"Duck-Chong’s beautifully rounded voice is incisive yet gentle and she sings with impeccable diction. Amply suited to contemporary style, her voice joins the quartet as another instrument, straddling wild leaps in register and unerring in pitch."
Shamistha de Soysa, Sounds Like Sydney, 2019
With a career spanning more than 30 years, Mezzo soprano Jenny Duck-Chong has established herself as a versatile and intelligent musician with extensive experience in a broad range of classical repertoire. She has worked with Sydney's finest vocal ensembles, including Opera Australia, Pinchgut Opera, The Song Company and Cantillation.
As a soloist, she has been acclaimed for her intense and dramatic portrayals of tragic heroines, such as Purcell’s Dido, Monteverdi’s Arianna and Britten’s Phaedra, her stylistic renderings of Baroque masterworks as well as her formidable and engaging performances of contemporary works such as Ligeti’s Sippàl, Dobbàl, Nahigeduvel, Macmillan’s Raising Sparks, Benjamin’s Upon Silence and Berio’s Folksongs. Jenny has been a featured soloist with ensembles as varied as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Baroque, Synergy Percussion, Ensemble Offspring, the Renaissance Players and the Kevin Hunt Jazz Trio in a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Bach to Berio, Gubaidulina to Gershwin and Reich to Ravel.
In recent years, Jenny has focused her attention on more intimate chamber repertoire, in particular in the field of new music. With soprano Alison Morgan, she established Halcyon in 1998, an ensemble renowned for innovative programming and exemplary contemporary vocal chamber music performance. With Halcyon, she has premiered numerous Australian and international works by both acclaimed and emerging composers and commissioned many new works, including 21 new Australian commissions under the title Kingfisher: Songs for Halcyon to celebrate their 15th birthday. In 2015 Jenny became the sole director of Halcyon and is continuing to present programs of rarely heard chamber music, add to their now substantial recording catalogue and develop their growing YouTube Channel including the popular In Conversation With… series.
Jenny Duck-Chong is an accomplished and artful recital singer, presenting well-crafted programmes ranging from the early Baroque through to contemporary chamber music, with a particular affinity for French and Spanish music of the early twentieth century. She collaborates with exceptional instrumentalists and singers to present engaging programs of art song. She is regularly heard on ABC Classic FM and 2MBS-FM and has a solo recital CD in progress.
Also a passionate educator and keen to engage with the next generation of musicians, for more than two decades Jenny has performed in concerts, presented classes on Australian and international works and workshopped student compositions in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. She was the first performer invited to present to ASME’s NSW Composition Day in 2017 giving insights to secondary school teachers on Writing for the Voice and Performer’s Tips on How to Approach a New Music Score. She runs a private singing studio and also mentors composers keen to hone their skills in vocal writing, through analysis of their work and reference to other scores.
A seasoned performer in the recording studio, she has featured as a soloist for ABC Classics, Walsingham, Tall Poppies, Move Records and Wirripang as well as in many film and TV scores and numerous other recordings with Cantillation, Pinchgut Opera, the Song Company, The Renaissance Players and Halcyon’s own recordings.