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Nance Grant MBE
After winning the Mobil Quest (1957) and the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition (1960) Nance Grant sang throughout Australia in concerts for the ABC. In 1975 she received the Bayreuth Opera Award, an Opera Foundation scholarship to study with Professor Clemens Kaiser-Breme in Germany.
Major engagements early in her career included her debut with the Australian Opera as the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavelier in 1972, and the official opening of the Sydney Opera House the following year.
She has performed many of the major lyric-spinto roles including: Amelia (Un ballo in maschera); Leonora (Fidelio); Donna Anna (Don Giovanni); Ariadne (Ariadne auf Naxos); Suor Angelica; Elisabeth (Tannhäuser); Senta (Der fliegende Holländer); The Countess (Le nozze di Figaro); Alice Ford (Falstaff); Elisabetta (Maria Stuarda); Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia); Elettra (Idomeneo); and Ortrud (Lohengrin).
In 1977, she sang the role of Lady Billows in Albert Herring at the Royal Gala given for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at the Sydney Opera House – her third Royal Command Performance, the others being at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl (1963) and the opening of the Sydney Opera House (1973).
In 1981, she sang the roles of Sieglinde (Die Walküre) and Gutrune (Götterdämmerung) in concert performances conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. The following year, she sang the role of Donna Anna in the world premiere of Peter Sculthorpe’s Quiros, and the role of Elettra in Idomeneo for the Victorian State Opera, with whom she later sang Ortrud in Lohengrin. Her ABC Television Opera roles include Lia (L’Enfant Prodigue), Amelia (Simon Boccanegra) Marina (School for Fathers) and Madame Lidoine (The Dialogue of the Carmelites).
Nance Grant gave her final concert performance in 1991 in the Melbourne Concert Hall, accompanied by the Melbourne Pops Orchestra.
Conductors she has worked with include: Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir Edward Downes, Sir John Pritchard, Sir Charles Mackerras, Richard Bonynge, and Georges Tzipine.
She taught singing at the Victorian College of the Arts with Dame Joan Hammond, was a Director of the Melba Conservatorium of Music for many years, a director of Opera Foundation Victoria, and Chairman of the Music Board of the Australian International Opera Awards. In 1976, she was awarded an MBE for her services to music.