The 16th Annual
18 November 2005

 Glebe Music Festival

In conjunction with The Glebe Society Inc




Donna Cain has had solo and ensemble experience in operas, operettas, musical theatre, early music and oratorio. In Australia, she has been a member of Pacific Opera, Rockdale Opera, North Sydney Opera, Chatswood Musical Society and the Waverley Lugar Brae Players, and in The Netherlands Donna sang in concerts, and for churches and choirs including Brabant Koor and Alexander Kammerkoor (chamber choir).

With a vocal range of over three octaves, Donna is specializing in the coloratura soprano operatic repertoire and the higher soubrette roles.

However, Donna’s clear vocal timbre is equally suited to oratorio, sacred, and early music. On 24th December, 2004, Donna was the soloist for the Christmas Eve service at St John’s Anglican Church, Glebe. Donna will again be performing at St John’s for Easter services in 2005. Also this year, Donna has been chosen as the “Light Entertainment” adjudicator for Ravenswood girls high school
Music Festival on April 4th & 5th . Other upcoming events include a corporate function for charity on September 30th, for which Donna will be the soloist, accompanied by piano.

During the past two years, Donna has furthered her singing studies in The Netherlands, but since late September, 2004, Donna has relocated back to her home city of Sydney.


Donna’s past singing teachers include international opera singers Robert Bickerstaff
in Australia (for five years), and English mezzo-soprano Ann Howard for 9 months
(in two separate stints - for 3 months, then another 6 months) in the UK. Other teachers include Andrew Dalton at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Over the last two years, Donna studied singing with Prof. Prizrenka McCray (wife of American Wagnerian tenor James McCray), in Den Haag, The Netherlands, and during this time, Donna also received vocal coaching from Peter Nilsson in Den Haag. Previous vocal coaches include Victor Morris (UK) and Stephen Meli (Australia).

Donna studied piano to fourth grade, and Donna teaches private singing lessons, focusing on vocal technique.

DEGREES: Bachelor of Arts Degree (Visual Arts) from the Sydney College of Advanced Education (City Art Institute). Donna is currently studying (via distance education) for the Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Teaching degree at the University of New England, Armidale.


Donna has performed opera roles including Frasquita in Carmen, and Siebel in Faust.

In operetta, Donna played the lead role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan, and in musicals, Donna was the principal character Marsinah in Kismet.

Donna has appeared on community TV, and has sung professionally as a soloist at cultural festivals, fundraising events, weddings and corporate functions. Donna worked for Singing Telegrams, as a Marilyn Monroe and Kylie Minogue impersonator.

With mezzo-soprano Nicole Smeulders, Donna founded the professional singing duo Belle Voci in Sydney. Donna and Nicole, in Belle Voci, performed regularly at weddings, festivals and other occasions.

In 2001, Donna performed as a chorister and was understudy to the soprano soloist in the Grand Russian Chamber Choir at the Australian Opera House, for the opening of Roger Woodward’s International Festival of New Music. The choir performed a series of unaccompanied pieces by Shostakovich.

Donna sang as an operatic soloist at the Italian-Australian Lanterna Committee’s dinner dance that was attended by the NSW State Minister for Tourism in 1999.

Awards include 3rd prize in the Grand Final of the Parramatta Aria competition, 2001.


In 1999, Donna and mezzo-soprano Kellie Rowe held a recital in London,
performing a number of operatic solos and duets.

That same year, Donna won first prize in a talent quest called the
Search for a Star contest in Deal, UK.


During her first six months living in The Netherlands, Donna regularly sang spiritual solos for Sunday services in Rotterdam’s churches, including Laurenskerk and Paradijskerk (Rotterdam) accompanied by Dutch choirs Alexander Kammerkoor and
In De Wolkenkoor.

On Christmas Eve 2002, Donna sang the soprano solo in the Christmas cantata
The Nativity of Light by Leo Kohlenberg & Sylvia Kolthof, for an
audience of 400 at Noordekerk, s’Gravezande, in The Netherlands.

In 2003, Donna performed in Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam’s prestigious concert hall, in Brabant Koor’s performance of Holst’s The Planets, conducted by Englishman Richard Hickox. Donna again performed with Brabant Koor for the production of Rihm’s Deus Passus, conducted by Markus Stenz at De Doelen concert hall, Rotterdam.

In the Opera Meets Musical: Las Vegas concert on June 17th 2004,
Donna performed a number of solo arias, a duet, and as an ensemble member
in this event held at De Rode Hoed theatre in Amsterdam.

Back to Concert Page

Back to Calendar of Events 2005

Past Events
The Musicians
The Venue
The Instruments