Voice of the valley in European opera houses

IN her teenage years, Bryony Dwyer sang in front of the Derwent Valley Concert Band in local venues such as St Matthew’s Church and the Royal Derwent Hospital Theatre. Today, the former Molesworth Primary School student graces the stages of the opera houses of European cities.

Born in New South Wales, she moved to the Derwent Valley with her family in 1992. Living at Molesworth, she attended the local primary school and went on to New Norfolk High School and Rosny College, and later to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to study opera.

Bryony Dwyer in the role of Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld in Berlin last year.

A talented musician as well as a singer, she played clarinet and saxophone with the Derwent Valley Concert Band and later served with the Royal Australian Navy Band for 10 years. In 2004 she performed in the Danish royal wedding celebrations as part of the Derwent Valley band and five years later she was at the coronation of King George Tupou V in Tonga with the navy band. She has also sung at Anzac Day services in Gallipoli and Villers Bretonneaux.

Then, in 2012, Bryony won the Vienna State Opera Award which included a four-month placement in Austria. The soprano was offered a job three weeks into that placement and remained there as her home base while travelling to perform in Germany, France, Spain, Oman, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Newspapers in Vienna described her voice as “crystal-clear, flexible and expressive” and all was going well until 2020 when she lost multiple contracts due to the coronavirus pandemic. Having been granted residency in Austria, she was able to ride out the covid lockdowns and work on her German language skills.

Work picked up last year with the role of Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld in Berlin, among other roles, and Bryony is hoping for a busy and productive 2024. She had a summer holiday with her mum Terry Dwyer at New Norfolk before returning to Austria, where she lives just outside Vienna with her cairn terrier, Tumble.

Bryony Dwyer on stage in Europe.

Main photo: Bryony Dwyer at St Matthew’s Church in New Norfolk during her visit earlier this year.

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