I am extremely excited, and deeply humbled to have been offered a full-time position with The Song Company, commencing in early 2015. The Song Company, now in its 30th year, is one of Australia's most highly regarded ensembles, having performed across the length and breadth of Australia, performing music of almost all styles, eras, and traditions. I look forward to embracing the challenges of the ensemble, and working with my new colleagues in Sydney.
There are many people who I would like to thank, for shaping the musical journey that has led me to this point. But in particular, I would like to thank the many teachers and mentors who have guided and inspired me: Chris McMillan, Rebecca Watson, Paul O'Neill, James Clayton, Margaret Pride, Fiona Campbell, Carl Crossin, Jane Davidson, Nicholas Bannan, Ian Westrip, Andrew Foote, Francis Greep, Joseph Nolan, Joseph Colaneri, Roland Peelman and above all others, Megan Sutton - to whom so many great Australian singers owe their careers.
Read the Press Release below:
Friday 10th October
Today The Song Company says farewell to its long-standing bass, Clive Birch who leaves the ensemble after 25 years with the company. Clive has been an extraordinary and visible part of The Song Company’s style – serious when needed but always ready to surprise with a droll sense of humour.
After an extensive audition process, The Song Company is delighted to announce the appointment of Perth bass-baritone, Andrew O’Connor who will take over from Clive at the start of the 2015 season.
A graduate of the University of Western Australia, Andrew is versed in a wide variety of styles and genres. He has sung with the West Australian Opera since 2009, and has performed the roles of Aeneas (Dido & Aeneas), Malatesta (Don Pasquale), and Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) for Perth Lyric Opera. On the concert platform he has performed with Collegium Symphonic Chorus and Perth Symphony Orchestra in works by J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Fauré, and Beethoven. As a consort singer, he has sung across Australia, UK, USA, New Zealand and China with the St George’s Cathedral Choir and Consort, The Giovanni Consort, and The Australian Voices Six. He has recorded three discs with the St George’s Cathedral Consort, and appeared as soloist on a number of their ABC Classic FM broadcasts.
Andrew has also been a music tutor and choral conductor at a number of Perth schools and encountered The Song Company with his students early this year during a series of workshops and concerts presented by the ensemble in Western Australia. He was subsequently offered a place in the Sprogis Woods Smith Young Artists’ program at the Canberra International Music Festival, leading to a successful audition to fill The Song Company’s bass vacancy.
Says Andrew: “I was immediately struck by the clarity, style, and diversity of the ensemble, its configuration as six vocal soloists allowing for music-making of the highest order, not unlike a world-class string quartet. The diverse world of music that The Song Company explores is an artistic experience that few ensembles in Australia can offer. I look forward to the musical challenges that await me”.
Artistic Director, Roland Peelman welcomes the latest addition to the ensemble. “Together with Hannah Fraser who joined us at the beginning of this year, Andrew represents a new generation within the ensemble. Their youth and talent will stand us in good stead for the next decade”.