Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s EVITA has finally returned to Australia with the first performance of this iconic block-buster musical tonight at the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, ahead of the star-studded Opening Night on Tuesday 18 September. EVITA has achieved the highest grossing advance of any production in the history of the Sydney Opera House, and is playing for a strictly limited seven-week season in Sydney.
Flying in to attend the Sydney Premiere on Tuesday evening will be EVITA’s Lyricist, Sir Tim Rice. Both Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber gained EGOT status earlier this week after winning an Emmy Award for their TV production of Jesus Christ Superstar. This puts them in the exclusive EGOT club of 15 people, meaning they have each won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony award.
Other celebrity faces expected to walk the red carpet next week include Natalie Bassingthwaite, David Campbell, Paulini Curuenavuli, Casey Donovan, Sam Frost, Georgie Gardner, Kylie Gillies, Nancye Hayes, Erika Heynatz, Joe Hildebrand, Deborah Hutton, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Todd McKenney, Tim Minchin, Danielle Spencer and Richard Wilkins.
Produced by Opera Australia, Australian theatre producer John Frost and leading UK theatre producer David Ian, this recreation of the original West End and Broadway production of EVITA, directed by Hal Prince, is the first time a Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical will play at the Sydney Opera House.
Australian icon, singer, songwriter and musical theatre star Tina Arena plays the titular role of Eva Perón. Starring opposite Tina as Juan Perón is opera superstar Paulo Szot and Kurt Kansley returns from London’s West End to play the young revolutionary Che. Michael Falzon plays tango singer Magaldi, while the role of Perón’s Mistress is played by newcomer Alexis van Maanen, making her professional debut. Jemma Rix is the Eva Perón Alternate at certain performances.
Completing the adult cast are Justin Anderson, Anton Berezin, Michael Camilleri, Olivia Carniato, Rachel Cole, Alie Coste, Jade Coutts, Kristian Crowe, Todd Dewberry, Rodney Dobson, Samantha Dodemaide, Laura Field, Zoy Frangos, Ashleigh Gurnett, Kate Maree Hoolihan, Georgina Hopson, Thomas Johansson, Kathleen Moore, Thern Reynolds, Christopher Scalzo, David Sirianni, Tod Strike, Simon Tichelaar, Dean Vince, Rachael Ward and Paul Whiteley.
The children’s cast is comprised of Jack Barton, Alysiah Carlino, Julien Daher, Jacob Drew, Paige Hewlett, BeBe Liu-Brennan, Robbi Morgan, Allerah Murdock, William Oakley, Pamelia Papacosta, Benjamin Park, Sara Petrovski, Raffaella Reid, Avaleigh Rock, Amelie Rose, Austin Taylor, Oliver Trus and Zoe Zantey.
Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s EVITA is iconic, with more than 20 major awards to its credit including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best Musical, a Golden Globe and an Oscar for the film version starring Madonna and Antonio Banderas.
Featuring some of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s best loved songs including ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’, ‘On This Night of a Thousand Stars’, ‘You Must Love Me’ and ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’, EVITA charts the story of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Perón, from her humble beginnings through to the extraordinary wealth, power and status which ultimately led her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’.
Legendary Broadway director Hal Prince has won 21 Tony Awards, more than any person in history. Hal Prince will be joined by fellow original West End creative team members including choreographer Larry Fuller and designer Timothy O’Brien.
This musical captured the attention of the public when it was first staged in 1978 and now in its 40th year and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 70th year, Opera Australia, John Frost and David Ian are thrilled to bring this “modern masterpiece” (New York Post) to Australia in all its original glory.
The Australian premiere has been secured for Sydney by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW and will be a major drawcard for visitors to the state.