DARK, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Dark photoDegree

Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary); and
Bachelor of Applied Science (Physics)

Ballarat opera singer and University of Ballarat alumni member Jacqueline Dark has been honoured with the country’s top live performance award, winning a Helpmann Award for her performance as Herodias in Opera Australia’s production of Salome.

The Helpmann Awards recognise distinguished artistic achievement and excellence in the many disciplines of Australia's live performance sectors, including musical theatre, contemporary music, comedy, cabaret, opera, classical music, theatre, dance and physical theatre.

Jacqueline Dark photoJacqui was presented with the award at a star-studded ceremony at Sydney Opera House, which was also broadcast live on Foxtel. “The role was an absolute gift,” she said, “She is a fearsome, twisted beast of a woman and it was so much fun to get inside her skin for a little while … but also nice to get back out!”. Jacqui thanked director Gale Edwards and her “incredible friends and family who supported me, babysat and kept me sane while I was juggling rehearsals of an extremely tough opera with caring for a three month old baby”.

Other winners on the night included Kylie Minogue, Neil Armfield and Geoffrey Rush.

Jacqui is currently rehearsing Britten’s opera Albert Herring, which opened at Sydney Opera House on August 16, and then returns to Melbourne to perform in Opera Australia’s prestigious Ring Cycle.

2016 Distinguished Alumna

Nomination category

Outstanding professional achievement


Despite graduating in teaching and applied science, Jacqueline Dark has forged an enormously successful career as a singer in opera and music theatre, gaining accolades both in Australia and overseas while working in some of the world’s major opera houses.

She has sung major operatic roles to great acclaim, and is currently performing the lead role of Mother Abbess in the national tour of The Sound of Music, also to great critical and public acclaim. She has sung at major events including Opera in the Domain (to audiences of 80,000), Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour and Carols In The Domain (televised live to millions of viewers).

Jacqueline has won two Helpmann Awards (the major award of performing arts in this country) and two Green Room Awards (for excellence in theatre in Victoria), as well as an Encore Award for excellence in Ballarat Theatre.

She was named Artist of the Year by Deborah Jones, Arts Editor of the ‘Australian’ for her work on the opera and music theatre stage. She has already been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award for her work in Sound of Music, despite the show only opening in mid-December.