Pinchgut Announces Liam Green As Continuo Fellow

Pinchgut Opera has announced that Sydney-born singer and harpsichordist Liam Green will be its next Continuo Fellow,  continuing its mission to nuture and develop Australia’s next generation of Baroque musicians.

The fellowship addresses a lack of specialised training in the expert area of continuo and harpsichord playing in Australia, a finely developed skill that is developed with hands-on experience and exposure to rehearsals and performances. The Fellow will learn how to read specialised Baroque notation (‘figured bass’), to improvise in style and toncollaborate with other instrumentalists and vocalists.

Pinchgut Opera’s Continuo Fellow Program is a two-year engagement with annual review process. The program offers the opportunity to learn from Artistic Director and harpsichordist/conductor Erin Helyard, continuo players from the Orchestra of the Antipodes, principal singers and other historically-informed specialists engaged for Pinchgut Opera’s productions.

Helyard observes that Green’s skills as a singer give him a unique perspective on the skills needed for this type of continuo accompaniment, adding “Liam is one of the most talented and multi-skilled young musicians I know, equally proficient as a keyboardist and vocalist. He has a natural intelligence and aptitude for earlyy music and also for improvisation.”

Liam discovered the harpsichord while still a student at Sydney’s Conservatorium High School and has pursued studies in both voice and keyboard simultaneously. As a harpsichordist, he has performed with Bach Akademie Australia, and is a regular collaborator with students at the Sydney Conservatorium, where he is currently completing a Bachelor of Music. He says “As a singer and harpsichordist, I believe that tasteful continuo playing is far more than just a set of chords, and I’m excited to be uncovering the secrets of this artform under the guidance of Erin Helyard and the wonderful singers engaged for this year.”

Pinchgut’s inaugural Continuo Fellow, Andrei Hadap has moved on to win further opportunities to study in Europe in 2023 and to a PhD on French pianist-composers of the Paris Conversatoire and how they used improvising to compose.

Pinchgut Opera was launched in 2002 at Sydney’s City Recital Hall with its first operatic production, Handel’s Semele. Now, it has produced Baroque operas and concerts continuously for over two decades with 31 acclaimed opera productions in its catalogue. In 2019, Pinchgut Opera became the first Australian company to win a prestigious International Opera Award: Best Rediscovered Work, for its production of Hasse’s Artaserse. In 2020, Pinchgut Opera launched its digital platform, Pinchgut At Home, providing the opportunity to enjoy their productions online. In 2023, Pinchgut made its debut in the Joan Sutherland Theatre of the Sydney Opera House with a lauded semi-staged production of Handel’s oratorio Theodora.

Image: L-R Artistic Director of Pinchgut Opera Erin Helyard, Continuo Fellow Liam Green, Chairman of Pinchgut Opera Norman Gillespie

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