Suellen's on the way to stardom
SUELLEN Cusack has not even finished studying and she is already set to live the dream in an international production.
The 25-year-old former Shalom College student is preparing to take the stage of some of the world's prestigious music venues after landing a lead in the show Scotland the Brave.
Ms Cusack, who studies a Bachelor of Music at the Queensland Conservatorium, was hand-picked by one of Australia's leading conductors, Sean O'Boyle, after the show's soprano left earlier this year to join Andre Rieu's world tour.
“Playing at the Lincoln Centre is every opera singer's dream,” Mr O'Boyle said.
“For someone of her age and her relative inexperience to be able to sing in a venue like that is an excellent achievement.”
Mr O'Boyle, who has worked with James Morrison, The Whitlams, Tommy Emmanuel, Kate Ceberano as well as the world's top orchestras, said Ms Cusack was ready to follow in the footsteps of former Bundaberg singers such as Gladys Moncrieff and Donald Smith on the international stage.
“She's got a beautiful voice and she's got a really engaging stage presence,” he said.
Ms Cusack said she was “stunned” by her sudden success.
Last year she was teaching guitar lessons and celebrating her acceptance into Queensland's premier musical academy.
But she instantly made her mark on the Australian musical scene, picking up awards and earning a spot on-stage with Italian star Andrea Bocelli.
“To be down (at the conservatorium) a year and have something like this happen is amazing,” she said.
“This has been something I have wanted to do my whole life.”
Australian producer Andrew McKinnon, who has presented hundreds of events throughout Australia and North America, said the Scottish song and dance celebration was bound to be a success.
“Audiences just love it,” he said.
“And I'm sure Suellen will do a wonderful job.”