Michael Lampard is an opera singer who works and resides in Wyndham and is part of Wyndham Cultural Centre’s Ghost Light series. He has performed opera and classical music all over the world and is also a singing teacher for the Melbourne School of Voice.
Who is Michael Lampard? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work as an artist.
I was born in Hobart and moved to Melbourne in 2013 to pursue my operatic career. I have performed opera and classical music all over Australia as well as in the UK, USA, in Europe and across Asia. I have specialised in the English and Australian art song repertoire and Italian and German opera. I have worked hard over the years to establish myself as an opera singer and at the start of this year I made my principal artist debut with Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House in a prominent role in Puccini’s La Boheme. A truly wonderful experience with an incredible company.
What is your connection to Wyndham and how does it inspire you and your work?
I live in Wyndham and have had a number of lovely performance opportunities in the area including concerts and opera at the Cultural Centre. I teach singing for the Melbourne School of Voice from my home in Point Cook and I love being able to encourage and support students in the area. Wyndham has such a depth of culture. It’s a real melting pot of nationalities and cultures and it is wonderful to be part of that and to feel the support of the local community.
What do you hope to communicate through your work?
Moving the audience is so important to me. Giving them a chance to escape everyday life and suspend their sense of reality for a short time. Opera and classical music have huge emotive power and a real ability to connect with people though beautiful music. Opera may be a 400-year-old art form, but the power of the human voice is ageless. All you have to do is watch any of the reality TV singing competitions and when someone sings opera or classical music, you see the eyes of the nation light up. The chance to bring that to people live in front of their eyes and tell great stories, as well as play fun and interesting character is such a gift.
How has the current COVID-19 situation, if at all, affected your work? What are your fears and hopes throughout this time?
Sadly, it has affected my work a lot. Every opera company in the world has had to suspend performances for the time being, and we have all lost a lot of work, which is a very hard position for a freelance opera singer who relies on these contracts to make a living. My hope going ahead is that Australian companies will be looking at ways to support Australian artists and foster and encourage a new group of artists to thrive on the Australian operatic scene. Without access to a pool of international singers, Australian singers could find themselves given some opportunities to shine and excel in a way they hadn’t had a chance to before this pandemic. We need the community to get behind the arts and attend concerts when they can be staged. Go and see shows. Buy CDs and support local artists. It is through this that the industry will find its feet again after COVID-19. We are all passionate and waiting to share our art with people, so the minute we can, we will be there.