Thoughts on Becoming Our Life Patron with Liz Nielsen

Liz with Marie Bashir and David Walker (countertenor).

Liz Nielsen is now Pinchgut Opera’s Life Patron, we’re delighted that she’s still part of the family, cheering us on in this capacity. Below she shares some reminiscences with us...

Hearing Les Arts Florissant in Sydney recently was a great joy, and reminded me of how many interesting connections Pinchgut has made over the years, and all around the world. To hear Paul Agnew’s beautifully shaped tenor voice again, just as it was when he sang the role of Dardanus for Pinchgut in 2005, and delighting in seeing him now as Musical Director and Associate Conductor of LAF. And to see Miriam Allan as a member of the group, who has also sung for Pinchgut so many glorious times, remembering that Paul first heard Miriam’s beautiful voice in Dardanus and then contacted her about joining LAF. It was a reminder of how many singers have grown into roles with Pinchgut and overseas. Miriam sang with us in Semele first and we’ve since brought her back from her home in London to sing in Griselda and Giasone.

It’s the connections with all the wonderful singers and orchestra players, and the excellence they have displayed in their performances over 15 years that has meant Pinchgut has grown. And it’s the friendships with all these musicians that has been very special to me personally. Working with a team of people who have, mostly, been there since the beginning has been very exciting, as we have all had the same commitment to Pinchgut.

Seeing the creation of a production from the director’s and conductor’s initial concepts, through to rehearsals and then to performances has been a privilege. Connecting with the audience and seeing their joy and appreciation has been a pure delight and is the best reason to have formed Pinchgut Opera.

In my role as Life Patron I will love keeping those connections with the friends of Pinchgut. But enough reminiscence! It is the future that is important. I am happy to hand that over to a very competent team lead by Sarah and a strong Board and now let myself just enjoy the music. Here’s to the next fifteen years! 

We warmly invite you to send your thoughts, reminiscences, and thanks to Liz for her astonishing 15 years with Pinchgut.   Please email

Or post to:  
PO Box 291  
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012