March 25, 2012
Lady in Waiting
By LIZZIE STAFFORD
Emily Burke couldn't turn down the opportunity of singing with opera greats, even if it meant being on stage just after giving birth, writes Lizzie Stafford.
By the time that you read this, opera singer Emily Burke may very well have given birth to her first child. And in two weeks - just a fortnight after her due date - she'll be on stage performing in Opera Queensland's production of Macbeth.
"I'll manage," she says, perched on a stool in her kitchen in the house she shares with her husband Nick Richards at Murarrie, on Brisbane's east.
"I'm not under any illusion that it's going to be how it would be if I was singing it now. But I've got a really supportive partner, got a really supportive family and, of course, it will be hard - of course I'll be exhausted, but it's not impossible...
July 30, 2011
Cosi fan tutte
By PETER PINNE
Opera Queensland have dusted off their 2000 production of Cosi fan tutte, director David Berthold has looked at it with fresh eyes, and the result is an excellent example of what opera buffa should be – witty, insouciant, and a musical delight. Mozart’s 1790 opera about infidelity, partner swapping, and cheating, is as contemporary as the pages of today’s street press.
Leanne Kenneally and Zoe Taylor as the two sisters Fiordigili and Dorabella set the tone of the piece with their effortless handling of the showy colaratura duets, a feature of this score. Company stalwarts, Shaun Brown and Virgilio Marino as the two brothers Guglielmo and Ferrando, in love with the sisters also sang well, as did Stephen Bennett as the elder brother Don Alfonso.
But it was Emily Burke as Despina who really stole the show. It was a perfect part for Burke and she was perfect in it. Gloriously funny in her two drag disguises she was the lynch-pin that held the whole piece together. I have rarely seen her give a better performance.
July 27, 2011
Musical Matilda Meets Melba
By KIRSTY CRANITCH
SOPRANO Emily Burke will reprise her role as Dame Nellie Melba in Opera Queensland's Waltzing Our Matilda at Redlands Performing Arts Complex on Sunday.
Burke, of Murarrie, last played the role in 2009 and said this year was special because it marked 150 years since Melba's birth.
"She's a quintessential diva - that's how we portray her. She can be pretty harsh especially because some of the othe singers in it aren't opera singers so she tends to look down her nose at people who are singing folk tunes - the character is quite humorous," Burke said.
December 18, 2006
Kids cheer from many nations
IT was not the first Carols by Candlelight for three
Sudanese girls and their little Papua New Guinean friend -- and,
after last night, they are sure it will not be their last.
Sharon, sister Rose and cousin Annette, all from
the Sudan, moved to Tasmania three years ago.
They loved Carols by the Bay so much last year, they
wanted to go again.
And watching Kamahl's performance, followed by some
Irish dancers, the girls felt right at home in multicultural Tasmania.
About 10,000 people attended the carols last night.
A sea of Santa hats dotted the huge crowd. On the
outskirts, kids ran around in their pyjamas and dressing gowns,
later collapsing on parents in exhausted heaps.
The stage was flanked by huge screens, ensuring those
furthest away could get an up-close view of performances.
Kamahl, dressed in a dapper white suit with red shirt,
thrilled crowds with his smooth crooning, delighting them with a
rendition of I Still Call Australia Home.
He followed the Tasmanian star of ABC-TV
show Operatunity Oz, Emily Burke.
Dazzling in red, Ms Burke showed why she
made the final three on the popular program. Play School legend
John Hamblin was a hit with adults and children alike.
December 15, 2006
Opera Diva in Training
Christmas carols are a bit like the national anthem
for performers… You dont want to muck up the words. Runner
up in the surprise hit TV show Operatunity Oz, Emily Burke…
Adelaide Festival Centre
Monday 20 November 2006
Silent Night may be played, but the Festival
Theatre certainly won’t be silent on the nights of 15 and
16 December, when in association with the Adelaide Art Orchestra
it presents Christmas Proms – a spectacular family Christmas
The concert is only the beginning of the Festival
Centre’s summer holiday program of family entertainment, ensuring
that during December and January there will plenty for families
and children to see and do.
Come and sing along with the Adelaide Art Orchestra,
the fabulous Adelaide Vocal Project, conductor Timothy Sexton, compere
Brenton Whittle with Bookworm and special guests including ABC’s
Operatunity Oz runner-up Emily Burke, stars of the upcoming production
of The Pirates of Penzance Dennis Olsen and Johanna Allen,
plus Adelaide Cabaret Festival favourite Gentlemen Prefer Curves
and other surprise guests.
Sunday 5th November 2006
Opera Australia Celebrates
On Sunday 5 November at Cruden Farm, the renowned
garden of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Opera Australia celebrated it's
Around 2000 people enjoyed a perfect day. Temperature
was 23 degrees, there was light wind and blue skies, to make for
perfect conditions in Dame Elisabeth's exquisite garden, which was
at its spring peak.
Singers Elizabeth Connell and Dennis O'Neill, together
with Andrew Jones, Melanie Adams and Adrian Tamburini from OzOpera
and two finalists from Operatunity, Emily Burke
and Roy Best, enchanted an appreciative audience and filled Cruden
Farm with glorious voices the entire day. Accompanist Tom Griffths
managed the diverse repertoire with aplomb.
Monday October 23rd
in Rigoletto despite one-point loss in show
By KELLIE WHITE
TASMANIAN-born soprano Emily Burke missed out on winning
Operatunity Oz yesterday by one point, but in a surprise twist was
asked to join the winner in Opera Australia's production of Rigoletto.
The ABC TV show's judges were so impressed with the
now Melbourne-based singer they decided to give her the opportunity
to sing in the production anyway.
"I don't know what the budget was but I know
it wouldn't have included three winners," she said of winner
David Parkin and most improved Roy Best, also now in Rigoletto.
"There was a lot of heart in their decision.
"I had no expectations, I was just so thrilled
to be there."
4th October 2006
opera answers Idol hype
By HELEN CROMPTON
Opera tragics across the nation vie for the chance
to win the crown of new diva. Helen Crompton spoke to Simon Target,
writer director of the ABC’s new reality contest, Operatunity
Some speak of altered states, of entering new worlds,
of transcending reality. It’s opera. Larger than life, heightened,
intense, dramatic. Just ask the 20 opera hopefuls, chosen from 2000
entries across Australia, who saw their dream beckon as they warbled
and emoted their way through gruelling auditions for the chance
to perform on the hallowed stage of serious singing mecca, the Sydney
Opera House. Grannies, grocers, single parents and the single-minded
It is utterly fitting that Simon Target (pronounced
Tar-chay) was at the camera’s helm for the ABC’s classical
answer to Australian Idol, Operatunity Oz, a four-part reality contest
to find an amateur opera singer and turn him or her into a new,
chest-expanding Australian opera star.