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Madame Butterfly

Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

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Australian tenor Jason Wasley received a scholarship in 1991 to attend the Victorian College of the Arts Opera Studio in Melbourne. In 1993, Jason won the Herald-Sun Aria, which enabled him to further his studies in Europe.

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The following year whilst working as an apprentice soloist with the Victorian State Opera, undertaking the roles of Sciarrone and The Gaoler in Tosca...a, Juan in Don Quichotte, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia and Robin Oakapple in Ruddigore, Jason won the national award and represented Australia in the finals of the Placido Domingo World Operalia Competition in Vienna.

After studying at Bertrand Russell Institute of Languages in Italy, he moved to London where he was accepted into the National Opera Studio. There, he studied and performed in the roles of Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Silvio in Pagliacci, the title role in Billy Budd, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, Sid in Albert Herring, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Eugene Onegin, Schaunard in La bohème and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore.

He worked for the Glyndebourne Festival and Touring opera companies performing in the chorus and covering the roles of the Second Prisoner in Fidelio, Patrocle in Iphigénie en Aulide, Morales in Carmen, the title roles in Eugene Onegin, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.
Jason has also worked with the Welsh National Opera’s education program, which included performing Don Giovanni and Escamillio from Carmen. He sang the Boatswain in H.M.S. Pinafore for D’Oyly Carte Opera, Figaro in The Barber of Seville for British Youth Opera under the tutelage of Sir Thomas Allen, Peter in Hansel and Gretel for Clonter Opera and Belcore in L’elisir d’amore for Pegasus Opera Company. He also sang Kullervo in the British premiere of Aulis Sallinen’s Kullervo.

For Melbourne Opera he has performed Papageno in The Magic Flute and Marullo in Rigoletto. For Oz Opera, he sang Marcello in La bohème and Dancairo in Carmen. For Promac Productions, he performed the roles of Pooh-Bah in The Mikado, The Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance and Captain Corcoran in H.M.S. Pinafore.
In 2006, he moved from barihunk/baritone to tenor and sang the tenor solos in Verdi’s Requiem for The Melbourne Chorale
He has performed the roles of Don José in Carmen and Cavaradossi in Tosca for Melbourne Opera, the title role in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex for Victorian Opera and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for Oz Opera’s 2008-2009 tour. In 2010, Jason sang Alfredo in Opera Australia’s touring production of La Traviata, performed in Opera in the Park for Stonnington Council and toured with La Prima's Ovation Tour as the Tenor Soloist.

In 2011 Jason had the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Sydney Philharmonia, and also in Handel's Messiah with Perth's Chorale Society, and Don Jose in Carmen with Melbourne Opera. Since 2012 Jason has performed Florestan in Fidelio and the title role in Rienzi for Melbourne Opera, Verdi’s Requiem with Sydney University Chamber Choir and University of Western Australia, Verdi Gala with Singapore Lyric Opera, Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly with the Choir of Hard Knocks, Alfredo in La Traviata with Hawkes Bay Opera Company in New Zealand, and starred in More than Opera’s Animated Ring Cycle. Our Linkedin friends Jason sings/ plays the dastardly bastard cad.. Lt Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton and Jacob Caine the marriage broker Goro, Antoinette Halloran, Cio Cio San.
MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Reprised) is going to be our review of the month coming this time at Monash Universities Monash Theatre. We didn’t review the Athenaeum Theatre production for Melbourne opera not because we didn’t like it but wanted to let it all sink in before its reprise on May 3 so here we go now.
On a tiny tall drafty Athenaeum stage a light sliding-screen wall surrounded a space with raised Japanese style platformed floor and outside garden at front. Typical conservative staging aside this actually worked better than any other production we’ve seen there, including the very cramped people-filled Rienzi. Arriving at the sound of the bell late we rushed to the sat nites only available seats way up in the god’s level 3. Expecting the worst (it was our fault indeed for not confirming tix) we were surprised at just how much better the production looked and sounded from up high in the cheap seats. We usually have seats up the back on the ground floor (in case we hate the show n need to sneak out). Well not tonite Josephine, we loved the aerial view, and full sound from orchestra and no big hair in front of our seats like it is often downstairs.
Madama Butterfly is America’s favorite opera mainly we guess because it’s about an American who treats a foreigner badly for a change not the other way round. Sung mercifully in English and only 2.5 hrs long with a long 25min interval (all operas should be so accommodating we wished) we settled back. How this tiny set will fit onto the huge open space stage area in Monash’s Alexander Theatre we can’t imagine.
The orchestra conducted conducted by Greg hocking has never sounded so good full rich acoustically gorgeous from way up here we want these seats all the time from now on.

Costumes of course were the usual Japonoise, well made bright n cheery, paper umbrella’s well twirled by all, Japanese make-up convincing, lighting excellent, crowd choreography well thought out. Large cleverly backlit sliding wall screens also acted as shadow play frames for an undressing Cio Cio.
At interval we ran into Hans and Petra Henkell who cheekily asked if we managed to wangle a free ticket to Wagner’s Ring Cycle, an icy “no”. thanks to you Hans sufficed, they fled back inside next level down from us. Bitchiness aside, this production outshone anything we have seen by Melbourne Opera for years, smart functional stylish choreographed and very well sung it produced just the right servings of sadness and hatred Bravo. Please go see the forthcoming production and let us know by email how it compares to The Athenaeums premium production, thanks for inviting/letting us in at such late notice, a much appreciated performance you stand proud! We look forward to resuming our attendances at Melbourne Opera ..Bravo!
Cio Cio San Emily Xiao Wang
Lt Pinkerton Jason Wasley
Sharpless Roger Howell
Suzuki Caroline Vercoe
Goro Jacob Caine
The Bonze Steven Gallop
Kate Pinkerton Jodie Debono
Yamadori Michael Lampard
Commissioner Steven Marsh
Official Michael Carr

Alexander Theatre - Monash Uni.Sat 3rd May - 8:00pm
Book on 9905 1111or Artsonline.

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In 2014 Jason revisited the role of Rienzi and Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly with Melbourne Opera, and made his debut with State Opera of South Australia as Rodrigo in Otello.

A singer with over 20 years of professional performance experience and an Associate Diploma of Arts in Opera from Victorian College of the Arts teaching singing for over 15 years internationally and Australia. He studied with many great singers and international vocal coaches, including Robert Lemke, Malcolm King in Padova, Italy; Margaret Lobo, Jonathan Summers, Sir Thomas Allen and Phillip Doghan in London England.

He runs a singing school from a private studio in Burwood. and teaches Contemporary, Music Theatre, Jazz and Opera. He is experienced with the VCE Classical and Contemporary syllabus and his students have completed their VCE exams successfully. He’s also worked with and tutored young artists that have gone on to successful professional Music Theatre careers on Broadway and The West End.

His teaching philosophy is to create strong and healthy voices that will last a long career, with ease and flexibility across any genre. He teaches students a base of classical techniques with the purpose of developing the voice into a usable instrument, which they can then apply to whatever genre they choose to specialize in. This teaching method creates a routine that is flexible and tailored to meet the needs of each individual student and also focus’s on postural alignment in keeping with Alexander Technique providing students with a strong physical structure to support their sound without tension or fatigue.

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