Musical theatre students set to shine

Students from the Queensland Conservatorium will share the stage with Australia’s biggest musical theatre star, Lucy Durack, and the Queensland Pops Orchestra this weekend.

The Broadway on Screen concert at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) will showcase the country’s best young talent performing a host of blockbuster hits from musicals including The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, AladdinandJoseph and the Amazing TechnicolourDreamcoat.

Bachelor of Musical Theatre student Emma Kavanagh is pinching herself after being selected to perform a duet with Lucy Durack, who has headlined blockbuster productions ofThe Wizard of Oz andLegally Blonde.

“It’s so exciting – I still can’t believe it,” she said.

“Lucy is such an inspiration to me. I saw her perform in Wicked when I was still at school and it was a huge turning point for me.

“Now we’re singing ‘For Good’ together, which is one of the standout songs from Wicked.

“This is going to be such a special show – it’s always such a thrill to perform on a big stage in front of a packed house.”

Bachelor of Musical Theatre student Paige McKay will join Paige Byrne and Hannah Bennett to perform a brandnew arrangement of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Trio.

“It’s incredible to work with a professional orchestra and to sing alongside Lucy Durack is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Paige said.

“I’m a huge fan – I’ve seen her perform in Wicked and the Wizard of Oz and she’s such an amazing role model.

“We get a lot of industry experience throughout the course, but this concert is one of the standouts for me.

“Being a Brisbane girl, it’s such a dream to perform at QPAC- I just get goosebumps thinking of standing on the same stage where I’ve seen so many amazing shows.

Bachelor of Musical Theatre student Rune Nydal is looking forward to his moment in the spotlight, performing the iconic hit, ‘If I Only Had a Brain’ from the Wizard of Oz.

“It’s a real honour – it’s a song I’ve always loved, so to perform it on stage with a full orchestra will be amazing,” he said.

“I grew up watching the movie as a kid – the Wizard of Oz was one of the first movie musicals I ever saw.

“It was written almost 80 years ago, but the story and the songs still bring so much joy.”

Rune said the Bachelor of Musical Theatre course at the Queensland Conservatorium had prepared him for life in the industry.

“This course is pretty incredible,” he said.

“We get so many opportunities to perform – we’ve just wrapped a season at the Brisbane Powerhouse, and we’re preparing for a showcase tour down to Sydney and Melbourne later this year.

“The course is still relatively new, but it’s got such a high reputation in the industry and you only have to look at how many of our graduates get immediate work.”

Queensland Conservatorium Head of Performing Arts, Associate Professor Paul Sabey, said Saturday’s concert would be a blockbuster event, featuring a 60-piece orchestra and the 90-strong musical theatre cohort.

“This concert is a fantastic showcase for all of our students,” he said.

“It’s a great chance to learn from performers at the top of their game, and opens up their work to a much wider audience.”

Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the annual collaboration with the Queensland Pops Orchestra was one of many industry experiences on offer at the Con.

“We are fortunate to have a host of partnerships with arts companies across the country,” he said.

“Our industry connections have opened up remarkable opportunities for our students – many of whom go on to form the backbone of performing arts productions in Australia and around the world.

“Collaborations like this give our students an incredible opportunity to learn from industry professionals and perform alongside the world’s best artists.”

Broadway on Screen,Saturday 11 August at the Concert Hall, QPAC. Tickets are available at Qtix.