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Melba review: trailblazing soprano comes to life in new musical (Hayes Theatre, Sydney)

Musicals, Reviews, Stage |

Australian superstar soprano Dame Nellie Melba is the perfect subject for a new Australian musical: she was a ground-breaking and pioneering Australian artist who suffered enormous personal pain and found herself challenging late Victorian era expectations of how a woman should live when it comes to family and morality. But perhaps most importantly, Melba is an

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Don’t Cry for Me, Opera Australia! Evita set for Sydney

Musicals, News & Commentary, Stage |

Opera Australia will continue its tradition of partnering with commercial producer John Frost for its annual musical, bringing Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s 1978 hit Evita to the Sydney Opera House. Opera Australia and Frost will be joined by UK producer David Ian to present a re-creation of the original West End and Broadway productions of the musical, directed

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Michael Ball and Alfie Boe: why we’ll never tire of singing Les Mis

Live, Music, Musicals, News & Commentary, Stage |

In 2007, tenor Alfie Boe and musical theatre star Michael Ball appeared together in an English National Opera production of the classic musical Kismet, now famous for being particularly awful. It might well have been a low point in both of their careers — the London Evening Standard declared “A terrible fate should befall this Kismet” — but it

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Helpmann Awards: local vs foreign artists, and the other big talking points


Last night’s Helpmann Awards were thoroughly endured by all in attendance. The ceremony, which recognises live performance in almost every form (from ballet, to contemporary music, to stand-up comedy, to opera, to musical theatre), is typically a marathon event. Thankfully, the ceremony ran pretty much to time (three hours, straight through), and there were some

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Helpmann Award Winners 2017: full list


Barrie Kosky’s production of Saul, which had its Australian premiere at Adelaide Festival, has dominated this year’s Helpmann Awards, picking up six awards, including Best Direction of an Opera and Best Opera. The winners of the awards were revealed tonight at a ceremony at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre. Leah Purcell’s much-awarded stage adaptation of The Drover’s Wife was a

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Jan van de Stool’s insider goss: hosting the Helpmann Awards


The Helpmann Awards ceremony is the Australian live performance industry’s night of nights, and a typically star-studded event. But one star shone unexpectedly brightly last year: Jan van de Stool, a beloved Dutch musical therapist, and close personal acquaintance and mentor of cabaret and musical theatre star Queenie van de Zandt. Jan has extensive experience

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