On the 4th of April, the University of Queensland, School of Music, welcomes four of Australia’s most renowned opera singers.  Rosario La Spina, Milijana Nikolic, Sarah Crane, Andrew Collis.  These four singers have sung in the major opera houses around the world and they have graciously donated their time and talent to work with the young singers at the School of Music.  They will join forces with the UQ Singers and Voice performance fellow, Shaun Brown to bring you favourites and rarities from the operatic world.  Selections will include arias, duets and ensembles from Turandot, Carmen, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Madame Butterfly, Les contes d'Hoffmann and La forza del destino.Be part of a magical event where you will be surrounded by 50 singers combining to bring you some of the world’s greatest melodies.


Milijana Nikolic - Mezzo Soprano

Milijana Nikolic’s most recent performances include Jane Seymour (Anna Bolena) for The Metropolitan Opera New York, Eboli (Don Carlo), Amneris (Aida), Verdi’s Requiem and the title role in Carmen for Opera Australia, Pantasilea (Bomarzo) for Teatro Real Madrid, Carmen for Fujiwara Opera Japan and Dalila (Samson et Dalila) with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2018, she sings Amneris for Seattle Opera and Opera Australia, Carmen for West Australian Opera and Azucena (Il trovatore) in Trieste, Bari and Japan.

Serbian-born, Milijana holds a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Belgrade; her

operatic debut took place in the Belgrade National Theatre as Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte) and Tisbe (Cenerentola).  She subsequently won a two-year scholarship to attend the Academy for Soloists at Teatro alla Scala, Milan.

Since this time, she has sung leading mezzo-soprano roles throughout Europe, Asia, North America, Australia and New Zealand.  Her principal role debut at La Scala was Cuniza in Verdi’s Oberto; Milijana repeated this role in Genoa. Other Italian engagements included Iphigénie en Tauride at La Scala and at Rome Opera under Riccardo Muti, Emma (Ugo Conte di Parigi) in Bergamo, Catania and La Scala and Rossini’s Petit Messe Solenelle and Fenena (Nabucco) in Sardinia.


Rosario La Spina - Tenor

Rosario La Spina trained at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music continuing his studies at RNCM, Manchester under the tutelage of Joseph Ward OBE.

Having gained first prize in the tenor competition held by L'Accademia di La Scala in 2000, Rosario embarked on the two-year Young Singers’ Course at La Scala, Milan, where he studied with Luciana Serra and Leyla Gencer. This culminated in his La Scala debut as the Messenger inSamson and Delilah, where he appeared with Placido Domingo and Olga Borodina.  In 2002, Rosario won first prize in the Mario Del Monaco International Opera Competition and made his principal role debut at La Scala as Riccardo (Oberto) reprising the role in Teatro “Carlo Felice” , Genoa.
2003 saw his debut at the Verdi Festival at the Teatro Regio di Parma as Arvino (I Lombardi) – he also  performed Alfredo (La traviata) in Modena and Luigi (Il tabarro) in Osaka, Japan.

He made his Opera Australia debut as Cavaradossi in 2005.


Andrew Collis - Bass Bariton

Australian bass-baritone Andrew Collis was a member of the Cologne Opera from 1993 to 2007. He has also performed with opera companies in Berlin, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Mannheim and Wiesbaden and in concerts in Bonn, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, and Cologne with James Conlon, including his participation in the award-winning recording of Zemlinsky's Der Zwerg for EMI. 

Andrew’s international performances have included appearances at the Vienna Festival in Luigi Nono's Intolleranza; Hong Kong Festival in Tosca and Un Ballo in Maschera; Perth Festival as soloist with the Prague Chamber Orchestra; the roles of Colline (La bohème) and Hobson (Peter Grimes) for San Diego Opera; performances in the Lyric Opera of Singapore's production of Die Zauberflöte; and St John Passion in the Canary Islands. 

Andrew’s recent engagements include Pooh Bah in The Mikado and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with the NBR New Zealand Opera; Don Pasquale (title role) for State Opera of South Australia; Messiah with Queensland Symphony Orchestra; Nourabad in The Pearl Fishers, Sir Roderic in Ruddigore, Colline in La bohème, Bonze in Madama Butterfly and Dr Bartolo in The Barber of Seville for Opera Queensland; Simone in Gianni Schicchi and Basilio and Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, for West Australian Opera; Bonze in Madame Butterfly at Perth Festival; Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China for Auckland Arts Festival, Valens in Theodora for Pinchgut Opera (available on CD);  Haydn’s Harmoniemesse for Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and St John Passion for both Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and for West Australian Symphony Orchestra. 


Sarah Crane - Soprano

Brisbane soprano Sarah Crane is the winner of several prestigious competitions, including Opera Foundation Australia’s German and Metropolitan Opera Awards.

Sarah has worked extensively in Europe with engagements at Cologne Opera, Opéra National du Rhin - Strasbourg, Basel Opera, Freiburg Opera as well as Opera Australia, Opera Q, Opera Victoria and South Australian Opera. Operatic repertoire includes Hansel and Gretel, The Rape of Lucretia, Die Zauberflöte, Ariodante, Der Vampyr, Fidelio, Marcello’s Arianna, Carmen, Hyperion, Romeo et Juliette, Le Nozze di Figaro, The Merry Widow, The Love of the Nightingale, Rusalka, Alcina, Werther and Orlando.

Concert engagements include Brahms’ Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah for The Queensland Orchestra and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Martin’s Maria-Triptychon as well as the Stabat Mater by Szymanowski with the Philharmonic Orchestra Freiburg.

Sarah is now a Vocal Tutor at The University of Queensland where she also tutors in German and French Lyric Diction and Stagecraft.

Sarah recently performed in The Perfect American by Phillip Glass as part of the Brisbane Festival with Opera Q and maintains a busy private teaching studio.


Zelman Cowan Building, St Lucia
Nickson Room