2012 TDP GRADUATE ANJA NISSEN – Shortly after the 18-year-old Blue Mountains discovery took out the competition on the 2014 cycle of The Voice, Anja knuckled down with a star-studded posse of rappers and producers in a Los Angeles studio to create fresh sounds all of her own. At the invitation of pop-music wave-maker will.i.am, her mentor on The Voice, Anja flew to L.A. to write and record with a team that included chart-topping singer Cody Wise, and The Black Eyed Peas rapper apl.de.ap.
Only months after becoming a household name in Australia for her awe-inspiring R&B performances, Anja gave fans a taste of what she had been cooking up. That taste came in the form of I’m So Excited, a crisp track that sets it sights on summer dance floors. Featuring will.i.am and Cody Wise, the song finds Anja’s honeyed and powerful voice soaring over cool, elastic beats. It’s an instant party jam.
Now, currently in Denmark recording with some of the industry’s most revered producers, the future looks bright for Anja Nissen. One of our country’s most exciting and promising young recording artists is making waves overseas, and it’s only just the beginning.
2011 TDP GRADUATE STEPHEN MADSEN recently starred as J.D. in Heathers – The Musical at the Sydney Opera House after originating the role in the Australian Premiere at the Hayes Theatre and touring to Brisbane and Melbourne. He has also appeared as Mark in two sold-out seasons of Rent at the Hayes Theatre, Richard Loeb in Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story and Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me, Kate.
Stephen received three Sydney Theatre Award nominations in 2015 (Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical and Best Newcomer). He is a TDP/ASCAP Bound for Broadway Scholarship winner and is a graduate of WAAPA and the Talent Development Project.
2010 TDP GRADUATE CHRISTIE LAMB has been described as ‘the full package’, a vibrant multi-instrumental award winning singer-songwriter. The talented songstress was voted ‘CMC New Oz Artist of the Year 2015’ by Australian Country Music Fans and has followed on from this success to receive the most prestigious award in Australian Country Music, a Golden Guitar for ‘CMAA New Talent of the Year 2016’. This is certainly no mean feat for a young artist to receive both awards consecutively and unheard of as an independent artist.
The awards wrap up an incredibly successful year, off the back of the success of her debut album ‘All She Wrote’ which spurned three #1 hit singles and two top 5 singles. Following a sold out album launch in Sydney, ‘All She Wrote’ hit #1 on the Aria Hit Seekers Album Chart (All Genres) and #2 on the ARIA Australian Artist Country Chart. Her talents caught the attention of Australian Country Music legend Lee Kernaghan, who invited her to be his special guest with The Wolfe Brothers on his ‘The Songs And The Stories’ National Tour 2015/16.
2011 TDP GRADUATE ASHLEIGH RUBENACH Growing up on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Ashleigh fell in love with performing at a very young age. Her ambitions led her west when, after just graduating high school, she packed up and moved her life to WAAPA’s renowned Musical Theatre course. In her time there, Ashleigh played Mary Lane in Reefer Madness, Linda in Hair, Minnie in West Side Story and Dory in Merrily We Roll Along. She was also the recipient of the acclaimed Warnock Award in 2013, a scholarship awarded to the Most Promising Second Year Student. Ashleigh is also a graduate of the prestigious Talent Development Project, and a fifth year recipient of the Sport and Tourism Youth Foundation scholarship for Performing Arts. Ashleigh made her professional debut in Anything Goes.
1994 TDP GRADUATE – DAVID HARRIS Gaining critical acclaim in his home country Australia, David relocated to New York City in late 2014, and has since starred as Jean Valjean in Connecticut Repertory Theater’s production of Les Misérables – which co-starred and was directed by Tony Award winner Terrence Mann – and as Billy Crocker in Goodspeed’s production of Anything Goes in the spring of 2016. David has performed in various readings and workshops, including Jekyll & Hyde, Chasing Rainbows and the new musical RAIN, by Sybille Pearson and Michael John LaChiusa at New York Stage and Film, and the short film The Visit. He has appeared at Feinstein’s 54 Below, in numerous advertising campaigns and was invited to sing the American and Australian national anthems at the ANZAC Day ceremonies in 2015.
2006 GRADUATE KIRBY BURGESS Some of Kirby’s recent theatre credits include ‘Heather Chandler’ in Heathers The Musical, ‘Rizzo’ in Grease the Musical, she played herself in the new works of Jerry’s Girls, Sweet Charity and many more. Most notably Kirby recently played the leading role of ‘Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman’ in the 10yr anniversary Australian tour of Dirty Dancing the Classic Story on Stage. On the big screen she was a featured dancer in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ and continues to make guest appearances on many Australian television Dramas.
GUEST ARTIST BEILFIELD was born and raised in Miami, Florida, Bielfield is a self-confessed pop fanatic who’s written and performed pop music from an early age. Recognised for his musicality and talent, he went on to attend New York University as an Undergraduate, before attending the prestigious Juilliard School for his Masters Degree.
Still embracing his classical roots, Bielfield performed as the lead tenor at Opera Philadelphia for their productions of ‘Double Exposure’ and ‘Elizabeth Cree Workshops’ at the end of May and will be performing this weekend at L’Arsenal in Montreal in the Opera ‘Le Vin Herbé‘. Living in his ‘adopted-home’ of Sydney since early 2015, Bielfield has spent time developing his pop musical-identity.
2009 TDP GRADUATE SAM FISCHER Sam Fischer has his last name repeated back to him in a mock Australian accent at least twice a day. Such is the life of a Sydney-sider living in Los Angeles. Nonetheless, he has managed to work his way into some of the smallest rooms with the biggest names in the industry. Since his days of honing his craft at the Berklee College of Music, Sam and his brand of ‘Disarming Pop for the Nighttime Crowd’ have received a universally positive response from within the industry and as of June of this year, Sam is a signed recording artist and writer with Small Giant/Columbia Records and Sony/ATV publishing.
In the past year Sam has had the opportunity to write with the likes of Andy Grammer, Mat Kearney, David Ryan Harris and Clean Bandit to name a few. Sam released his first single, ‘Lean’ in May of this year and is currently writing and recording his debut release in Los Angeles.
1992 TDP GRADUATE DARREN COGGAN Darren’s professional career kicked off in 1999 when he was cast as Richie Cunningham in the World Premiere Arena Mega Musical Happy Days presented by Dainty Consolidated Entertainment, which toured Australia extensively. In January 2001 Darren was awarded his first Golden Guitar at the Toyota Country Music Awards of Australia. This same year Darren hosted Foxtel’s top rating television show Out & About – The Great Aussie Pub Tour and made a guest appearance on the award winning Channel 7 drama All Saints. Darren kicked off 2010 by performing to a sell out concert hall at The Sydney Opera House in his highly acclaimed production Peace Train – The Cat Stevens Story. Peace Train, then continued to play every major venue in Australia on a national tour.
2012 saw Darren back in the theatres for a six week national tour of his moving salute to the ANZACS, ‘War Stories’. Darren is currently enjoying his experiences as a presenter on Sydney Weekender for Network 7.
2006 TDP GRADUATE MIRIAM WAKS New York based Australian vocalist Miriam Waks made her performing debut at the tender age of 10 singing solo at the Sydney Opera House. The years since have seen her develop into a diverse and vibrant performer who sings in 16 languages. She has performed at venues and residencies across the globe including New York, France, Cuba, Brussels, Edinburgh, London, India, Macau, & Hong Kong. Miriam recently performed a full season as a featured vocalist with Cuban modern dance company Danza Del Caribe at Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2015).
She has received nominations for 2008 MO Awards (Johnny O’Keefe Encouragement Award), and the 2007 ACE Awards (Best New Talent). She is a 2006 graduate of the prestigious Talent Development Project which awarded her a Bound for Broadway scholarship in 2012. Also a talented songwriter Miriam has several original music projects including an experimental music duo with an album set for release in 2016.
1993 GRADUATE – FELICITY URQUHART is without question one of the most likeable personalities in the Australian Entertainment Industry. No pretence or demands, the ARIA nominated, Golden Guitar winning TV and Radio presenter is as down to earth as they come yet boasts talents which have seen her career provide a longevity to make many envious of.
The girl from Tamworth (NSW) that made good is now a radio presenter on ABC Local Radio with a national program, ‘Saturday Night Country’, she sits alongside Mike Whitney on Channel Seven’s ‘Sydney Weekender’ and has taken out the BEST FEMALE award at the GOLDEN GUITAR Awards as well as an ARIA Award Nominee. Essentially, FELICITY URQUHART is a proven triple threat! Her honest and powerful song writing has endured her to a legion of music fans, she is signed to MUSHROOM PUBLISHING and they continue to use Felicity to work with other artists to collaborate and create hits.
1992 TDP GRADUATE WILLIAM CRIGHTON Authenticity is the element that defines the darkly beautiful and wrenching debut record of William Crighton. For the deep-voiced songwriter and intense live performer, there were no short cuts taken to arrive at this self-titled album. Beneath each track are thousands of kilometres, and within are stories wrought of trees and roads and dust, soaked in the essence of our ancient continent.
“I love traveling our Earth and will be forever thankful to her for letting me become such a part of her that I feel as long as I look after her I’m welcome wherever I choose to roam,” Crighton says. Recorded in a house on the rugged banks of Burrinjuck Dam, near the South West Slopes region of NSW, the record paints a vivid picture of its protagonist: philosopher, romantic and a “pacifist who sometimes fantasises of killing”. The eleven tracks, which feature Crighton’s wife Jules on backing vocals and brother Luke on bass guitar, are produced by Matt Sherrod and shift between whimsical ballads and full-blooded, expansive rock sojourns. “Amongst other things I’m a father, husband and son,” Crighton says, “and like all of us I’m a lover, hater, fighter, victim, perpetrator, grower and harvestor.”
Amanda’s theatrical credits in Australia include: Jenny in Aspects of Love; Betty in Sunset Boulevard; Les Miserables; Ellen in Miss Saigon; Liza in The Boy from Oz; Ellie in Leader of the Pack and Oz in We Will Rock You (Helpmann Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical). For The Production Company, Amanda has appeared in: Mame; She Loves Me; Guys and Dolls; Oklahoma! and as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes.
Amanda is most well known for originating the role of Elphaba in the Australian production of Wicked – a role that earned her Green Room, Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Award nominations for Best Leading Actress in a Musical. In 2012 Amanda created the role of Paula in the world premiere of An Officer and a Gentleman.
On London’s West End, Amanda has appeared as Ali in Mamma Mia! and was an original London cast member of We Will Rock You. In concert Amanda has performed in Do You Hear The People Sing? in Shanghai alongside Lea Salonga and Michael Ball, and in The Music of Queen at The Sydney Opera House and most recently in Witches at the Sydney Opera House with the SSO.
Nathan has had vast experience for 26 years on stage and television known primarily for his success as a singer/presenter for 10 years on Channel 9’s “Hi-5”. Airing in over 200 countries world wide and the mind blowing series looking for the Australia’s next triple threat Singer/Dancer/Actor on Channel 10’s “I Will Survive” which took him around outback Australia, LA, Las Vegas & New York to perform.
Nathan is a winner of 3 Logies, 5 Aria awards and a Helpmann award with Hi-5 for the best live show being the only group to have won 5 consecutive Aria’s in Australia ever.
Currently Nathan is touring the world as a guest entertainer showcasing his energy packed solo variety shows for all the major cruise liners and he currently won “Princess Cruises Entertainer Of The Year” 2016 out of over 2000 entertainers worldwide being the first Australian ever to win the title in the Caribbean this year.
1997 TDP GRADUATE TREVOR ASHLEY is often described as ‘the busiest man in Australian show-business’. Whether it be as a writer, musical director, performer, director or producer – there truly is no end to his talents.
Trevor made his big-budget musical theatre debut creating the role of ‘Miss Understanding’ in the world premiere production of Priscilla Queen of The Desert – The Musical, playing over 600 performances in Sydney and Melbourne. He followed this with Gale Edwards’ hit, Jerry Springer the Opera at the Sydney Opera House. Trevor won accolades, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Musical at the Sydney Theatre Awards, for his portrayal of Edna Turnblad in David Atkins’ production of Hairspray and for his coveted role of Monsieur Thenadier in the Australian production of Les Miserables, Trevor was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical at the Helpmann Awards.
2014 GRADUATE LANE SINCLAIR 20-year-old singer-songwriter Lane Sinclair is a country girl through and through. Born in Canada and raised in heartland NSW, she got her start in music on the streets of Tamworth, often busking and performing at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Now living in Sydney to pursue her music, Lane is still a country girl at heart. Vocally Jeff Buckley, Hiatus Kaiyote, Eva Cassidy and Janis Joplin inspire her.
2007 TDP GRADUATE ROBERT MCDOUGALL is also a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, having completed his Bachelor of Music in 2011. He has since carved out a career as a professional vocalist; working in some of Australia’s largest venues. Rob has toured nationally with Newcastle big band group “Ultra Swing Lounge”, and with them released two albums.
He is a graduate of the NSW Talent Development Project, and received several scholarships from the NSW Sports and Tourism foundation for the furthering of his music studies. In 2012 he was awarded a scholarship from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for a 3 week study trip to New York, where he met and worked with some of Broadways leading composers. In 2013 Rob was offered a position in the Australian production of Les Miserables, where he now plays “Legles” and covers “The Bishop of Digne” and “Javert”. Late last year, Rob was awarded the “Melbourne East End Theatre District Talent Development Award” by the Rob Guest Endowment.
2005 TDP GRADUATE LORENZO ROSITANO Tenor, Lorenzo Rositano completed his Operatic studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2012. Lorenzo has professional experience in Opera, Operetta, Oratorio and Recital; appearing as principal tenor Ernestro in La Vera Costanza (Haydn), Alfred in Die Fledermaus (Strauss) and Contino Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera (Mozart) conducted by Imre Palló; as soloist in Stabat Mater (Rossini) with the Sydney University Graduate Choir and Orchestra conducted by Christopher Bowen; and internationally, Messa di Gloria (Puccini) performed in New Caledonia with the New Caledonia Choir and Orchestra conducted by Plamen Tzontchev.
1992 GRADUATE – JOHN FOREMAN OAM is a musical director, event director, pianist and composer, plus is a well-recognised face on Australian television. He’s the man behind many of the biggest events in Australian entertainment. John wrote The Flame, which was performed by Tina Arena and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Opening Ceremony. John’s compositions have been performed by artists ranging from Vanessa Amorosi to Jose Carreras. When Oprah Winfrey came to Australia, John was Musical Director for her finalé concert from the steps of the Sydney Opera House. He’s musical director for Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight® (on the National Nine Network), MD for the TV Week Logie Awards and host of the annual School Spectacular (Nine Network). He was Musical Director for Australian Idol (Ten Network) and Creative Director for the 2013 Asia Pacific Special Olympics Opening Ceremony (broadcast nationally on the GEM Network).
In 2015, John was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM) for service to the performing arts, and continues as Creative Director for Australia Day in NSW for 2016 / 2017.