Described by one Critic as ‘radiant both vocally and visually ‘, British born Lisa Harper-Brown is a unique and commanding performer. Equally at home on the recital platform or the operatic stage, Lisa has delighted audiences from Sydney to London in a range of repertoire from Bach to Berg.
Lisa moved as a young child with her family to resettle in Australia. She studied at the University of Western Australia, gaining her Honours degree in Music as well as her Licentiate diploma in singing, for which she won the JB Vincent Memorial Prize for the most outstanding Licentiate performance. The recipient of many prizes in the fields of performance and academia, Lisa went on to develop and refine her operatic skills as a member of the prestigious ‘Young Artists Programme’ with West Australian Opera and subsequently, The Australian Opera. As part of this Programme Lisa was nominated as a participant in the 1995 Vocal Symposium giving her the opportunity to undertake lessons and master-classes with Madame Marlena Kleinman Mallas from the Metropolitan Opera, and New York coach Michael Parker, as well as Dame Joan Sutherland.
Through awards and prizes won in the Australian Singing Competition and Gosford City National Aria Competition, Lisa then broadened her operatic experience on a well received European recital tour, with colleague and pianist, Richard John. Lisa prepared for this tour by working with renowned musician and accompanist, Geoffrey Parsons. So successful was this tour that she was invited to appear alongside the British baritone, Benjamin Luxon, in Mendelsshon’s Elijah at the renowned Abbey in Downside School, Stratton-on-the-Fosse.
Before relocating to Sydney, Lisa continued her work as a Principal Artist with West Australian Opera, in roles such as First Lady in The Magic Flute, Frasquita in Carmen, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and as the title role for the critically acclaimed production of Handel’s Alcina for the 1996 Perth Festival.
Lisa made her debut on the main-stage for Opera Australia singing Pamina in The Magic Flute. Since then her operatic roles have included Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, Elsa in Lohengrin, Eva in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the title role in Salome, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, and Countess Almaviva in Niel Armfield’s exciting new interpretation of The Marriage of Figaro, for which she received a prestigious Sir Robert Helpmann Award.
Work with other companies has included Musetta in Opera Queensland’s captivating new production of La Bohème directed by Simon Phillips, and Ortlinde in the State Opera of South Australia’s highly acclaimed and ground-breaking production of Die Walküre, as part of the complete Ring Cycle by Wagner directed by Elke Neidhardt, and most recently, First Lady in Die Zauberflőte for Hamburg State Opera, Germany.
On the concert platform Lisa has performed with internationally respected orchestras and ensembles, including Dvorák’s Stabat Mater with the Prague Chamber Orchestra for the Perth International Music Festival in 2004. She presented highlights from Viennese Opera in "A night in Vienna' touring with the Australian Pops Orchestra, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. For the 1999 Sydney Festival Lisa performed for Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s annual Symphony Under the Stars, where she sang for 120,000 enthralled listeners. She has appeared with Sydney Symphony Orchestra for performances of Die Walküre in both 1998 and 2003, made frequent appearances in the Mozart by Moonlight Concert Series in Sydney’s beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens, and was featured in the Sydney 2000 Olympic ‘Opera Gala’ at the Sydney Opera House.
Her concert repertoire has also included Dona nobis pacem by Vaughan-Williams, the Exultate Jubilate, Requiem, Mass in C minor and Krőnungs Messe KV 317 of W.A Mozart, Bach’s St Matthew’s Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, The German Requiem by Brahms, Händel’s Messiah, Fauré's Requiem, the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs of Gorecki, Strauss’ Four Last Songs, Bachianas Brasileiras by Villa-Lobos, The Song of Tailitnama by Sculthorpe, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Schubert's Mass in G and Beethoven’s Mass in C.
She has worked with conductors including Edo de Waart, Ascher Fisch, Ola Rudner, Simone Young, Sebastian Weigle, Alfred Eschwè, Peter Robinson, Emanuel Plasson, Roderick Brydon, and Nichloas Braithwaite and has had the privilege of working with composers including Sir Michael Tippett, Roger Smalley, John Rutter, Carl Vine and Peter Sculthorpe.
Lisa’s recital performances have spanned a wide variety of styles, genres, and mediums. She has performed Schubert Lieder for Western Australia’s York Winter Festival and in conjunction with the 2002 Archibald Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, presented 'Portraits', a recital of French Chanson. Lisa has also appeared with Australia’s National radio broadcaster, ABC Classic FM, for live broadcast recitals of Brahms, Debussy and Fauré. She has made a recital tour through Europe performing to audiences in Florence, Den Haag, Malaga, Fuengerola and throughout the UK, including concerts in Oxford, as well as St James’ Church, Piccadilly and St. Martin in the Fields, London.
Her most recent recital collaboration: Voyage, is presented together with two masterful and multi-talented musicians Richard John (piano) and Paul Tanner (percussion). A highly imaginative and eclectic production, Voyage is a musical journey through the length and breadth of world music, music genres, and musical sound-scapes, and is an amalgam of theatre, opera, vaudeville, cabaret and recital, acclaimed by reviewers and audiences alike.