Concert 2 :  Stabat Mater

Back by popular demand, this year’s Stabat Mater will be Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s composition. Although the Italian composer lived only a short time, he created some of the eighteenth century’s most beloved works. Composed in the final weeks of Pergolesi's life, this masterpiece still touches many people today through its spellbinding depth and sorrowful harmony.



Stabat Mater and Salve Regina by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi


Josie Ryan soprano
Nicole Smeulders alto
Stan W Kornel baroque violin
Julia Russoniello baroque violin
Valmai Coggins baroque viola
Laura Moore baroque cello
Monika Kornel harpsichord



After graduating from Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Josie Ryan completed her Masters degree specializing in Early Vocal Music and Historical Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, with the aid of a grant from the Dutch Government. She studied with Rita Dams, Jill Feldman, Barbara Pearson and Diane Forlano, as well as participating in master classes and private lessons with Emma Kirkby, Evelyn Tubb and Barbara Schlick. During her thirteen years in the Netherlands Josie performed as an ensemble singer with various leading groups across Europe, including The Tallis Scholars, The Amsterdam Baroque Choir and Collegium Vocale Gent. Her operatic roles include Rameau’s Les fetes d’Hebe, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo. Josie is frequently engaged as a soloist with ensembles including the St Mary’s Singers, the Choir of Christ Church St Laurence, Australian Baroque Brass, The Sydneian Bach Choir, Coro Innominata, SUMS, Sydney University Graduate Choir, The Oriana Chorale, Salut! Baroque.

She is a regular performer with Pinchgut Opera, The Australian Brandenburg Choir & Cantillation. Josie is a regular guest with the Choir of St James’ and a member of the St Mary’s Cathedral Special Services Choir and Hallelujah Junction. In 2014 Josie particularly enjoyed her participation in the 8-voice performance of Bach’s St John Passion in the Crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral conducted by Thomas Wilson. Josie has recorded numerous CD’s and DVDs including the role of Liebe in Schmelzer’s sepolcro “Stärke der Lieb”, Monteverdi’s Madrigals, and Vivaldi’s Magnificat in duet with Emma Kirkby. She was featured as a soloist on the ABC Classics CD “Mysteries of Gregorian Chant” with The Singers of St. Laurence, which topped the ARIA Classical Charts for several months in 2014.

Nicole Smeulders is a graduate of the NSW Conservatorium of music. She has twice been recipient of the Lauris Elms’ Contralto Award and has had an extensive career as a soloist, particularly in oratorio. Her most recent performances include recitals of Scarlatti Duets for Soprano, Alto and Harpsichord at Sydney University and the National Trust Property, Mahratta. Other performance repertoire has included Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Scarlatti’s Christmas Cantata, Caldara’s Vaticini di Pace (recorded live with the Sydney Consort for ABCFM), Mozart’s Requiem, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, JS and CPE Bach Magnificats, De Falla’s El Amor Brujo and numerous performances of the Haydn Nelson Mass, Vivaldi’s Gloria and the Messiah.

Nicole works regularly as a chorister for Opera Australia having performed in their most recent productions of Carmen and La Traviata on Sydney Harbour, as well as Aida, Turandot, Lakme and Fidelio. With Cantillation, she has performed on numerous CD’s and in concert. Engagements with them have included Rameau’s Castor and Pollux and Haydn’s opera L’anima del filosofo at Angel Place Recital Hall. She is currently preparing to sing with them again in Iphigenie en Tauride. Nicole has worked and toured with several prominent ensembles, including the ACO Voices, the Song Company and Hallelujah Junction.