De Australische sopraan Lisa Gasteen viert vandaag haar 65ste verjaardag.
Born in Brisbane, is Lisa Gasteen pas heel laat begonnen (op 22 jaar) met zingen. Dat was na een reis door Europa, waarbij ze verliefd werd op belcanto. Daarvoor was ze een verzorgster van racepaarden. She studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, where she was a pupil of Margaret Nickson. In 1982 she won the Australian Regional Finals of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions and in 1984 she was awarded the Covent Garden Scholarship. In the same year she sang in the Queen’s 60th Birthday Gala at the Royal Opera House.
She made her operatic debut in 1985 with the Lyric Opera of Queensland (now Opera Queensland) as the High Priestess in “Aida”, followed by Desdemona (Otello). She has been a regular guest artist with Opera Australia. Tijdens de wedstrijd Cardiff Singer of the World van 1991 zong ze aria’s uit “Un ballo in maschera”, “La forza del destino”, “Tannhauser” en “Die Walküre”. Prachtige stem en ondanks haar nogal ruwe fysiek dan ook de winnares van de avond. Uiteindelijk werd ze de eindwinnaar van de Cardiff Singer of the World 1991.
After winning the 1991 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, Lisa Gasteen was invited to sing Donna Anna in Prague with Sir Charles Mackerras followed by her British debut in 1992 as Leonora in Scottish Opera’s new production of “Il trovatore”. Subsequently she was invited to perform in Europe and the United States. She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1997 as Aida. She made her role debut as die Kaiserin in “Die Frau ohne Schatten” under Simone Young at the 1996 Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Recent seasons have seen Lisa Gasteen return to the Staatsoper Berlin to perform Chrysothemis, Brünnhilde (Siegfried) in Stuttgart, Leonora (Fidelio), her role debut as Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) for Opera Australia, for which she was the recipient of a Helpmann Award, Brünnhilde at the Meiningen Festival in her first complete Ring Cycle, making her Australia’s first Brünnhilde for some sixty years, and her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Isolde under Bernard Haitink.
Engagements in 2003 included three major role debuts – Marta (Tiefland) with the Vienna Philharmonic, the title roles in Elektra at the Royal Opera House and Salome for Opera Australia as well as Ariadne auf Naxos with the Staatsoper/Berlin. In 2004, she made her role debut as Senta in The Flying Dutchman with Opera Australia, performed Sieglinde (Die Walküre) at the Metropolitan Opera, Elektra in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra, Isolde in Stuttgart Opera’s new production of Tristan und Isolde and Brünnhilde in State Opera of South Australia’s new production of the Ring under Asher Fisch, for which she has received another Helpmann Award. 2005 engagements included Brünnhilde in the Ring Cycle for the Vienna Staatsoper (making her house debut) under Simone Young and for the Royal Opera House in the company’s new production under Antonio Pappano, as well as Isolde for Opéra Bastille Paris. In Australia she performed Isolde for the Queensland Music Festival and she was honoured with a third Helpmann Award for this performance. 2006 included a return to the Royal Opera House to perform Brünnhilde and Elektra at Tanglewood Festival.
In 2008 she was forced to suspend her singing career due to neuro-muscular spasms in her neck. She returned to the stage in May 2011, in a recital with Simone Young on piano. In August 2013, she made her return to the Sydney Symphony, performing Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder.
Lisa Gasteen is currently on the staff of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University as a singing teacher and Practice Professor of Opera. In 2011, she founded the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, an intensive, four-week summer school with international guest coaches. (Wikipedia)