Can art save us?
I feel generally Australians feel that Art (with a capital A) is something slightly out of reach and not an integral part of everyday life. However, it's interesting when speaking with donors, ticket buyers and other supporters they see the arts as something that sustains and nourishes them - and they are (in a good way) often jealous of those of us whose life and career is spent in this field. People reach for the arts to take them outside of their lived experience. It's been overwhelming how hungry our audiences have been to return to live performance after the extended lockdown. Whether this is enough to save us, I'm not sure, but living in a world without performing arts is unthinkable.
Francis Greep is the General Manager and Associate Artistic Director of The Song Company, Australia’s national vocal ensemble. He was appointed in 2019 after five years as Development Manager of the world renowned Gondwana Choirs. He has an international reputation for his work as a vocal coach, recitalist, chorus master, continuo player and conductor, having worked extensively for Opera Australia and held the position of Head of Music at both West Australian Opera and Houston Grand Opera.
Francis has prepared artists and choruses in more than 60 operas. As a vocal coach, he is particularly known for his skill in preparing singers for role debuts through his extensive repertoire experience, and for enabling singers to continue developing and refining their voices through a deep understanding of vocal production, language fluency, musical styles and performance psychology. His highly developed sense of empathy makes him both an ideal coach and recital partner and has performed across Europe, North and South America, New Zealand and Australia.
Francis gained both his Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the University of Cincinnati along with other qualifications from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Western Australia. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Melbourne.