Helen Coleman, singer, recording artist, and music teacher, was born in Cloncurry, Outback Queensland. At the age of two, she was taken into the care of her Grandfather, a returned World War I soldier, farming on the banks of the Burnett River, near Childers. This rural upbringing on a small sugar cane and dairy farm was to shape the destiny of the young Soprano.. who would ever remain a country girl from Booyal.
At the age of eleven, Helen commenced piano and singing lessons with Mrs Cunningham, a fine Soprano, trained in London, and retired to Childers. This exceptional early formal training would not only conceive a sound practical knowledge of Bel Canto technique, but instill an enduring love of classical music. Early performances at Weddings, eisteddfodau, and local events, were the foundation for later performances on the public platform, both nationally and internationally.
Helen has a dazzling and generous repertoire. Operatic arias and Musical Theatre favourites, along with Sacred pieces and Contemporary Classical solos, are among some of her most frequently performed works. The rich honeyed timbre, and powerful depth of her lower register, combined with a natural feel for Jazz, Blues and Gospel, has seen her perfoming, internationally, favourites from the great ladies of song, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday.
In latter years, she has become one of the most respected private teachers in Queensland, and her students have won numerous championships, bursaries and awards at eisteddfodau and competition, both on a state and national level.
Health hurdles – Hashimotos Thyroiditis, and Thyroid Cancer.
In 2012, she was diagnosed with thryoid cancer, and surgery resulted in complete loss of both her speaking and singing voice. Helen worked and studied for three years to re-establish her voice, and return to performance. At this time, while still managing vocal issues resulting from surgery, she auditioned with Opera Queensland for a role in Project Puccini, the largest regional arts undertaking in the history of Australia. Her success in gaining a role in the production, and the subsequent media coverage, made headlines around the world. In April, 2015, almost three years to the day after losing her voice, Helen has recorded Classical Soprano pieces for commercial release.
Healing and The Outback Studio
It was during this time, the imposed silence, and re-establishment of her voice, that Helen realised – through her own experience – the infinite healing power of music. This has sparked a new project, ‘The Outback Studio‘. Using the internet as a vehicle, she intends to bring music to the young people in remote rural areas of Australia, where there are limited facilities – or no teachers – available for coaching. She has composed exercises and vocalises to assist with practise, and will conduct lessons and masterclasses on a regular basis.
2015 saw the release of her debut singles, new and exciting arrangements of timeless classics, recorded with Queensland Virtuosi, and pianist, Daniel Philippe. With Daniel, AJ Hall on Bass and Nathan Goldman on Drums, Helen has recorded Jazz Standards made famous in the fabulous Art Deco era. These recordings have recently made their way across the world to be played on Jazz radio in Great Britain.
Marking the Centenary of the Battle of The Somme, Helen and Daniel collaborated ideas for an original song based on the iconic World War One poem, In Flanders Fields. With Queensland Virtuosi, Daniel Philippe on Piano, Geoff Govier on Flugelhorn, Nathan Goldman on drums, and Helen’s poignant vocals, the result is a hauntingly beautiful rendition of the poem. This recording, too, was played – on Anzac Day – on air in Great Britain, and earned a worthy article by the ABC. Helen’s ambition, now, is to record more Jazz Standards for release later this year.
Helen Coleman is a passionate and committed musician, always keen to participate in projects in the recording studio, and to sing for events throughout Australia or overseas. Over the years, she has given much of her time for charity. Helen can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by calling direct on 0421 006 092.