Vale Jacqui Dark (1968-2023)

The eminent Australian opera and music theatre artist Jacqueline Dark has died after a long illness.

A dual Helpmann Award-winner, Jacqui died in hospital on 3 October. Her most recent and notable performances included The Mother Abbess in the National Tour of The Sound of Music, Herodias in Opera Australia’s Salome and Fricka in their revival of Der Ring des Nibelungen, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana for State Opera South Australia, the title role in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna for the Adelaide Festival, Berenice in Farnace for Pinchgut Opera, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes for the Brisbane Festival and major concerts with the Sydney, Melbourne, West Australian and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras.

She was due to sing Wellgunde in Sydney Symphony’s Das Rheingold this November and feature in a starring role for Opera Australia in 2024. Jacqui’s roles extended from opera, through music theatre to cabaret.

Jacqui won a Helpmann Award for her portrayal of Herodias in Opera Australia’s production of Salome, later singing the same role for Opera Hong Kong. In August 2014, she received her second consecutive Helpmann Award – for her work as Fricka in Opera Australia’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Australian tenor Kanen Breen (with whom Jacqui shared a son) said earlier today: “…the love of her life was our boy Xander and, from the moment he existed, she did it all for him.”

Her agent Patrick Togher said: “Jacqui’s magnificent voice and magnetic stage presence entrenched her place in Australia’s musical history; her indefatigably upbeat personality will be long remembered.”

Read our last interview with Jacqueline Dark from March 2023.


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