Holidays are here again!

Hi Folks,

Next week is the last for Term 2 lessons, finishing on Thursday June 28. If you are planning on being away before then, please let me know, as otherwise I will mark you as absent without notice!

It has been, in many ways, an exciting term. All my students are showing good consolidation of their vocal technique, and some are really soaring! I am thrilled by everyone’s commitment and work ethic, and it’s great to work with you all.

I have had the opportunity to see some amazing theatre this year, starting with our trip to Broadway. While there we saw Carousel, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hamilton, Hello Dolly, and Waitress. I really loved most of these shows, but I was most impressed by old favourite Hello Dolly and not-so-new Waitress. The standard of performers was uniformly high – in fact, amazing, and I am still singing the tunes months later (also because I immediately downloaded them all onto my Apple Music app).

Since then I have been to about a dozen shows in South East Queensland. While you all know about the QLD Conservatorium Musical Theatre program, which recently performed Godspell and Carousel, did you also know the Con has an amazing opera program too? And the orchestra is SO good that a few weeks ago they performed Stravinsky’s Petrushka suite, impeccably.And the opera program will be performing a world premier performance of a new Australian work by Paul Dean, called Dry River Run. Wow.

I’ve seen other great shows as well. Beautiful; Oklahoma; Mamma Mia; Aladdin; A one-night-only performance of “Don’t Call me Ishmael”, a home grown musical theatre work still in development (but it was amazing); Bare the Musical with newly-minted Understudy Productions (beautifully performed and directed); Coupling, starring Trevor Jones and Camerata; plus some off-centre shows such as Tafelmusik at QPAC, Madeleine Peyroux, and the Firebird/Carmen with the Queensland Ballet. I feel incredibly fortunate to see all of these shows, and to gauge the talent in Queensland and beyond. This week I get to see Opera Queensland’s Merry Widow, and next week is the wonderful Patti LuPone in concert.

More importantly, though, is the effect this has on my teaching. I hope that I bring to you all kinds of new knowledge from the shows I’ve seen and the things I’ve learned, and incorporated it into my work with you all. Of course, there are the new music books I’ve bought (15 at last count), new books on Musical Theatre training, and all the new technologies I bring into the studio. I want you to be world class performers, with a world class sensibility and work ethic.

I hope to bring you some new performing opportunities towards the end of the year, and to develop my Brisbane’s Broadway Babies series, which will be for performers aged 12-18. In the meantime, though, I hope you’re going to the Musical Theatre audition workshops, and getting every performing opportunity you can to develop your artistry and skill in this challenging, rewarding art form. Some of my students are doing their Musical Theatre AMEB exams, and some more of you are about to embark on Eisteddfod season. I wish you all the very best for the holidays and beyond!


About Jessica

Dr Jessica O'Bryan PhD is an educator, researcher, singer and author. Her next book on Musical Theatre Education and Training will be published in 2020 through Routledge. Her last book was Teaching Singing in the 21st Century (2014, Springer). She lives in Brisbane in a semi-renovated 20s Queenslander home with her husband, Dougal the Groodle, and all the single ladies (Poppy the Groodle, Lucy the Cat, and the chooks).
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