Talk & recital by Celeste Haworth, 17 June 2018

12.30pm: DVD: The Wagner Family
2.00pm: Talk & recital by Celeste Haworth 

The Wagner Family

2010 film by acclaimed director Tony Palmer about the family in Bayreuth that has survived a mixture of lies, deception, fraud and dangerous political alliances for 140 years.


Talk and recital by Australian Mezzo-Soprano Celeste Haworth

Celeste Haworth has music degrees from Vienna and Sydney and was a principal artist at the State Opera in Wiesbaden singing a wide variety of roles over the 2015/16/17 Seasons including: Marcellina, Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart; Meg Page, Falstaff, Verdi; Emilia, Otello, Verdi; Meg Page in Falstaff, Verdi; 3rd Maid in Elektra, Strauss; Suzuki and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Puccini; Innkeeper in Boris Godunov, Mussorsky; Charlotte, Die Soldaten, Zimmermann.


Other roles sung at the Vienna Conservatorium of Music included: Dorabella, Cossi Fan Tutte, Mozart; Marchesa Melibea, Il Viaggio A Reims, Rossini; Mother Goose, The Rake’s Progress, Stravinsky and La Voix, Les Contes de Hoffmann, Offenbach. She has worked with international Wagner/Strauss singers such as Catherine Foster, Dalia Schachter, Camilla Nylund, Klaus Florian Vogt and many more.


She has performed in many concerts as a soloist in Wiesbaden, Vienna, Frankfurt, Singapore and Sydney and more recently has been a broadcaster with Fine Music 102.5 FM, Sydney.

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Following a brief introduction by Leona, Celeste sang an excerpt from Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier, accompanied by pianist Bradley Gilchrist. She sung it with fervour, wholeheartedly. Celeste explained that she loved to sing Strauss, Mozart and Wagner – and that Wagner himself had said that the human voice was the best instrument – also that “joy is not in things, it is within us”.

Celeste Haworth

From here on Celeste, assisted by Florian, projected photos of her musical life and entertained us with amusing and insightful anecdotes. She told us how she particularly loved living and learning singing in Vienna’s State Opera, as she found the streets packed with culture, art and history. When she was offered three choices, she chose Vienna and stayed there for two years, singing Strauss, Mozart and Wagner. However her passport only allowed her 20 hours a week.

Lohengrin was her first Wagner opera, which she sung in what had been Mozart’s home in Vienna.

Celeste came back to Australia in 2014 to sing Rossini’s operas and sang a wide range of roles, which she still enjoys. She mentioned that another singer, Catherine, sung Elektra louder than she’d ever heard. When she was invited to sing in Verdi’s Othello she was given a very different appearance, and in Figaro, she was made up to look older.

In response to a question “What is a full-bodied singer?” Celeste explained that it means the use of one’s body as well as their voice, and provided a demonstration as well.

Before leaving, Celeste said that she will be singing in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, as well as on Radio 102.5 “Fine Music” whom she had contacted and was immediately offered to sing for a recording.

Celeste does teaching too. However, she said she’d still love to undertake the roles of “Carmen” and “Delilah”.

To a final question regarding young upcoming singers, Celeste suggested that they learn French, Italian and German, and go overseas, as there is no way to learn, and no set path to learning how to sing. She then suggested we look at pages 39 and 28 in the Goethe Institut’s Kulture 2018 Edition 28 magazine (the magazine which had been placed onto all seats in the auditorium).

Mailis Wakeham