aka Janet Deshon Healy
Janet is a versatile actor and singer who acts and sings in nine languages. In the late 1990’s she sang Carlotta in the Sydney production of The Phantom of the Opera by Anthony Lloyd-Webber. After her world tour in 1995, then Australia, she sang in Mozart by Moonlight concert series conducted by Spiros Rantos in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens and was soloist for the Botanic Gardens` 150th anniversary celebrations at Government House. She has played lead characters in Opera, Music Theatre and Theatre by Strauss, Mozart, Verdi, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Gilbert and Sullivan, Jerome Kern, Andrew Lloyd Webber and many more. Janet made her debut as Julie from Kern’s Show Boat and her international debut as the Queen of the Night from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Auckland Opera. During her twelve joyful years as resident soprano of the Victorian Concert Orchestra (VCO) under the auspices of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Janet released three CDs, she performed and compared hundreds of concerts throughout Country Victoria for Local Communities and Rotary for Local Members, Royalty, Dignitaries, Governors General and Parliamentarians at Government House, Parliament House, State Theatre, Melbourne Concert Hall and the Melbourne Town Hall for senior citizens.
Janet Healy (nee Deshon), made her singing debut in Western Australia at the age of seven after leaving Sydney. She continued solo performances at her many schools throughout Australia where she such roles as The Wife of Bath from Chaucer’s Canterbury tales, Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Helena in Midsummer Night’s Dream. Janet learned guitar by sensational flamenco guitarist, Peter Williamson, and renowned Australian classical guitarist, Sadie Bishop, and then taught guitar at Peter Williamson’s studio while studying law and economics at the ANU. She graduated in Economics, practiced accounting and then joined the Canberra School of Music Opera School under David Parker, mentored by Bill Hawkey MBE and Pat Davey. In South Australia she studied voice at the Elder Conservatorium with acclaimed soprano, Gwenyth Annear, James Christiansen and celebrated Australian soprano, Marilyn Richardson.
Janet won the Adelaide Eisteddfod outright and represented South Australia in the Dame Mabel Brookes Memorial Fellowship and Metropolitan Opera Scholarship competitions in Sydney. After moving to Melbourne, she joined the Victoria State Opera and sang for Opera Australia. Amongst fierce competition, she won the prestigious Dame Mabel Brookes Memorial Scholarship and a Young Artist position with the Victoria State Opera and with The Royal Northern College of Music. Janet has coached with Dame Joan Hammond, Richard Gill, June Bronhill OBE, Brian Stacey, Margaret Schofield, Donald Smith, Janice Chapman, Richard Divall OBE and international conductors Professor Christopher Lyndon-Gee and Steven Barlow.
Janet`s main operatic roles with the Victoria State Opera included: - The Queen of the Night, Die Zauberflöte by Mozart in the 1994 operatic season and Sidney Myer Music Bowl; Lakmé from Delibes’ Lakmé, Tamiri, Il Re Pastore by Mozart at a baroque production for the Ballarat Festival; The Cousin in Ken Russell’s Madam Butterfly by Puccini; Princess Margaret, The Student Prince by S. Rhomberg at the State Theatre; Trainbearer and Handmaiden in Electra by R. Strauss for the 1991 Melbourne International Festival; acting role in Die Zauberflöte in the 1992 season; 1st Bridesmaid in The Marriage of Figaro by W.A. Mozart; Page and Elsa`s handmaiden in Lohengrin by R. Wagner.
Janet`s other roles include; Violetta in La Traviata; Countess in Figaro, Figaro, Figaro (Vic); Madam Herz in The Impresario (SA & Vic); Serpina in La Serva Padrona (Vic); Giulietta, Olympia & Antonia in The Tales of Hoffman (VSO); Tabaldo in Don Carlos (VSO); Berta in The Barber of Seville (VSO), and Bubba in The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (VSO) by Richard Miller. She has appeared on television and radio often. The press has described her voice as "brilliant" (S.A.), "bright as a Catherine Wheel" (The Age), "the right diamond-hard quality" (The Age), "soaring on heavenly pinions" (S.A.) and having "great vocal agility" (The Herald) and her Carmen sung in Geelong was as ‘sexy and sultry’ (The Herald) and her Countess as ‘warm and passionate’ (Opera Australia newspaper).
Janet`s oratorio repertoire spans from Bach to Verdi as soloist for the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, State Orchestra of Victoria, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Chamber Orchestra and ABC Players led by Douglas Wieland, Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne University Orchestra. A versatile artist, Janet has worked with expert international voice coaches, directors and conductors on all genres. She has even performed cabaret shows at the Hyatt, Hilton, Crown Casino and the World Congress Centre for corporate concerts throughout Australia. She often sang at the well loved Melbourne venue, Mietta`s, Viennese repertoire for the Robert Stolz Society in many venues and presented and choreographed concerts for Melbourne Cup Eve dinners at University House.
In recent years Janet sang Händel and Bach solos in the Melbourne Concert Hall for the National Boys Choir. In addition to her VCO concerts, Janet gave a gala concert with Donald Cant at the University of Melbourne, performed Lakmé by Delibes for the VSO and Bubba in The Summer of the Seventeenth Doll in collaboration with the composer, Richard Mills, for the ABC documentary `Forum` in 1996. She performed 1st Dienerinnen and 1st Ungeboren in Die Frau Ohne Schatten by R. Strauss for the Melbourne International Festival, conducted by Simone Young, toured Victoria as the Countess in an adapted version of The Marriage of Figaro by Mozart and text by Beaumarchais. In 1997, Janet gave a recital of R. Strauss’s Brentano Songs Op.68 at St. Johns Southgate after performing in Jakarta and touring Western Australia. She performed Mozart`s Exultate Jubilate and Schubert`s Salve Regina for the Melbourne Musicians.
As an academic and teacher, Janet taught classical guitar and voice to people from all walks of life and nationalities. For five years she was a sessional lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts and the University of Melbourne. Financed by two Government scholarships and the Dame Mabel Kent Scholarship, she completed her Masters of Music degree in at the VCA graduating with first-class-honours. During this time she performed and compared over forty concerts throughout Victoria and recorded documentaries for the ABC. She then completed her Masters of History in 2004 at the University of Melbourne on the Masonic elements of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, gaining first class honours. Janet transcribes operatic arias and Spanish music for guitar and voice for performances for the Victorian Opera Society, the Butterfly Club and many other venues. Her last performances were as Violetta from La Traviata by G Verdi. In private moments, she composes music for voice using texts from her poems. She has just completed her Seven Dreamtime Song Poems, based on Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories.