Laura Bernay is a versatile performer with talents as a singer, flautist and pianist. She is known for her sensational “cross-over” styles of singing in several genres from jazz and cabaret to world music and classical. Her vocal flexibility and beautiful quality are testimonies to her many years of training and performing and teaching. She has a compelling stage presence and connects with her audiences with charm and flare.
Laura is a graduate of the prestigious Victorian College of Arts where she studied voice and flute and then completed a Graduate Diploma in Education (Melbourne University). Following this she did post- graduate study at the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music.(Boston, U.S.A.)
A performer and teacher with many years experience, her work as a singer, pianist and flautist took her all around Australia singing in cabaret, piano bars, jazz venues, luxury ocean liner cruises and national TV appearances. Following this she performed in Japan, the Middle East, USA and Europe in the 80’s and 90’s. Perhaps owing to her French Canadian descent Laura has a special interest in French vocal music, is married to a Frenchman and is fluent in French. Her latest passion is the Spanish language and, naturally songs in Spanish. This background means that chanson and canciones are always a totally convincing and attractive part of her performances in whichever style she is performing.
Her most recent adventures in music have taken her to Barcelona twice where she has performed as soloist in the Barcelona Festival of Song in 2018 and again in 2019. She has a keen interest in Spanish, Latin American and Brazilian Art song. (Laura left)
Laura’s own repertoire covers music of all styles from classical art song, to contemporary, music theatre, jazz, and world music. After many years on the jazz and contemporary scene as a singer, pianist and flautist in Melbourne and Sydney Laura spent 12 years when she came to Perth in the early 90’s intensively retraining her voice in the classical genre studying with the renowned late Molly McGurk, one of Australia’s legendary voice teachers. She went on to perform as a professional chorus member with the West Australian Opera and understudied Sara Macliver in Mozart’s Magic Flute. She was a guest soloist several times for Art Song Perth, toured with Opera in Company and has had many other engagements as soprano soloist specialising in French mélodie. She was also French coach for the WA Opera Company for several seasons. Later, Laura turned her interests to world music using her love of languages and was the lead singer with the world music band The Last Five Coins which specialised in instrumental dance and vocal music from the villages and cafés of Europe. With the group Laura performed at the National Folk Festival (Canberra) and at Fairbridge Festival (WA) several times as well as performances in many other Perth venues including regular appearances at Kulcha in Fremantle and for the City of Subiaco concerts in the parks series. Laura’s expertise as a multi-lingual singer added flair to the performances and her soaring voice in the various styles and outgoing stage presence were a huge success with audiences. Laura performed her French show “From Poulenc to Porter” for the Sunday@Subi Series.
Laura has done several performances with her brother Diesel (aka Mark Lizotte) and Jimmy Barnes in her family of origin’s produced event “Breath of Life” Festival in Tasmania for the Australian Lung Foundation and also with Diesel at The Ellington in Perth.
Her performances were always sold-out jazz performances with the city’s top musicians. Regular appearances at the renowned Ellington Jazz Club. Jazz Fremantle , and many other local venues and corporate events.
Past performances included a tour to Tasmania performing in the Devonport Jazz Festival and Hobart Brookfield Margate Winery. She was a featured artist also at The Noosa Jazz Festival.
Laura has an album entitled “Éclectique” available on itunes combining her many vocal abilities and styles.
Past shows include performances at Finbar Amphitheatre, Alliance Française de Perth, Sunday Live at Northbridge, Don Russell Performing Arts Centre, Cottesloe Civic Centre Sunday Series, 3 shows in Sydney, Newcastle and Central Coast NSW at live@lizottes with her brother Diesel The Ellington Jazz Club and MosArts Sunday Sounds.
Jazz Fremantle, Sunday Piazza Live, Northbridge City of Perth, Alliance Française de Perth French Film Festival, The Ellington Jazz Club, Laneway Lounge, The Naked Fig, Kalamunda Arts Centre, and many other venues and corporate events.One highlight tour was to the Noosa Jazz Festival where Laura was a featured artist as well as the Perth premier of her cabaret show “All the Way” at Rigby’s in Perth City.
Many of her shows can be viewed on her Youtube Channel.
Laura combines performing professionally with a busy teaching schedule as a sessional teacher for the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and in her private studio in Shenton Park where she also teaches teenagers and school-age students. Her eclectic background of talents in music and languages make her performances always varied, exciting and of the highest quality. This flows on to her teaching practice and inspires her enthusiastic singing students!