. the World, which will be released on ABC and iView.

    Ava is excited to be delving into opera with Orfeo ed Euridice and The Cooperative.

    Katrina Noela

    Soprano

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    “Magnificent!”, “Magical!”, an "energy and presence [that] is beyond this realm". These are but a few of the many descriptions Katrina Noela, a sought-after international vocalist, has received by her audiences over that past few years. It is her impressive versatility and vocal sincerity that moves audiences of all sizes.
    Having performed across the globe in Australia, Italy, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand and on TV, such as The Voice, Katrina Noela commands a highly emotive room and stage, large or small, with an authentic connection that audiences of all ages relate to.
    Coming from an operatic heritage and over 20 years of classical training and professional experience that includes La Traviata, Magic Flute, Pearl Fishers, Pirates of Penzance and more, Katrina's repertoire features famous diva ballads through to powerful show-stoppers from Opera, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Contemporary and more.

    Sarah Cherlin

    Soprano

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    A Greek Woman / Ensemble - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Sydney based soprano Sarah Cherlin is thrilled to once again be taking the stage in 2021, débuting with The Co-Opera-tive in Orfeo ed Euridice.
    Later in the year she will be joining Sydney’s Opera Lirica for Cavalleria rusticana, their The Gondoliers as Casilda, and National Opera’s La rondine in Canberra.

    Among her fondest performance memories is her 2015 trip to Nettuno, Italy where she joined Opera in Celle for their concert “Tango e Non Solo”. Dancers accompanied a multicultural programme set in the renaissance built Forte Sangallo in which Sarah performed Iranian folk song Jane Maryam in Farsi.

    Sarah’s most passionate obsession, second only to music, is foreign languages. Fluent in French, having conversational Italian and Russian, and presently studying German, Sarah has particularly enjoyed translating and delving into Calzabigi’s libretto, which alongside Gluck’s magnificently evocative music, creates an irresistibly sumptuous 90 minutes of heart wrenching drama.

    Sarah recently released contemporary EP Small Machines* (folk-pop) and is currently working on an album, with hopes to release this year.
    She looks forward to an exciting season ahead with The Co-Opera-tive, and is honoured to be joining such an innovative group working for change!

    Michael Burden

    Countertenor

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    A Scythian / Ensemble - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Described as “sinuously wicked” (ArtsHub 2019) and possessing a “beautiful and clear tone” (Cut Common 2020), Michael Burden is an exciting countertenor rapidly establishing himself as an experienced and versatile artist. He is commencing a Master of Music Studies (Opera Performance) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music this year, having previously graduated from a Bachelor of Music Performance with the guidance of Andrew Dalton. His operatic roles include Second Witch and The Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (The Other Theatre Co), Bunty in David Reeve’s 7 Little Australians (Opera Carnivalé) and Hyacinthus in Mozart’s Apollo et Hyacinthus (Flamingo Opera). Chorus credits include Dido and Aeneas, 7 Little Australians and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Sydney Conservatorium). Solo concert credits include alto solos in Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Bach’s Cantatas BWV 1, 78, 166, and 150, Tenor 1, Alto and Soprano 2 solos in Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noël and Pergolesi’s/Durante’s Magnificat. He has experience performing with the Conservatorium Choirs, Early Music Ensemble under the direction of Erin Helyard, and St Andrews Cathedral Choir as an Alto Lay Clerk.

    Ella Orehek-Coddington

    Mezzo-soprano

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    A Priestess / Ensemble - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Mezzo-soprano Ella Orehek-Coddington is currently in her third year at the Sydney Conservatorium, studying under Barry Ryan OAM. While at the Conservatorium, she has been an awardee of the Patricia Lucas Music Achievement Award and the Costa Rosa Harsas Award Scholarship. In February of this year, Ella participated in a masterclass with Gerald Finley as a part of the Fourth Fresno State Art Song Festival. In 2020 she sung the role of Susie in a workshop performance of David Reeves’, Ever the Best of Friends, as well as appearing in the roles of Night and Juno in Concordia Ensemble’s inaugural production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. For the 2nd annual Demant Dreikurs German Song Contest in 2020, Ella was chosen as a reserve finalist. Ella was also a soloist at the first Con Lieder Series recital in 2019. In 2021, she returns to Concordia Ensemble, singing Dido in Dido and Aeneas as well as La Fée in Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon. Ella also makes her debut with The Cooperative in 2021, singing in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice.

    Matthew Avery

    Baritone

    Roles: Chorus - Orfeo ed Euridice

    Baritone Matthew Avery graduated from the Young Americans College of Performing Arts in the USA (Honors) and toured with The Young Americans throughout USA, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Netherlands and Estonia.
    He was thoroughly enjoying rehearsal for La Traviata with HANDA’s Opera on Sydney Harbour when it was cancelled one week before opening night due to COVID 19.
    He has been honoured to have been part of the Pacific Opera program as an Adjunct Artist, Developing Artist and now Young Artist.
    His music theatre performance credits include Sunday in the Park with George - Alex/Soldier, Les Miserables – Javert, Combeferre & Bishop, The Phantom of the Opera – Reyer, Mary Poppins – Von Heussler, Westside Story – Officer Krupke and Into the Woods – Rapunzel’s Prince. He also performed the role of Bill Whitely in the world premiere production of Gavin Lockley’s Morgan’s Run.
    Operatic roles include Die Zauberflote – Armoured Man (Pacific Opera), Die Fledermaus – Frank (Operantics), The Gondoliers Dream Getaway – Antonio (Pacific Opera) and Water Babies – Lobster/Game Keeper. This year he’s looking forward to performing in Le Nozze di Figaro, Orfeo Ed Euridice, Iphigenie en Tauride and Tosca for The Cooperative and Don Afonso in Cosi Fan Tutte (Pacific Opera) along with Pocket Opera productions for Pacific Opera of Rape of Lucrecia – Collatinus, Fidelio – Rocco and La Traviata – Marquis.
    Matthew’s competition highlights include winning Lieder and Gilbert and Sullivan sections for Sydney Eisteddfod as well as twice being a finalist in the Joan Sutherland Scholarship section.
    During 2020 Matthew kept busy producing and performing Warm As The Autumn Light, a Zoom concert with John Martin of American music through the ages, which streamed to USA, Japan and Hong Kong as well as throughout Australia. He also received a High Distinction for his 8th Grade Classical Singing AMEB Exam as well as featuring in TV Commercials for Ford Puma/Escape and KFC (Ben from Finance).
    Matthew is very excited to be coaching with Brad Gilchrist and John Martin and studying voice with Donna Balson.

    Olivia Morberger

    Mezzo-Soprano

    Roles: Oreste - Iphigénie en Tauride

    Olivia Morberger is a Sydney based operatic singer who holds a Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice and Clarinet.

    Since graduating, her operatic appearances include Offenbach’s the Tales of Hoffmann, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Le Nozze di Figaro, Bach’s St Matthew's Passion and Scarlatti‘s La Clemenza di Decemviri. Olivia has also appeared in recital programs at St Stephen's Uniting Church, with Sutherland Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Art Song Society, Gandharve Ensemble and with Russian for Singers.

    This year you can hear Olivia’s artistry in Iphigénie en Tauride with The Cooperative, as well as La Traviata and Die Zauberflöte with Pacific Opera.

  • 2021 Season

     

    Sāvitrī

     

    Gustav Holst

     

    Orfeo ed Euridice

     

    Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Ranieri de' Calzabigi

     

    Iphigénie en Tauride

     

    Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Nicolas-François Guillard

     

    Le nozze di Figaro *

     

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Lorenzo da Ponte

     

    Tosca

     

    Giacomo Puccini

    Giuseppe Giacosa | Luigi Illica

     

    Její pastorkyna *

    (Jenufa)

     

    Leoš Janáček​

     

    * Postponed due to Covid-19 Lockdown

  • Orfeo ed Euridice

    An opera in three acts

     

    Music by

    Christoph Willibald Gluck

     

    Libretto by

    Ranieri de' Calzabigi

     

     

    "What will I do? Where will I go? ...

    There is no more hope, on earth or in heaven."

     

    Since time began, we have tried to make sense of life, of death, of how we experience grief and loss. It is an eternal question; something we are desperate to understand, yet ironically can never really answer.

    Unfolding as a fantasy on grief, Gluck and Calzabigi's 1762 opera Orfeo ed Euridice draws upon a "myth" which finds an equivalent in every place and time. In 2021, its voice is as pertinent as ever.

     

     

    Orfeo ed Euridice

     

    Music - Christoph Willibald Gluck

    Libretto - Ranieri de' Calzabigi

     

    Music Director - Edwin Spark

    Director - Menila Moineaux
     

    Orfeo - Laura Wachsmann

    Euridice (Amore) - Alison Paris

     

    Chorus:

    Sarah Cherlin

    Tarryn Frappell

    Ava Madon

    Katrina Noela

    Joanna Swadling

    Michael Burden

    Ella Coddington

    Cassandra Doyle

    Alexandra Nixon

    Martin Everett

    Paul McLeod

    Matthew Avery

    Andrew Pennycuick

     

    This production was generously supported by the City of Sydney.

     

     

     

  • Create With Us

     

    Tosca

     

    Chorus

     

    We are currently seeking EOIs from singers interested in joining our chorus for Tosca in June, 2021.

     

    Rehearsals are approximately once a week, on weekends, beginning on the 15/16th May, in Redfern/Waterloo. Performances are in the Sydney CBD on the 17th and 19th June.

     

    This callout is open to everyone, and we warmly welcome submissions from artists of all levels of experience.

     

    Please send us your CV and a video of your singing, ideally an opera aria, art song, or musical theatre selection, to thecooperativesydney@gmail.com

     

    We'd love to hear from you!

     

     

    Our General Audition Callout for 2020 has now closed; however, we always love to hear from interested singers, musicians, and crew. Please use the form below, or email us at thecooperativesydney@gmail.com

     

    General Audition Callout

     

    The Cooperative is delighted to welcome general audition submissions from performers. Our program for the year ahead will aim to combine virtual and in-person performances, following Covid-safe guidelines.

     

    We warmly welcome submissions from artists of all levels of experience, and especially encourage those from performers of backgrounds otherwise underrepresented in opera.

     

    We are also seeking Expressions of Interest from instrumentalists and crew; please email us for further information.

     

    Please submit two video links, along with your CV, to thecooperativesydney@gmail.com by Wednesday September 30th.

     

     

    Audition requirements:

     

    Two pieces, at least one of which must be an opera aria, and one of which must be in English. We are looking for strong actors as well as musicians; please allow this to inform your audition selections.

     

    Please upload your audition videos to a platform (such as youtube, google drive, drop box, vimeo etc.) and email us the links (along with any password / access details needed to view if applicable).

     

    Please note that we fully empathise with the unique challenges that video auditions pose! As long as we can clearly hear your voice and see you, we’re very happy to accept anything from a home smartphone recording through to professional videos.

     

     

    About The Cooperative:

     

    The Cooperative combines our dual passions for opera and for social justice.

     

    Our auditions are open to all.

     

    Onstage, we aim to explore political and socially relevant ideas through our productions.

     

    Performances aim to make opera accessible for everyone; entry is on a pay-as-you-feel scale.

     

    We believe that opera should benefit the world around us, and donate all profits from all productions to charity/ies connected to the ideas we’ve explored on stage.

     

     

    If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us via email any time.

     

    We look forward to hearing you soon!