BD2009 Special Guests
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Special Guests
 
Ian Thorpe OAM
Australian freestyle swimmer Ian is a five-time Olympic gold medalist and was the first person to win six gold medals in one World Championship. Ian has won a total of eleven World Champion gold medals. At 14 years of age, Ian was the youngest male to become a World Champion.
 
In 2000, Ian founded the Ian Thorpe's Fountain for Youth, which raises funds and awareness for Indigenous Children in Australia.  In partnership with Aboriginal families, teachers and health workers Fountain for youth works towards improving education outcomes, health standards and living conditions in Australian aboriginal communities.
Amber Riley as "Mercedes Jones" (GLEE)
Amber got her first break when Ryan Murphy cast her in the pilot "St. Sass." Although the pilot was not picked up, Amber was able to use that experience to land a role on the television series "Cedric the Entertainer Presents."
 
Amber has performed in numerous theater productions including "Alice in Wonderland," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Into the Woods" and "Mystery on the Docks" with the Los Angeles Opera.
 
Amber resides in Long Beach, CA, with her family.
Cory Monteith as "Finn Hudson" (GLEE)
Before becoming an actor, Cory Monteith held a number of odd jobs as a Wal-Mart greeter, a school bus driver, a roofer and a cab driver. Cory's small-screen credits include a lead role on the cable series "Kaya," a starring role in the movie of the week "Hybrid" and a recurring role on "Kyle XY." He has also had numerous guest appearances on "Smallville," "Supernatural," "Stargate SG-1," "Flash Gordon" and "Interns." His film credits include "Final Destination 3," "The Invisible," "Deck the Halls" and "Whisper." Cory is living in LA full-time, he is waiting for a spare moment so that he can learn to surf.
Natalie O’Donnell
Australian Actress Natalie has starred in theatre productions in Australia and internationally. Highlights include Mamma Mia! (Sophie), Crazy For You (Polly) and Les Miserables. She has worked on the West End, with The Sydney Theatre Company, The Malthouse and The Melbourne Theatre Company where she was nominated for The Green Room Award (Best Female Artist in a Featured Role) - Melbourne's most prestigious performing arts awards - for her performance in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has worked on many Australian Television series, and her film credits include Black Holes, Afterwards, My Life in Ruins and most recently the new Australian Film, Taj. She is a graduate of Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.
Simon Gleeson
Australian Film, Stage and TV Actor, Simon has performed on prestigious stages in Australia and around the world including The Royal National Theatre (UK) and the West End of London. He has also appeared on popular BBC programs such as EastEnders and comedy Kombat Opera. He also features in My Life In Ruins with Academy Award-winner Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland’s Opus) and Academy Award-nominated Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Simon is set to appear in a new Australian play called Tiger Country. He is also a talented writer currently working on his first novel A Conspiracy of Silence and his first film script, Transactions, is in pre-production in London.
Heather Johnson
Mezzo soprano, Heather Johnson, has received critical acclaim both on the opera and concert stage. In the 2008-2009 season, Heather performed in opera and concert both in the United States and abroad. She began the season making her Italian debut in Rome singing Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Maestro Paolo Olmi broadcasted on RAI 1. After singing Mozart’s Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman, Heather sang Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Madison Opera, Beppe in L’Amico Fritz with Sarasota Opera and Zerlina in Boston Lyric Opera’s production of Don Giovanni.
 
 

 

 
 
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