Roger Neill

Roger Neill

Roger’s new book, The Simonsens of St Kilda, tells the fascinating true story of a family of singers from Melbourne and their pioneering opera company.

Extraordinarily, twelve of the children and grandchildren of Martin and Fanny Simonsen became professional singers. From their noisy house of song in St Kilda, two of them became international stars touring the opera houses of Europe and America, while another went to prison in San Francisco for robbery.

Roger Neill is a UK-based arts historian. He helped Sam Wanamaker to re-build Shakespeare’s Globe in London. His previous book, DIVAS: Mathilde Marchesi and her Pupils, tells the story of Mathilde Marchesi who trained more international opera stars than anyone before or since, including Australia’s own Nellie Melba. With Tony Locantro he co-produced the 4CD set From Melba to Sutherland: Australian Singers on Record for Decca Eloquence.

An internationally recognised expert on Australian photographer, H. Walter Barnett, Roger curated the exhibition Legends: The Art of Walter Barnett for the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra in 2000. In 2021 he contributed an introductory essay for the Theatre Heritage Australia publication, The Falk Studios: The Theatrical Portrait Photography of H. Walter Barnett.

All are welcome. Entry is free, however bookings are required.


Theatre Heritage Australia in association with Arts Centre Melbourne presents

An Evening with Roger Neill

6.30pm, Wednesday 22 March 2023

The Channel, Arts Centre Melbourne**

Entry is FREE! but bookings are required

Box Office 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne
Telephone 1300 182 183 (Mon–Fri 9am–4:30pm)

Click here to book your tickets


** The Channel is located on the River Terrace between St Kilda Road and Southgate