The 18th Bangalow Music Festival, presented by Southern Cross Soloists, opens tonight and runs until Sunday. Exploring the inner essence of chamber music, the theme for 2019, Conversations Through Chamber Music, is woven through the program.

Brisbane-born mezzo soprano Xenia Puskarz Thomas (aged 22) performs in two concerts. Tonight, as part of Concert 2, which features the Orava Quartet and Southern Cross Soloists, she sings two songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Then on Sunday, in Concert 7, she sings three arias from Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera(The Fake Gardener). Next month she will appear in the opera, playing the cavalier Ramiro, when Imara Savage directs a production for the Queensland Conservatorium, conducted by Johannes Fritzsch.

Puskarz Thomas began her formal vocal studies with renowned soprano Margaret Baker Genovesi, then continued her training with Dr Margaret Schindler at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. In 2018, she was awarded a Bachelor of Music with first class honours. She is the recipient of the Southern Cross Soloists’ Margaret Schindler Scholarship for 2019. She spoke to Limelight about performing at the Bangalow Music Festival and her future plans.

Xenia Puskarz Thomas. Photograph supplied

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