Jane Sheldon is internationally known for both her work in classical music and the performance and creation of exploratory chamber music and opera. She was soloist for the ABC Classics recording of Ross Edwards’ Dawn Mantras and also developed a cult following in the United Kingdom after her recording of Elena Kats-Chernin’s Eliza’s Aria (from the ballet Wild Swans) was featured in The Journey series of animated ads for Lloyd’s TSB. Jane recently moved back to Australia after a decade in the United States. Her many and varied engagements have included performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Camerata as well as at various international arts festivals such as the Lincoln Center Festival and the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music.

Being intoduced into the public space at such a young age, Jane Sheldon has had a wide range of musical influences, “When I was a teenager, I was sort of listening to everything, Bjork, Nina Simone, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich and renaissance polyphony. As for high voices from the classical world, I was usually attracted to people with unconventional, distinctive sounds, Emma Kirkby, Dawn Upshaw, Alfred Deller – all the misfits who carved out their own space. I don’t know if that’s how they’d characterise themselves, but that’s sort of how I see them.”

Upcoming projects include the world premiere of Elliott Gyger’s opera based on Peter Carey’s Oscar and Lucinda with Sydney Chamber Opera and then in New York, the premiere of her own work poem for a dried up river. In English Baroque with Circa, Jane will be performing music by Purcell, Dowland and Handel, as well as traditional tunes including Scarborough Fair and The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby.

English Baroque with Circa is a part of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s 30th Anniversary celebrations and will dazzle Brisbane audiences on 21 May. After previously crafting acclaimed shows around French and Spanish music, Brandenburg Artistic Director Paul Dyer and Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz have devised a brand-new show to conceptualise the English Baroque into an explosive collision of music and circus. Circa Contemporary Circus is one of the world’s leading performance companies. Since 2004, from its base in Brisbane, Australia, Circa toured the world, performing in 40 countries to over a million people. Its works have been greeted with standing ovations, rave reviews and sold-out houses across six continents.

Readers also enjoyed this story about Mia Oatley’s Art for Epilepsy