Meet the cast of Semele
Semele - Michelle McCarthy
Michelle is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and a former member of Victorian Opera’s developing Artist Program. Michelle has performed principal roles with Opera Australia School’s Company, Gertrude Opera and Victorian Opera. Notable roles include Cenerentola (La Cenerentola), La fée(Cendrillon), The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen) and Taumännchen(Hansel und Gretel). On the concert platform Michelle has sung soprano soloist in Carmina Burana, Mozart Requiem, Handel Dixit Dominus and Kodaly Missa Brevis.
Juno - Bridget Davies
Bridget was raised in Ballarat and attended Damascus College. Local audiences would have last seen her on stage at Her Majesty’s Theatre as Cosette in the 2009 production of Les Miserables. Bridget completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in 2013, graduating as the student with the highest practical marks in the vocal faculty. After receiving the City of Melbourne Ambassadorial Scholarship at the Acclaim Awards in 2014, Bridget studied at the prestigious Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan. She also attended the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School in Brisbane on a full scholarship in the same year. Roles include the title role in Carmen (Opera New England), Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, (Jesi, Italy), Giustina in Pergolesi’s Il Flaminio (Jesi, Italy) and Venus in Blow’s Venus and Adonis (Melbourne University Baroque Ensemble). Bridget has spent the past three years working as a journalist and has received awards and nominations from The Walkley Foundation and Melbourne Press Club. She currently works at 3AW and is the opera critic for The Age.
Jupiter - Christopher Roache
Christopher Roache is a Melbourne based tenor and countertenor, working both as a freelance singer and singing teacher. Completing a Bachelor of Music with honours at The University of Melbourne in 2009, he has since spent two years singing in the UK, with one year as both an alto and tenor choral scholar at Wells Cathedral, as well as singing with a number of renowned choirs in London and Oxford.
This year Christopher performed as the tenor aria soloist in the Canberra Choral Society's Performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion. He has also recently been on an overseas tour of Spain, France and the U.K. with the Choir of Trinity College, with whom he sings tenor as well as providing singing tuition to the other choir members.
Christopher performed in the 2017 Woodend Winter Arts Festival as the countertenor soloist in two performances of Vivaldi's Vespers. He also sang as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the American singer-songwriter, Ben Folds.
Christopher has performs regularly as a soloist at the Melbourne Festival, Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival, Woodend Winter Arts Festival, Peninsula Summer Music Festival, St John's Southgate Bach Cantata Program as well as Newman College's Advent Festival. He also sings regularly with The Consort of Melbourne, The Australian Chamber Choir and Ensemble Gombert.
Athamus - Anna Plotka
Mezzo Soprano Anna Plotka is currently pursuing a Master of Music (Performance) degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Anna also holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in French from the University of Melbourne. She was a member of the Victorian Opera chorus for several years, and has also performed in many choral concerts for Gloriana Chamber Choir, e21 Vocal Ensemble, The Consort of Melbourne, Aspiration in Harmony, St James' Old Cathedral Voices and as an alto scholar at St Peter's Eastern Hill. As an alto soloist, performances include Dixit Dominus, Messiah and Hercules – Handel, Requiem and Coronation Mass – Mozart, Serenade to Music – Vaughan Williams, Gloria – Vivaldi, Mass in D – Dvorak, many Bach cantatas, Vespers – Rachmaninoff, Missa Brevis – Kodaly and Mass in A Flat – Schubert. In 2011 Anna was a finalist in the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria competition.
Cadmus/ Somnus - Stuart Greedy
Stewart has sung and played piano from a young age. He moved to Ballarat in 1996 to start his “day job” as a veterinarian and since then has been involved in over 30 local musical theatre productions, either as vocalist, pianist or choral/musical director. He currently sings with local group VOX.
Iris - Prudence Hare
Prudence Hare was born in rural Victoria and found her love of performing in the theatre companies of Ballarat, appearing in both principal and chorus roles. Prudence is a graduate of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with a Master of Music (Music Performance), Bachelor of Music (Honours) specializing in Classical Voice.
At university she was the recipient of five faculty awards; 2014 Sleath Lowrey Award, 2014 Cassidy Bequest Scholarship, 2014 Harold and Erika Fisher Encouragement Award, 2013 Athenaeum Vocal Prize and 2011 CM Middleton Scholarship. She has received multiple placings in vocal eisteddfods including South Street, Bendigo, Warrnambool, Ararat, Warragul and Melbourne.
Prudence was a member of the chorus for VYO’s production of Assembly in 2011. In 2012, she was a soprano soloist for Mozart’s Requiem at the Melbourne Town Hall with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Orchestra. In 2014 Prudence was a featured soloist with the MCM Orchestra performing three movements from Lorenzo Alvaro’s Moonless Night in the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall at the Melbourne Recital Centre. In 2016 and 2017 Prudence was the soprano soloist performing for the Robert Stolz Society with the Australasian Salon Orchestra at the Whitehorse Centre.
Prudence is currently living in Ballarat teaching music and drama at Mount Clear College.
Ino - Christine Heald
Christine is a graduate of the Masters of Music (Operatic Performance), a partnership between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Opera. Christine has covered main stage roles for the Victorian Opera including the ‘Marcellina’ in Le Nozze di Figaro and ‘Baba the Turk’ in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. She has also performed roles in the children’s operas The Magic Pudding, El Gato con Botas, and the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola.
Christine performs regularly as a recitalist, and as a concert soloist with choirs and orchestras throughout Australia. Alto solos include Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Durufle’s Requiem, Brahms’ Liebeslider, and various Mozart masses. She has been a finalist in the RMP Oratorio Aria competition, the National Liederfest, and the Warrnambool Aria. In 2014 she and her colleagues received a ‘Best Ensemble in Opera’ Green Room Award for their work in The Magic Pudding.