Emma Matthews

Posted by & filed under Arts & Entertainment, Theatre & Performance.

Opening at the Haye’s Theatre Co, Melba traces the life of Dame Nellie Melba, the powerhouse Australian soprano who rose to fame at the turn of the 20th century.

Described as our first cultural export, Melba was internationally acclaimed and lauded as the most celebrated opera singer of her generation – if not ever in Australia.

“The musical weaves her traditional arias with a contemporary score and focusses on the backstage story of her climb to the top as a working mother.” said the writer Nicholas Christo and composer Johannes Luebbers of Melba in a joint statement.

Directed by Wayne Harrison with Emma Matthews playing the titular lead, the show follows Melba’s humble beginnings in Melbourne (thus emerged her derivative stage name Melba); her rise to fame; and the lesser known tales behind her stellar career.

“We are really paying tribute to her rebellious drive and determination and her dizzying triumphs that lasted for decades.”

Based on the biography I Am Melba by Ann Blainey, the musical tells the story of a woman determined to pave her own way in a conservative world.

“Melba is a celebration of a modern woman in an antiquated age.” Christo and Luerbbers said.

“Audiences will be blown away by lush, epic, music sung by the incomparable Emma Matthews and a wonderful cast.”

“It’s a story of hope and family with a strong, and dearly beloved, female protagonist reinvigorated.”

Aug 11-Sep 9. Hayes Theatre Co. 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point. $50-$65. Tickets & Info: www.hayestheatre.com.au or PH: (02) 8065 7337

By Shon Ho.