Music Theatre Day with Simon Burke and Daniel Edmonds
A full day music theatre masterclass for NZ Equity members with Australian Equity President Simon Burke and musical director, Daniel Edmonds. Simon Burke is in NZ starring in Mary Poppins. Professional performers will be able to draw on Simon's 25 years experience as a leading man in musical theatre both in Australia and the West End, as well as Daniel's vast experience as vocal coach, accompanist and musical director. Simon and Daniel will cover
• acting through song
• using your individuality as a strength
• crossing genres convincingly
• choosing repertoire for auditions
Each performer will be required to bring 3 songs and be prepared to work with Simon and Daniel on at least one. Essential: Please Note: This masterclass is for the professional performers, but not necessarily from the music theatre world. Perhaps you are a film or stage performer with little or no music theatre credits. Or a dancer who wants to work on your audition songs. Or a classically trained singer who would like to connect more with the text and meaning of your material.
Our sincere thanks to Disney for supporting these masterclasses.
Bio of hosts:
One of Australia’s most accomplished, respected and versatile performers, Simon began his career at the age of 13 when he starred in Fred Schepisi’s acclaimed feature film The Devil’s Playground for which he won the AFI Award for Best Actor. Since then he has enjoyed enormous success both in Australia and the UK in film, television, stage, concert appearances and cabaret. In 2007, after a meeting of minds at that year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Simon was invited by director Jeremy Sams to star as Captain von Trapp in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Sound of Music at the London Palladium, a role which he reprised last year at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto. Since then other London appearances include Joe in Andrew Bovell’s acclaimed When The Rain Stops Falling at the Almeida Theatre, the West End premiere of Tommy Murphy’s award-winning Holding the Man and Georges opposite John Barrowman’s Albin in Terry Johnson’s phenomenally successful revival of La Cage Aux Folles.
Earlier UK theatre credits include playing Count Carl-Magnus to Judi Dench’s Desiree in A Little Night Music (National Theatre), Raoul in Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Leonardo in Leonardo – A Portrait of Love (Old Fire Station Oxford) Cliff in Cabaret (Crucible Theatre, Sheffield) Steve in Jeffrey (Greenwich Theatre), The Life of the World to Come (Almeida Theatre) and Fred in A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company).
Simon’s musical theatre career began back in 1987 when Trevor Nunn cast him as Marius in the original Australian cast of Les Miserables. Other leading musical theatre roles include Billy Crocker in Anything Goes for which he received the Green Room Award for Best Actor in a Musical, Whizzer in Falsettos (nominated Best Musical Performance Sydney Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards), Billy Flynn in Chicago, (IMG - Sydney/Brisbane/Perth/Singapore/Hong Kong) Vernon in They’re Playing Our Song (Ensemble Theatre), Harry in Company, (Kookaburra) Dexter in High Society (Production Company) and Mr LIzard in Neil Armfield’s prodution of The Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and Little Ragged Blossom (Company B)
Simon has also had a long association with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival over the years appearing with Jason Robert Brown in his Songs For A New World, working with Richard Maltby Jnr and David Shire on both Closer Than Ever and Take Flight, with Andrew Lippa on his The Wild Party in which he starred as Burrs and with Jeremy Sams and Philip Quast in An Evening With Jeremy Sams. Sydney Theatre Company productions include Jonah Jones, Company, The Herbal Bed, She Stoops to Conquer, Mr Kolpert and the world premiere of Up For Grabs. Simon played Mason Marzac in the Australian premiere of Take Me Out for the Melbourne Theatre Company and starred in the world premieres of October and Satango for Griffin Theatre Company. He created the role of Francis Bacon in Stephen Sewell’s acclaimed Three Furies directed by Jim Sharman for 2005 Sydney Festival, 2006 Perth and Adelaide Festivals (nominated Best Actor Sydney Theatre Awards 2006)
Early in his career Simon spent two very happy seasons with the State Theatre Company of South Australia where productions included Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, The Threepenny Opera, The Season at Sarsaparilla, The Time is Not Yet Ripe and The Conquest of Carmen Miranda. Simon’s many television credits include Hustle, The Alice, South Pacific, I Shouldn’t be Alive, Rescue - Special Ops, All Saints, Small Claims III, Thank God You’re Here, Brides of Christ, Scales of Justice, Water Rats, Danielle Steele’s The Ring, The One That Got Away, Heroes Mountain, After the Deluge, Grass Roots, Preservation and Postcard Bandit, and his 20-year stint as one of the most popular presenters on ABC TV’s Play School. In 2006 he hosted his own television variety series Studio A With Simon Burke on Australia’s FOXTEL network. Feature films include Passion, Pitch Black, and Travelling Light. From their inauguration in 2001 until 2006 Simon hosted and co-wrote the Helpmann Awards - honouring excellence in live performance in Australia.
In January 2009 Simon was thrilled to make his debut at Carnegie Hall, where he hosted and performed in a gala concert AUSTRALIA PLAYS BROADWAY. His first solo album Something About Always, a collaboration with his long-time Musical Director Daniel Edmonds was released in 2009.
Simon is honoured to be the current Federal President of Australian Actors Equity, a position he has held since 2004. Proud Member of Equity since 1974 when he truly was in short pants. Simon’s official website is http://www.simonburke.com
Daniel Edmonds is a holistic musician in the true sense of the word. He is a sought-after musical director, arranger and vocal coach, and a dazzling pianist able to access a vast melting pot of musical genres. Originally a classically trained musician, his ability to switch effortlessly between jazz, pop, latin and Broadway styles with virtuosity has earned him rave reviews.
Daniel is the personal Musical Director to the international Australian artists Simon Burke and Caroline O’Connor. In 2010, he made debuts in London’s West End and in New York, working as Caroline’s Musical Director and Arranger where he performed at the Garrick Theatre and the famed Birdland jazz club.
Daniel was Musical Director and Arranger for Simon Burke’s acclaimed performances at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in 2011, as well as numerous concert appearances. He also co-produced and was Musical Director for Simon Burke’s debut album Something About Always. Daniel is no stranger to the studio, having performed, conducted and arranged music for recordings, including live radio broadcasts in Australia and for the BBC in London. He has also released a jazz album as leader entitled Walking With Lions.
Daniel has recently been appointed as the Musical Director for King Kong: Live On Stage. This lavish new production will have its worldwide premiere in Melbourne in 2013. Other forays into the theatre in recent times include Chicago The Musical, Fame The Musical and Hairspray. In addition to this work, Daniel is a composer, arranger and solo performer who has enjoyed a lively and varied career to date. In 2006, he was commissioned to compose a fanfare for the Prime Minister of Australia. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music’s Orchestration course, and is an in-demand arranger and orchestrator with a large body of work for pops orchestras, contemporary bands, and vocal groups. Daniel experiences synaesthesia, is a reasonable accordion player, and a hopeless dancer.
The feedback from Simon and Daniels Australian masterclasses says it all:
”...Simon, what a genuinely great guy. When he made a comment it wasn't until the performer applied what he had said that I realised the performance could have been any better. When someone was a bit off it was really hard to figure out what was wrong, but with a few words Simon always managed to consistently hit the nail on the head and made amazing improvements to everyone's performances.
Daniel has such an amazingly good ear and his comments were always really spot-on with everyone. It blew my mind that he could not only fix technical issues but also gave great notes on musicality, stylistic choices, vocal production, performance suggestions, etc. Plus he's a demon on the piano - I was totally mesmerised by the arrangements he was coming up with on the spot... crazy!
Plus, they're both such funny, nice guys. It made everyone feel at ease and created a lovely, safe space to perform. In short, as you've probably guessed from above, I had a wonderful day and really enjoyed spending time with Simon and Daniel…”