Australian National University (ANU) music graduate and passionate singer Katrina Wiseman will debut her professional opera career in a special production with National Opera this December.
Her journey began while learning piano and singing in choirs at Radford College. By the time she hit 15, Katrina decided to take her singing more seriously and started lessons.
“I found out pretty early on that my voice was quite suited to classical music, so I started with a lot of different songs and genres to help me train and develop my voice before commencing opera,” Katrina said.
“I did my first opera when I was 17 with Canberra Opera. From there, the more I did it and practised it, the more I loved it.
“I’ve done a whole range of programs since then. Upon leaving school, I was the recipient of one of the Opera Australia Regional Student Scholarships, and then started my degree at university.”
The Canberra born-and-bred singer studied voice with Cheryl Barker AO while completing a double degree in Music (Performance) and Science (Mathematics) at ANU.
“I also travelled to Italy during my degree in 2019 to undertake a young artist program with the Vocal Academy of Orvieto,” Katrina said.
The 24-year-old said singing and performing opera was such a rewarding feeling.
“To be able to perform and fall in love with sharing stories and all the raw emotions while going on a journey with each piece is just incredible,” she said.
“You’re completely unamplified.
“It’s just you and an orchestra or piano sharing those emotions and those stories through the performance.
“The beautiful music makes for a thrilling and emotional experience for both the performer and the audience, and each character and each performance has its own unique challenges. And there is always something new to explore.”
Katrina will make her professional debut singing the role of Oberto in National Opera’s production of Alcina.
“When I go on stage, it will mark seven years, almost to the day, since I first performed in an opera,” she said.
Katrina said she was excited to perform in this production, while taking the “next big step” in her operatic career.
“I get to work with and learn from such a fantastic cast of Australian singers who I have looked up to throughout my development as a singer.
“National Opera is a community of people dedicated to supporting, training and providing opportunities for young artists like myself to develop our skills but also to be the best performers we can be.
“They have provided me with so many opportunities and I definitely wouldn’t be preparing to make my professional debut without them.”
The production cast for Alcina is made up of a fully professional Australian cast, featuring seven main performers plus chorus.
Katrina said she was looking forward to engaging at a higher level of performance alongside National Opera and learn from the experienced cast.
“I can’t wait to explore what the next stages of my operatic career are going to look like, and continue to develop as a performer with National Opera, a company that has supported me through my development over the last few years.
“As I’ve always lived in Canberra, I’ve always been supportive of the artistic scene here. But I hope in the future to do some more travel and really engage with some of the other groups around Australia and possibly overseas to explore a whole range of new operas and composers I’ve never worked with before.”
See Handel’s Alcina on Thursday 8 and Saturday 10 December.
To find out more and buy tickets visit National Opera.