Biographies

Ian Westrip OAM

FTCL, AMUSA, ARCM, Dip Ed

OpusWA Artistic Director & Founder, Stage Door School Director, Executive Producer & Musical Director, Chorus Master and Singer


Educated in Perth, London and Glasgow, Ian was the recipient of a number of prizes and awards as a singing and conducting student, including the Lord Mayor of London singing prize and The Royal Scottish Academy Hugh S Robertson prize for conducting.

During the 1970s Ian pursued a career as a singer of opera and oratorio, singing in the UK and with Australian Opera, Scottish Opera, Canberra Opera and West Australian Opera. At the same time he extended his conducting work, especially with West Australian Opera, of which he was Acting and Assistant Musical Director and Chorus Master, conducting Nabucco, The Marriage of Figaro, Dido and Aeneas, The Medium, The Elixir of Love, Carmen, Amahl and The Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus, other productions and concerts. His singing roles include Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Zurga in The Pearl Fishers, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Dapertutto in The Tales of Hoffman, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Schaunard in La Bohème, Marullo in Rigoletto, The Minister in Fidelio, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, Germont in La Traviata, Falke in Die Fledermaus, and Dancairo in Carmen.

Ian formed the Music Theatre Company of WA, creating more opportunities for young people to work professionally. He was also Musical Director of UWA Choral Society.

After completing 13 years as Director of Music at John XXIII College, he took the position of Chorus Master of English National Opera and conducted a recording of Intermezzi and Preludes with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.

Returning to WA, he again took up Musical Direction of the Music Theatre Company and the management and responsibility of the Philharmonia Orchestra. Major projects in this period were as Chorus Master for Edgley’s production of Aida, conductor of La Traviata, La Bohème and Verdi’s Requiem for Regal Opera.

Until 2003 Ian was a lecturer in singing in Music Theatre and Classical departments at WAAPA and has been lecturer in singing at UWA and ECU Classical departments. He manages, promotes and conducts concerts with the Perth Lyric Chorale as well as teaching privately. Ian was recently Guest Chorus Master of WA Opera Company’s season of Carmen.
He is currently Managing Director of the Stage Door School of Performing Arts which he founded in 1996 to teach and promote singing and music theatre with young people.

The ICW Performing Arts Association (Inc) was Ian’s initiative with a goal of assisting youth and persons with disability in the performing arts. ICW Productions was an established part of the WA Arts scene with its highly regarded quality productions of Oliver, Company, Les Misérables and Cats. In 2014 The Mikado, The Sound of Music and The Phantom of the Opera were presented, with further productions of The Wiz (Iona PC) and Oklahoma (MUSAE) 2015 and Oliver (ICW Productions) 2016. ICW Performing Arts Association has now evolved into OpusWA arts orchestra and chorale, performing the opera The Rape of Lucretia in 2019, Messiah in 2019 and 2020, and The Magic Flute in 2020.

In 1998 Ian was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to music in Australia as a performer and teacher.


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