A BATHURST expatriate's talents were on display in southern California recently.
Catherine Ireland, who started singing in Bathurst but now lives in Los Angeles, recently directed the opera graduate students at Azusa Pacific University in a production of Too Many Sopranos.
Azusa Pacific is a private, evangelical Christian university north-east of Los Angeles.
Too Many Sopranos tells the story of four divas from different operatic eras who meet St Peter at the pearly gates and are told there is room for only one of them in the heavenly choir, due to a lack of male voices, and that they must audition for this seat.
Unable to choose, St Peter mentions a clause and they subsequently travel to hell to bring back as many tenors and baritones as they can to join the heavenly choir and balance the choral weight.
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The performances ran for four nights to a full and appreciative audience, according to Ms Ireland.
"Conducted and vocally coached by Kristof Van Grysperre and accompanied by Cristian Guzman Prada, the students started learning this difficult 21st C score in January," Ms Ireland said.
The students started learning this difficult 21st C score in January.Bathurst expatriate Catherine Ireland, Azusa Pacific University
Ms Ireland started her singing education in Bathurst with Jonathan Lewis and continued in Sydney at the Conservatorium of Music after becoming a registered nurse.
She sang with Opera Australia and won the Covent Garden/Shell scholarship to study in London and has subsequently made her career and home in the US.
She has sung with companies including SanDiego Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera in roles including Violetta (La Traviata), Musetta (La Boheme), Gilda (Rigoletto), Micaela (Carmen), Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel).
Ms Ireland has worked with Broadway singers Patti LuPone and Audra McDonald, Placido Domingo and his wife Marta and has been directed by Bruce Beresford and Baz Luhrmann, of Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge fame, in various productions.
She is the third daughter of John and Rosemary Ireland.
Ms Ireland returns home to Australia yearly to see her family who remain in Bathurst, Sydney and Port Macquarie.
Ms Ireland is married to Steve and has two daughters, Mia, 15, and Ava, 12.