Hayley Sugars.
Hayley Sugars.

How local Opera singer embraced her dreams

FOR internationally-acclaimed opera singer Hayley Sugars moving back to Toowoomba after a career overseas was a no-brainer.

“My mother is here in Toowomba, my husband has fair bit of family here,” she said.

“But I also think it’s a great place to raise children, a great city to have a family in.

“Some singers might stay overseas, but I’ve still been able to work regularly with Opera Quenelsnad just being down the road in Brisbane.”

Growing up, the singer attended Concordia Lutheran College before studying singing at the University of Southern Queensland.

After that she undertook postgraduate study at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

She won the German-Australian Opera Grant in 2010, which resulted in contracts with the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden and the Landestheater Coburg in Germany.

“Australia, being such a young country without that cultural background in classical music, ayou are sort of looked upon as a bit strange if you’re into classical music.

“Just to be part of that thriving culture was very exciting and eye opening.

“It gave me so much excellent experience that when I’ve came back to Australia Opera Queensland has been casting me in great roles because of that expeirnece.”

Life has also come full circle for Sugars, as she now also works as a part time music specialist at Concordia.

She said she hoped to inspire a change of attitude to Opera in regional areas.

The mezzo soprano will next month perform a special recital at the Opera Queensland studio in Brisbane.

The special recital is called Songs of Desire.

“It’s a recital for Opera Queensland and I’m being accompanied on piano by Narelle French, their head of music,” she said.

“It’s a recital of a collection of songs of all different styles and genres, some classical, but also much more contemporary things as well. They all are exploring different aspects of love, like longing and desire.”

Sugars said she hoped the recital would appeal to a broad audience.

“It would be really special to see some people from Toowoomba come down for it,” she said.

Tickets for the recital, which will be held on February 14 and 15 are available via Qtix and start at $63