Griffith alumnus Kate Miller-Heidke will fly the flag for Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest tomorrow in Tel Aviv.

Miller-Heidke is the second Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University alumnus to represent Australia at Eurovision, after Dami Im was crowned runner-up at the 2016 Eurovision finals. Young Conservatorium alumnus Nicole Blair penned the UK’s entry in last year’s Eurovision competition.

She will deliver a blockbuster performance of her Eurovision anthem Zero Gravity, co-written by fellow Queensland Conservatorium graduate Keir Nuttall. The song provides a showcase for Miller-Heidke’s soaring vocals — a legacy of her training at the Queensland Conservatorium.

Her stunning rendition of Zero Gravity is already winning over fans in the lead-up to tomorrow’s first semi-final, which will be broadcast from 5am Wednesday on SBS.

Con alumni shine on world stage

Miller-Heidke graduated from Griffith’s Queensland Conservatorium in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in classical voice.

Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the Con had produced many remarkable vocalists who had transformed the Australian music scene — from Dami Im to Katie Noonan and Megan Washington.

“Kate Miller-Heidke is one of many talented alumni making their mark on the world stage,” he said.

“She is a classically-trained singer, but her crossover appeal is immense.

“We wish Kate the very best in Tel Aviv this week and we know she will do Australia proud at Eurovision.”

‘Nothing can prepare you’

Miller-Heidke said that fellow Queensland Conservatorium graduate Dami Im had given her a few words of advice ahead of the big show, comparing it to a marathon.

“She said nothing can prepare you – it’s the most intense, ridiculous OTT, electric experience, so enjoy the ride,” she said.

Miller-Heidke is an award-winning singer-songwriter whose work defies categorisation, spanning pop, rock and opera.

She exploded onto the Australian music scene in 2008 with her debut album Curiouser, which included chart-topping hits ‘The Last Day on Earth’ and ‘Caught in the Crowd’.

Despite becoming a pop icon, Miller-Heidke has continued to make the most of her classical training, composing an award-winning children’s opera, The Rabbits, and performing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Nurturing a special talent

During her time at Queensland Conservatorium, Miller-Heidke trained with classical voice lecturer Associate Professor Margaret Schindler, who remembers her as “a really special talent”.

“She was not a conventional voice student and there was never any doubt that she was destined for great things,” she said.

“Even while she was studying classical voice at the Con, she was also writing her own material and exploring a wide range of music.

“She always had theatrical flair and had a natural affinity for the stage. She is a born storyteller with an innate ability to hold a room and connect with the audience.

“It’s satisfying to think that we played a small role in helping her have a long and varied career – classical voice training allows you to develop good technique – once you have the tools, you are free to experiment.

“Opera is larger than life and very dramatic, and you still see that shine through in all of Kate’s work.”

Eurovision is the world’s oldest singing competition, and attracts a global audience of more than 200 million viewers.

The Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will take place in Tel Aviv from May 14 — 18. Miller-Heidke will sing in the first semi-final tomorrow morning and needs to place in the top 10 via popular vote to advance to the grand final on May 19.