Carmel de Jager

BIOGRAPHY

Carmel de Jager (recently performing under the name Sophia Mitchell) is an Australian mezzo-soprano living in London. She studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and is currently undertaking a Masters of Music at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Since arriving in London in June 2014 Carmel has performed as alto soloist in Steffani's Stabat Mater at Dartington International Summer School, as a solo ensemble member for the GSMD's performance of Verdi Requiem at the Barbican Centre, and has begun depping for London church choirs. She also recently sang as both alto soloist and chorister in performances of Handel's Messiah.

With GSMD Carmel has been cast as Serse for Baroque Opera Scenes with the Historical Performance department, Cherubino for Opera Scenes with the Vocal Department and as Junon and Hyale (Acteon) for a performance at the London Handel Festival. Carmel is currently planning a concert with Musicke in the Ayre for 2015.

Carmel has been a regular guest of several Australian ensembles including The Song Company, Thoroughbass, Pastance, Cantillation, Collegium Musicum, Symphony Australis and The Choir of St James. Concert works included Haydn's Nelson Mass, Mozart's Alma Dei Creatoris, Dominican Vespers and Missa Brevis, Bach's Lobe den Herren and Mass in A, and Handel's Dixit Dominus .

Carmel studied the violin and viola before commencing training in classical singing at the age of 16. She performed with choirs, vocal groups and as a soloist in concerts, winning and placing in competitions throughout primary and high school. She was given lead roles in school musicals and dramas from her first year of high school before commencing formal training.

After receiving her Associate Diploma in singing at the age of 19, Carmel began singing with the Sydney Philharmonia Symphonic Choir. She was later asked to sing with their Motet Choir, performing in such venues as London's Royal Albert Hall, Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, the Sydney Opera House and the City Recital Hall. Major performances with the choirs include the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony, Barbara Streisand's 2000 Sydney Farewell Concert and the 2002 Birmingham and London Proms. She also had the opportunity to do a number of recordings with this choir.

Carmel was accepted into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and received a Bachelor of Music in 2006. During her undergraduate degree she continued to sing with the Philharmonia Choirs and was also accepted into the Conservatorium Chamber Choir. Carmel joined an acting agency, enrolled in short acting courses, and successfully aquired work as an extra and feature for films, commercials and television and had a lead role in a short film.

In 2008 Carmel continued her studies, completing a Graduate Diploma at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. During this year, Carmel began performing with local opera companies and also made the change from soprano to mezzo-soprano. Operatic roles included Josephine in HMS Pinafore.Miss Todd in The Old Maid and the Thief, Berta in The Barber of Seville and Ernestina in Opportunity makes the Thief (Rossini). With an interest in supporting charities, she produced and performed in three concerts of opera and oratorio excerpts between 2008-09 to raise funds for the work of Anglicare.

In 2010 Carmel recorded a short a program for broadcast on 2MBS radio with harpsichordist Chris Berensen thereafter performing a series of concerts entitled Handel You Haven't Heard!. She also began performing a series of concerts of Dowland songs with lutenist Andrew Byrne. That same year Carmel was accepted into the Amsterdam Conservatory's Early Music Summer School and studied the cantatas of J.S. Bach under soprano Johanette Zommer. Since 2010 Carmel has been predominantly performing early music.

Solo concert engagements for 2012 included Haydn's Nelson Mass, Mozart's Alma Dei Creatoris and Dominican Vespers for UNSW's Collegium Musicum Choir, Bach's Lobe den Herren for the St Swithun's Gala Concert, a concert with Thoroughbass and appearances with Pastance in recital and at the Tyalgum Classical Music Festival. Carmel also performed the role of Una Damigella in Francesca Caccini's Alcina for Ondine Productions and joined The Song Company for their Sunken Dreams concert tour.

In early 2013 Carmel took maternity leave to have her second child, thereafter performing with the Choir of St James, Cantillation, Thoroughbass and for Lane Cove Music Club. Carmel also sang for various Christmas and carol services and directed her church choir for their carol service.