WSNSW e-news 20



As Warwick Fyfe says on facebook:



Sunday 13 March 2022 

2.00pm [AEDT]: Masterclass with Christina Henson Hayes 
(Warwick Fyfe’s vocal coach)
and Bradley Gilchrist (piano)

featuring Michael James, Anita de Lisen, Ashlee Woodgate, 
Damien Noyce, Nathan Bryon, 
Ellen McNeil and Paul McLeod, 
and attended by Warwick Fyfe and his wife Ruth Frances 

including refreshments/drinks/afternoon tea

$40 members / $50 non-members / $20 full-time students 

St Columba Community Centre
53A Ocean Street (cnr Forth Street)

1: If you plan to attend and haven’t already advised us, please let us know if you will be attending: 

  • by replying to this email or
  • by emailing us at or 
  • by registering via this event on our facebook page.

This is important – we need to know how many will be attending for the purposes of Covid-19 regulations and catering.

2: Payment at the door


Optional pre-payment: by using your bank’s internet banking facilities to send your payment electronically – listing your name – to Westpac Banking Corporation, Paddington NSW Branch.

Account name: The Wagner Society / BSB: 032040 / Account Number: 911323

3. Keeping you safe: please do the following:
— f
ace masks are encouraged
— please don’t attend if you feel unwell / are displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms as identified by NSW Health / are required to self-isolate or quarantine.


Christina Henson Hayes will giving the masterclass

Warwick Fyfe 
as Wotan in Melbourne Opera’s Die Walküre
who will be attending the masterclass with his wife Ruth Frances,
photo by Robin Halls
About Sunday’s Masterclass

Society members and friends should find this a fascinating session – giving insight as to how singers are professionally coached and guided when preparing new roles.

Christina Henson Hayes will listen to:

  • singers Michael James (Heldentenor), Anita de Lisen (soprano) and Ashlee Woodgate (soprano).
  • three WSNSW supported singers: Damien Noyce (tenor), whom we sponsored for a German course a few years ago, Nathan Bryon (tenor), whom we supported on a fact-finding trip to the USA where he was looking at young artist programs for young dramatic male voices, and current Pacific Opera Young Artist Ellen McNeil, soprano and winner of our Jane Mathews AO Scholarship (generously provided by the Wagner Society NSW), which will be launched at the event. Damien and Nathan are also Pacific Opera alumni.
  • new member and original Pacific Opera alumnus, tenor Paul McLeod. 

Our members Warwick Fyfe (and recent Wotan in Melbourne Opera’s Die Walküre) and his wife, Ruth Frances will also be attending the masterclass as Christina is Warwick’s coach. 

The young and emerging singers will be singing works from a range of composers, and Christina will give them detailed feedback. It will be a very interesting musical event!

About Christina Henson Hayes

Christina Henson Hayes is an American born, Juilliard trained singer and vocal coach and also a graduate in medicine from the University of New Jersey. She has pioneered research and practice in biomechanical vocal function, working with both career singers and cancer/reconstruction patients. She has worked with concert artists who have sung at the Met, Covent Garden, La Scala and Opera Australia. Christina is coach and choirmaster with the Lyric Opera of the Central Coast and is the founder of Outlaw Opera, which is a concert series in two acts that highlights the most villainous and thrilling moments from operatic history. It breaks down some of the art form’s most famous works into palatable, bite sized theatre. It is a fantastic format for those wanting to give opera a try and for those starting to refine their tastes. 

Earlier masterclasses
Two joint WSNSW / Pacific Opera masterclasses were held – in 2020 and 2017.
— On 25 February 2020, a Masterclass was held by Maestro Anthony Negus with young singers from Pacific Opera’s Young Artist Program, which also served as a rehearsal for the Wagner Society’s The Hon Jane Mathews AO memorial concert on 27 February:

Back row: Carmen Jakobi and Bradley Gilchrist (piano)

Front row, L-R: Leona Geeves, Tessa HaywardLyla Levy-Jordan, 
Maestro Anthony Negus, Laura Scandizzo, Hamish James and Timothy Nunn, 
all singers who have performed with Pacific Opera.


Anthony Negus in action with Lyla Levy-Jordan

— On 11 July 2017, a Masterclass was held with mezzo-soprano Stephanie Weiss and pianist Benjamin Burton who replaced Christina Wright at short notice. Stephanie Weiss is a dramatic mezzosoprano specialising in Wagner and Strauss roles. She is based in Berlin, Germany and the US and Assistant Professor of Voice at Arizona State University. She has sung  in operas and recitals in Europe, the USA, and Australia.  She is a highly-respected vocal coach at AIMS in Graz and Berlin. 

L-R: Benjamin Burton (pianist), Angela Hogan, Damian Arnold, Claire Chehade-James, 
Stephanie Weiss, Victoria Hodgkinson, Laura Scandizzo and Alex Sefton. 

Stephanie Weiss in action with Laura Scandizzo


With warm regards from the President and Committee of Wagner Society in NSW.


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