In 1992 she won first prize in the vocal section of the AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION‘s YOUNG PERFORMER AWARD and in 1993, the AUSTRALIAN SINGING COMPETITION‘s FAIGEN AWARD, enabling her to undertake study at the BRITTEN-PEARS SCHOOL.
He first operatic engagements were for the WEST AUSTRALIAN OPERA where, between 1994 and 1996, she appeared as The First Lady in THE MAGIC FLUTE, in the title rôle of Handel’s ALCINA and as Rosalinde in DIE FLEDERMAUS.
She made her debut for OPERA AUSTRALIA in 1997 appearing as the First Lady in the OZ OPERA touring production of THE MAGIC FLUTE and singing Pamina in the company’s Melbourne season of THE MAGIC FLUTE. Of her performances of Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE AUSTRALIAN wrote, …the lustrous Lisa Harper-Brown, a goofy Joyce Grenfell-esque, Helena… She appeared as Fiordiligi in COSI FAN TUTTE, of which THE HERALD SUN reviewer said, …her dark edged soprano promises a thrilling future., and THE AUSTRALIAN called her, … a knock-out as the febrile Fiordiligi., while the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD reviewer said she was, …. a delightfully sensuous Fiordiligi… constantly focussed. OPERA~OPERA declared, The secret, on this occasion, to exciting success was in the casting of Fiordiligi. She is a difficult performer to forget, tall and willowy, …. a committed actor… I found (her) performance satisfying in a way that is rare at the opera.. As Elsa in LOHENGRIN, in both the company’s Sydney and Melbourne seasons, THE TELEGRAPH wrote, It was a night of superlatives. Lisa Harper-Brown made a heart stopping debut as the tragic Elsa, while the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD said, The one reason why… Lohengrin is a satisfying experience overall, is that it has in the young soprano, Lisa Harper-Brown, a performer who can make us believe in the character of Elsa. Harper-Brown, willowy, eager and vulnerable might well have posed for a pre-raphaelite portrait of the character. OPERA~OPERA wrote, Winning hearts was the Elsa of Lisa Harper-Brown, a tall, beautiful and elegant soprano., and writing of her performances of The Countess in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, OPERA~OPERA said, …excellent. She added a depth of musical perception to those two great arias, particularly Dove sono.
On the concert stage her appearances have included engagements as soloist for performances of Gorecki’s SYMPHONY OF SORROWFUL SONGS mounted by the UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, recitals in Florence, Den Haag, Malaga and Fuengerola, Spain, in Oxford, and throughout the UK including concerts at ST. JAMES’S, PICCADILLY and ST. MARTINS IN THE FIELDS in London. During 1995, in the UK, she was one of the soloists in Mendelssohn’s ELIJAH appearing alongside British baritone, Benjamin Luxon. She has been a guest artist in MOZART BY MOONLIGHT in Sydney’s BOTANICAL GARDENS, performances she repeated in 1998 and 2001. She was guest artist in the SYDNEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA‘s SYMPHONY UNDER THE STARS in the SYDNEY FESTIVAL of which the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD said: Lisa Harper-Brown…the clarity and precision of her voice had the crispness of summer wine. Yes, thank you, some more please., and, with the same orchestra was engaged as Gerhilde in its concert performances of DIE WALKÜRE. For the MELBOURNE SYMPHONY she has been soloist in Barber’s KNOXVILLE, SUMMER OF 1915, with the STATE ORCHESTRA OF VICTORIA she appeared in OPERA IN THE BOWL in the MYER MUSIC BOWL in Melbourne and has given guest appearances for the AUSTRALIAN POPS ORCHESTRA in the MELBOURNE CONCERT HALL and the SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE. She appeared in the SYDNEY 2000 OLYMPICS OPERA GALA.
Lisa Harper-Brown’s 2002 engagements included Echo in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS and the Countess in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO in OPERA AUSTRALIA’s Sydney and Melbourne seasons, performances which won her a HELPMANN AWARD for Best Supporting Actress and, during 2003, Diana in ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD and a return to Helena in A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM both for OPERA AUSTRALIA.
2004 engagements included Ortlinde in the STATE OPERA OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA’s DIE WALKÜRE and Dvorak’s STABAT MATER, both in the PERTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL and during 2005, Musetta in OPERA QUEENSLAND’s LA BOHEME.
She appeared as the First Lady in THE MAGIC FLUTE for HAMBURG STATE OPERA during 2006.
Lisa Harper-Brown returned to the role of Helena in both the Melbourne and Sydney seasons of Britten’s A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM for OPERA AUSTRALIA during 2010.
During 2012 she sang the role of Ortlinde in the NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA‘s concert performances of DIE WALKURE in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland. She also appeared in the lead soprano role of Elizabeth I in Donizetti’s MARIA STUARDA for DAYS BAY OPERA in Wellington.
Engagements during 2013 included Verdi’s REQUIEM with the NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and her debut for OPERA NEW ZEALAND as Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI. She has also appeared in THE RINGTONE CYCLE in a season of five performances in THE SALON at the MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE as part of the program of 2013 MELBOURNE RING FESTIVAL which ran alongside OPERA AUSTRALIA‘s production of Wagner’s RING CYCLE; the piece was written for her and the SERAPHIM TRIO by Graham Koehne and originally premiered at the 2012 ADELAIDE FESTIVAL.
2014 included her return to the role of Donna Anna in DON GIOVANNI for OPERA NEW ZEALAND in its seasons in Wellington and Auckland.
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