Emily Burke Soprano

media: advocate newspaper 23/10/2006

Advocate Newspaper Monday October 23rd

Role in Rigoletto despite one-point loss in show

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."

Taping of Rigoletto will be done at the Sydney Opera House tomorrow and will go to air Sunday.

Burke's North-West grandparents Hugh and Joan Hiscutt, along with her former North-West, now Hobart-based parents, will be in the audience to watch her play Gilda.

She said her family were excited about it, having all bought new outfits.

"I suspect nanna Joan will be excited, because she was an opera singer you now.

"When I got the role she said `you get to sing that beautiful quartet', I thought `God, what quartet?'

"When I looked at the music, she was right on the ball.

"I suspect that's where I got it (my talent) from."

She said performing at the Opera House was a daunting prospect.

"In the first few weeks of rehearsals I would catch the ferry in and go past the Opera House every day.

"... I had to look in the opposite direction - it made me feel sick.

"Now I'm trying to forget it's the Opera House."

She said she hoped the show would open doors for her now.

"But it's a tough industry and there's a lot of bloody good singers in Australia."





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