Griffith musical theatre graduates are starring in some of the biggest new shows to hit Australia, creating serious industry buzz with a series of stellar performances.
These talented triple-threats are wowing audiences across the country in blockbuster productions like Evita, West Side Story, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
Georgina Hopson, who graduated from the Bachelor of Musical Theatre in 2014, is currently starring in Evita in Melbourne, followed by a blockbuster production of West Side Story on Sydney Harbour.
“Evita is such an amazing production, we’ve had huge audiences and I’m working with Tina Area, who is a living legend,” she said.
“The cast is so generous and giving, and it’s such a privilege to share the stage with them.”
Since graduating in 2014, Georgie has become one of the breakout stars on the Australian musical theatre scene – handpicked by Dame Julie Andrews to understudy the lead role in Opera Australia’s My Fair Lady, she received a Matilda Theatre Award for Best Emerging Artist and won the prestigious Rob Guest Endowment last year.
“It’s a huge production on the harbour – it’s not like anything ever seen before,” she said.
“There will be a huge floating stage, subway cars, cranes and fireworks.
“It’s a visual spectacle and amazing feast for the senses.”
A host of Queensland Conservatorium musical theatre alumni are also part of the show, including Kimberley Hodgson, Oliver Lacey, Rune Nydal and Angelina Thomson.
“I know all of them and there is a real sense of camaraderie,” she said.
“Even after university, the Con family is still alive and well.
“The Bachelor of Musical Theatre at Griffith has really established a reputation in the industry for quality, so it’s great to see that being recognised.”
Fellow musical theatre graduates Alex Woodward (2015), Tom Davis and Billy Bourchier (2014) will all appear in the Brisbane season of The Book of Mormon.
“This is my first major musical, and I auditioned over the course of a year, with about five callbacks,” he said.
“It’s still such a thrill and the audiences love the show, it’s so funny and brilliantly written.
“You do eight shows a week, so you have to build up your stamina, vocal control, look after yourself – your life becomes the show.
“I am a swing, which means I have to prepare about seven different roles and be prepared to go on anytime.
“It took a few months to feel comfortable, but you soon get in to the rhythm of performing 24/7!”
Tom is originally from Narrandera in regional NSW, and moved up to Brisbane after high school to attend the Queensland Conservatorium.
“I starting singing at a very young age – I used to dance around with a spoon in my hand as a microphone!”
“I didn’t apply anywhere else – I just went for it, there was no Plan B.
“My time at the Con was amazing, I learnt everything that got me here today.
“The support from the teachers was amazing – from developing accents, to building a character, audition experience and choosing repertoire.”
Other graduates are currently appearing in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Jordan Malone, Madison Green) and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Connor Sweeney) and Aladdin (Shubshri Kandiah and Courtney Monsma).
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the Bachelor of Musical Theatre degree continued to turn out the country’s finest musical theatre talent, with graduates cast in a host of high profile productions in Australia and internationally.
“The success of our alumni reflects the calibre of teaching and learning happening at the Conservatorium – our students are given a world-class music education and are ready to make their mark in the industry when they graduate.”
As part of its 2019 performance season, the Queensland Conservatorium will mount a blockbuster production of Les Misérables, with a cast featuring the entire musical theatre department.