Calista Walters - Operatic Soprano and Conductor
Calista grew up in the small inland town of Nanango in Queensland and was instructed in the art of singing and piano by Marguerite Genrich. Whilst at school she was immersed in all facets of performance which included musicals, instrumental groups, choirs, plays and dancing. Calista moved to Sydney to further her studies and completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of New South Wales in 2006 and continued her studies at the University of Southern Queensland graduating with Honours in 2008. Calista also achieved her Associate Diploma of Music Australia with the Australian Music Examinations Board when she was just eighteen. Calista trained with both Ghillian Sullivan and Leslie Martin at Newcastle Festival Opera, and continues to work Leslie as her vocal coach. Whilst in Sydney, Calista performed in the Alexander Productions ‘Love’s Lessons Learned’ in January 2006 under the musical direction of Simon Kenway and ‘Love’s Lessons Learned – Again by Request’ in April 2006, as well as numerous university productions.
Calista has performed in many eisteddfods and has won and been a finalist in several aria competitions. She has been broadcast on several radio stations and performed in several productions including the role of "Sylviane" in The Merry Widow (Opera Queensland), “Lucy” in The Telephone, “Diva Diaries” with Too Many Sopranos, Handel’s Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Haunting Melodies, Alexander’s Feast, Opera Odyssey and La Sonnambula. Calista has performed with Opera Queensland’s Community Chorus projects in La bohème (2014), Die Fledermaus (2015), Candide (2015) and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (2016). She performs regularly with Toowoomba Opera Players, Toowoomba Philharmonic Society, Ars Cantorum and After 5.
In 2018, Calista organised a combined choirs project in Toowoomba where her newly composed sacred cantata was performed. She was also a soloist in Triumphant Baroque Masterpieces to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the 4MBS Festival of Classics with Queensland Baroque. In 2019, Calista once again performed with Brisbane Baroque Players at St Luke’s Church in November.
Calista is an experienced vocal coach and choral conductor, with more than 10 years working the After 5 Choir. In 2021, she became the Artistic Director of the Toowoomba Philharmonic Society and also manages a successful music studio in Toowoomba and enjoys teaching, conducting and composing.