National Adjudicator Jeffrey Black
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2014 NATIONAL ADJUDICATOR
Brisbane-born baritone Jeffrey Black began his career in 1984 when, at the age of twenty one, he joined The Australian Opera as a principal artist singing roles which included Mercutio in Romeo et juliette, Schaunard in La bohème, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Dr Falke in Die Fledermaus, Dandini in La Cenerentola and Ottone in Goran Jarvefelt’s new production of L’lncoronazione di Poppea.
In 1985 he was named The Australian Opera’s Esso Young Artist of the Year. Subsequent roles as a guest artist with The Australian Opera (Opera Australia since 1997) include Figaro in II barbiere di Siviglia, Guglielmo in CosI fan tutte, the title role in Don Giovanni, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, the title role in Eugene Onegin and Wolfram in Tannhäuser. He has also sang Dr Malatesta in Don Pasquale for the Lyric Opera of Queensland, and Zurga in Les Pecheurs de Perles, Roderigo in Don Carlo and the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance for the Victoria State Opera.
Jeffrey Black made his European debut in 1986 as Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos in Monte Carlo and his British debut the same year at the Glyndebourne Festival as Sid in Albert Herring where he has subsequently returned for Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1989) and the Count - in both Capriccio (1990) and Le nozze di Figaro(1991).
At the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden he has appeared as Harlekin, Sid, Figaro (II barbiere), Dandini, the Count de Nevers in Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and the Count (Figaro).
Jeffrey made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York with Figaro (II barbiere) in 1995 and returned in 1997 to sing the Count (Figaro).
His other international engagements include Guglielmo at the Salzburg Festival - a role he has also sung in Los Angeles, Chicago and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. - Netherlands Opera (Harlekin); the Bastille, Paris (Lescaut in Manon Lescaut and Valentin in Faust); Geneva Opera (Dr Falke, Fieramosca in Benvenuto Cellini, Valentin and Riccardo in I Puritani); San Francisco Opera (Figaro in Il Barbiere); theTeatro Colon, Buenos Aires (Dandini); Los Angeles Opera (Marcello in La bohème); San Diego Opera (Figaro in II barbiere and the title role in Eugene Onegin); New Israeli Opera (Figaro in II barbiere and Demetrius); the Washington Opera (Count in Figaro and Marcello);Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp (the title role in Don Giovanni); and Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich (the Count, Figaro in II barbiere and Marcello).
On the concert platform in Australia, Jeffrey Black has taken part in a major tour with the ABC and appeared in recital with Geoffrey Parsons and also with the ABC orchestras. In London he has sung with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in excerpts from Die Fledermaus, in Carmina Burana (which was also recorded by EMI) and his first Christus in Bach’s St Matthew Passion under Franz Welser-Möst.
Other engagements include Posa in new productions of Don Carlo for Opera North and Opera Australia, the Count in Capriccio and Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with Opera Australia, Danilo in The Merry Widow at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, arena concerts with Kin Te Kanawa in London, Stockholm, Sydney and Melbourne, arena performances of Pere Germont in La Traviata in Auckland, New Zealand which was again performed under Simone Young in Tokyo with the NHK Orchestra.
Eugene Onegin and his role debut as Baistrode in Peter Grimes for Michigan Opera, further performances of the Count for Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, and a recording of Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with the Sydney Soloists for ABC Classics.
Other recent engagements include Don Giovanni, Belcore in L’Elisir d’amore and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro. He also performed Ford in Falstaff at the Oporto Festival in Portugal, was baritone soloist in Faure’s Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony, and performed in recital with Simone Young for the NSW Art Gallery ‘Portraits’ series.
Jeffrey also performed Danilo in a new production of The Merry Widow for Opera Australia in both Sydney and Melbourne, and Escamillo in Carmen for Opera Queensland. Concert performances in 2004 included New Year’s eve at the Sydney Opera House, Concert and recording (BIS) of Symphonies 5 & 9 by Alexander Lokshin as part of the Styriate Festival, Graz, Austria, Opera in the Vineyards, Lisa Gasteen in Concert (Guest Artist), Liederabend at St John’s Cathedral & Die Winterreise Oxford & 4MBS Brisbane (recording and recital). This recital was bracketed with Nigel Kennedy as “one of the outstanding performances of 2004 in Australia.
As part of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of Battle of Trafalgar he played the title role in the world premiere of Nelson performed on the Strand at Australia House. Most recently he sang Danilo in Welsh National Opera’s new production of Merry Widow with Lesley Garrett – subsequently telecast on BBC2 (30th December, 2005).
2006 saw a recommitment to the concert platform with a series of concerts and recitals in London, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia with his accompanist, Tahu Matheson. Much of the great works of “the sons of Vienna”, were performed during this time; Schubert’s Schwanengesang, Die Winterreise, Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Liederkreis ( Op.24 & 39), Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
2007 likewise Jeffrey continued to delve into the Art song repertoire, including, Brahms, Duparc, Faure, Webern, Berg with concerts in Rome, the inaugural Summer festival at Chateau Padies. Performances of Verdi Arias in concert for the 4MBS festival in Brisbane as well a live broadcast for the BBC.
He made his role debut as Rigoletto under the baton of Alistair Dawes revivifying their professional relationship begun when both were at the ROH.
Other engagements included a Beethoven 9 in Australia as well as his debut as Scarpia in Tosca also undertaken in Australia as part of the 4MBS Festival. Summer of 2008 Jeffrey again performed at the Chateau Padies Festival, France.
Summer 2009 included a return to Glyndebourne undertaking the role of Falstaff for the first time, his debut in the title role of Simone in a Gala concert performance for Chelsea Opera Group of Simone Boccanegra (1857 version) at Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank. Also that summer Jeffrey made his role debut as Frank in Die Fledermaus for London Lyric Opera at Cadogan Hall.
Summer 2010, Jeffrey performed the baritone role of Gianciotto in Zandonai’s opera Francesca da Rimini for Opera Holland Park.
Forthcoming engagements include his role debut as Pizzaro in Fidelio for New London Opera Players followed by Scarpia in Tosca in early 2012 as well as his role debut as Telramund in Lohengrin in 2014.
For the last ten years Jeffrey has had a thriving teaching practice in his private Studio in South West London. Additionally for the last six years he has been a part time lecturer in voice and performance studies as part of the Music Faculty at Kingston University, London.
'The Mathy' has become synonymous with the Marianne Mathy Scholarship, the featured award within the IFAC Australian Singing Competition.
Handcast in solid bronze, 'The Mathy' stands 195mm tall (230mm including its base) and weighs in at just under 1kg.
'The Mathy' limited edition Drago Marin Cherina bronze statuette was first awarded to Western Australian soprano Rachelle Durkin in 2000.