STAGES with Peter Eyers

STAGES with Peter Eyers

Peter Eyers
STAGES is the podcast that accesses a variety of people whose professional life is about connecting with an audience. A host of creative artists and practitioners reflect on their career, their process and what matters – to them. Some have made the arts a lifetime pursuit, some explain how their career became a happy accident … but all describe the challenges and demands – and ultimately celebrate why there’s no business like show business! STAGES talks to talent from front of house and backstage - directors, designers, drag artists and doormen … performers, producers and publicists ... teachers, technicians and talent! Whatever stages it takes to engage and affect an audience – or whatever it takes to carve out a career in the arts – we’ll examine it in STAGES. STAGES is the recipient of the Best New Podcaster Award at The Australian Podcast Awards in 2019.
‘Stories on a Grand Scale’ - Opera Singer; Warwick Fyfe
Warwick Fyfe is an Australian opera singer, considered to be one of Australia’s leading exponents of the Wagnerian repertoire and is the recipient of Helpmann and Green Room awards.Warwick has performed throughout Australasia and internationally. Most recently, he has sung the rôles of Wotan / Wanderer (MO, OMM and Alberich, OA). Other Wagner rôles include Heerrufer (OA); Beckmesser (OA); Klingsor (OA); Hunding (WASO); Dutchman (OA), Daland (VO); Wolfram (OA); Fasolt (SOSA).Other major work encompasses Amonasro (Aida-FNO, OA); Pizarro (Fidelio-MO, OA,WASO); Athanaël (Thaïs-FNO); Peter (Hansel and Gretel- OA),OMM); Four Villains (Tales of Hoffmann-ETO); Falstaff (OA); Rigoletto (OA, NZO); Sancho Panza (Don Quichotte- OA); Paolo (Simon Boccanegra- OA); Leporello (NZO) (OA); Fra Melitone (Forza del Destino- OA); Scarpia (WAO, OA); Tonio (I Pagliacci- NZO); Faninal (Der Rosenkavalier- OA); Schaunard (La Boheme- OA); Dr Schon /Jack the Ripper (Lulu- OA); Germont (La Traviata- OA); Mandryka (Arabella-OA). Warwick has delighted audiences in comedic rôles, such as Bottom (Midsummer Night’s Dream, Adelaide Festival); Barone di Trombonok (Viaggio a Rheims - OA); Geronio (Il Turco in Italia- OA); Dr Bartolo (Barber of Seville- WAO) (VOC); Pooh Bah (OA); Taddeo (Italian Girl in Algiers- NZO); Papageno (OA).Concert work includes: Gurrelieder, (SSO); Carmina Burana (MSO, QSO, Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus); Beethoven 9 (MSO), (Orchestra Wellington); The Bells, WASO; Stabat Mater (Rossini, SSO); Viva Verdi (TYO); St Matthew Passion, St John Passion (Melbourne Bach Choir); Bluebeard’s Castle (Monash Academy Orchestra); Mahler 8 (OMM); Stabat Mater (Szymanowski), (Melbourne Bach Choir); Ein Deutsches Requiem (OA), (Melbourne Bach Choir); Messiah (State Symphony Orchestras).Warwick performs the role of Scarpia in Puccini’s TOSCA from July 31st to August 16th, for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House.The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 22
59 min
‘I Lived for Art; I Lived for Love’ - Opera Director; Edward Dick
Edward Dick trained as a theatre director with Cheek by Jowl, and has directed acclaimed theatre and opera productions across the UK and abroad. Edward’s first short film, An Act of Love, starring Stephen Mangan and Gina McKee, premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 2010 and has played at festivals around the world. His second short That Woman was also successful on the festival circuit and led to his first project for television, A Little Cracker for Hillbilly / Sky 1. In 2016 he was invited to take part in the BBC’s continuing drama training scheme, which has seen him direct multiple episodes of BBC One dramas Holby City and Doctors, receiving an RTS nomination for outstanding new talent for his work on the latter.  He is a member of BFI NETWORK x BAFTA Crew 2021 and was recently named by the BBC as one of its ‘broadcasting stars of the future.’In 2020 he took part in the Directors UK High End Drama training programme on Silent Witness, directing 2nd Unit and working across all aspects of the production on multiple blocks and on the development of the 25th anniversary series. He is presently in Australia directing an acclaimed production of Giacomo Puccini’s TOSCA. The production recently played the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne and soon takes to the stage in the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House.In this acclaimed, five-star production from Opera North, director Edward Dick writes the tension large upon the stage.The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 19
40 min
‘Look What Happened to Mabel!’ - Stage Legend; Caroline O’Connor
The annual TONY Awards ceremony celebrates the best and brightest of the Broadway season. And I’m delighted that one of our favourite performers, who has graced the great white way, is the STAGES guest for our TONY episode.Caroline O’Connor is one of the foremost interpreters of musical theatre in the world. Projects have taken her from Sydney to Paris to London and the bright lights of Broadway in a vast array of leading roles, that are coveted by musical theatre performers at their peak.At 17 she won a scholarship to the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. The discipline and routine of such classes instilled in her a fierce work ethic that allows her characterisations to be delivered with boundless energy, masterful timing, consummate skill and infinite joy.Her career continues to reward her with great stories, mesmerising performances and a loyal audience. She commenced the year returning to Jerry Herman’s Mack & Mabel, this time in the role of Lotte, in a fully staged concert season in Los Angeles. In May she played with the State Theatre Company and State Opera of South Australia in Leonard Bernstein’s Candide and in November joins the Lido 2 Company in Paris for a 60th anniversary production of Hello, Dolly! In the eponymous role of Dolly Levi.These performances indicate a versatility that demands an appreciation of style and technical dexterity. Confirming she’s one of the best!Caroline returns to the STAGES podcast for a long overdue catch-up and to shed light onto her forays on the Broadway stage, in this annual STAGES celebration of the TONY Awards.The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 12
1 hr 31 min
‘Stories that Sing’ - Renowned Director; Neil Armfield
Neil Armfield AO is a leading Australian director of theatre, opera and film. Alongside Rachel Healy, Neil was Artistic Director of Adelaide Festival between 2017 and 2022. Prior to that, Neil was the inaugural Artistic Director of Belvoir St Theatre, which he also co-founded, for 17 years.   As Artistic Director of Belvoir, and for other companies, Neil has directed well over 100 productions, with a focus on new and Indigenous writing, Shakespeare, David Hare and Patrick White.  Some highlights include; The Tempest, Hamlet, Up the Road, Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Keating!, Toy Symphony, Dallas Winmar’s Aliwa, Angels in America, A Cheery Soul, Signal Driver, The Blind Giant is Dancing and Things I KnowTo Be True. Neil’s production of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman opened in late 2023 to glowing reviews. Produced by GWB Entertainment and Red Line Productions at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne, it starred Anthony LaPaglia and Alison Whyte. After the success of the Melbourne season, the play will be presented at the Theatre Royal Sydney in May/June 2024.   In 2022, Neil directed the world premiere of the oratorio Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan by Joseph Twist at the Adelaide Festival, and Glyndebourne Festival’s production of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Neil directed the same production of Hamlet at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper in July 2023. For the 2021 Adelaide Festival, Neil directed the Australian premiere of A German Life by Christopher Hampton, starring Robyn Nevin, as well as Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Festival Theatre. Later that year he directed an acclaimed production of Rameau’s comic masterpiece Platée for Pinchgut Opera. In addition to his extensive work in Australia, many of Neil’s productions have played internationally. These include Cloudstreet (toured to London, Dublin, Zurich, New York), The Diary of a Madman (with Geoffrey Rush, toured to Moscow, St Petersburg, New York), Exit The King (Broadway), The Book of Everything (toured to New York), The Judas Kiss (toured Australia with Bille Brown, London, New York and Toronto with Rupert Everett), The Secret River (adapted by Andrew Bovell, toured to Edinburgh Festival and London) and the world premiere of David Hare’s I’m Not Running for National Theatre in London. Neil frequently collaborates with major opera companies, having directed productions at The Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Chicago Lyric Opera, Zurich Opera, Bregenz Festival, Washington National Opera, Opera Australia, Pinchgut, Canadian Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. In addition to classics by Mozart, Britten and Wagner, Neil directed the premieres of Frankie and The Eighth Wonder by Alan John, Whitsunday by Brian Howard, Love Burns by Graeme Koehne and Bliss and Hamlet by Brett Dean. For screen, Neil directed and co-wrote the feature film Candy, starring Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish, which screened at over twenty international films festivals including In Competition at the Berlinale. Neil was awarded Best Adapted Screenplay at the AFI Awards and an AWGIE for Best Screenplay. Neil’s second feature film Holding the Man premiered at Sydney Film Festival in 2015. For television, Neil directed miniseries Edens Lost for ABC (AFI Award Best Director and Best Mini-Series), The Fisherman’s Wake (by Andrew Bovell), which won an ATOM Award for Best Original TV Production, and Coral Island (by Nick Enright). Over his distinguished career, Neil has received 2 AFI Awards, 12 Helpmann Awards and several Sydney Theatre, Victorian Green Room and Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Awards. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Adelaide, Sydney and NSW Universities, and in 2007 was appointed Officer of the Order of Australia. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts.
Jun 11
1 hr 6 min
‘Satin on my Shoulder and a Smile on my Lips’ - Stage and Screen Favourite; Genevieve Lemon Pt2
Genevieve Lemon has appeared in many premiere Australian productions in a 40-plus year career including Steaming, Steel Magnolias, Seventeen, Miracle City, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Billy Elliot, which she also played in London’s West End.Other performances include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Death of a Salesman, Summer Rain, The Venetian Twins, Summer of the 17th Doll and North by Northwest. Screen performances include Sweetie, The Piano, Top of the Lake and The Power of the Dog (among others with Jane Campion); Ticket to Paradise, Colin from Accounts, Prisoner, Here Out West, The Dressmaker, Suburban Mayhem, Rake, The Tourist, Acute Misfortune, Population 11 and the upcoming feature film Runt. Awards include Helpmann, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Critics awards for Best Actress in a Musical for Billy Elliot and Best Actress in a Feature Film from the Sydney Film Critics’ Circle for Sweetie.Genevieve Lemon returns to the musical theatre stage as the Mother Superior in Sister Act which opens at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney in August and the Regent Theatre Melbourne in November.The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 9
52 min
‘Luck Be a Lady’ - Stage and Screen Favourite; Genevieve Lemon Pt1
Genevieve Lemon has appeared in many premiere Australian productions in a 40-plus year career including Steaming, Steel Magnolias, Seventeen, Miracle City, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Billy Elliot, which she also played in London’s West End.Other performances include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Death of a Salesman, Summer Rain, The Venetian Twins, Summer of the 17th Doll and North by Northwest. Screen performances include Sweetie, The Piano, Top of the Lake and The Power of the Dog (among others with Jane Campion); Ticket to Paradise, Colin from Accounts, Prisoner, Here Out West, The Dressmaker, Suburban Mayhem, Rake, The Tourist, Acute Misfortune, Population 11 and the upcoming feature film Runt. Awards include Helpmann, Green Room and Sydney Theatre Critics awards for Best Actress in a Musical for Billy Elliot and Best Actress in a Feature Film from the Sydney Film Critics’ Circle for Sweetie.Genevieve Lemon returns to the musical theatre stage as the Mother Superior in Sister Act which opens at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney in August and the Regent Theatre Melbourne in November.The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 8
1 hr 17 min
‘Fascinating Rhythm’ - Cabaret Icon; Dillie Keane
Dillie Keane is one-third of iconic Cabaret trio Fascinating Aida. She is presently in Australia for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, where alongside her partners in song, Liza Pulman and Adèle Anderson, Fascinating Aida will present a 40th anniversary show. Since their first performance together in 1983, the trio have racked-up millions of internet followers, performed in the world’s most prestigious venues and have been showered with awards and plaudits galore. Proving they’re still in their glorious prime, these mistresses of their craft ring in this four-decade milestone with their trademark diamond-sharp satire, lyrical wit and belligerent sass.  The bare bones of Dillie’s life are these. Born Portsmouth 1952. Father a GP. Three much older, very nice siblings who have done nothing but grace the name of Keane and distinguish themselves in every way. Family despaired of Dillie ever conforming.  Educated at Portsmouth High School (very happy) and then at successive Convents of the Sacred Heart (first Hove, where she was miserable but learned remedial curtseying and sang all the time, then Woldingham where she was utterly and completely miserable and still sang all the time). “She’ll come to no good, that girl!” opined one of the nuns as her parents took her away after she was expelled.  Safely at university, she drank and shagged and partied like a girl released from a convent and became a leading light of the drama society and ended her first year being elected Miss Elegance, hahaha! After three years of this divinely crazed existence, her mortal frame nearly gave out. A spell in hospital exposed her complete unfitness for the life of a musicologist. As her parents took her away – she was too ill to take her Part 2 and couldn’t face doing 5 years of a 4 year degree – her Professor suggested that a career in Stage Management might suit.  Finally, she took control of her life. A spell as secretary to the Deputy MD of a leading advertising firm in London gave her financial independence, and she secretly auditioned for LAMDA. The day she got her acceptance letter was the best day of her life. Having flunked out of university, her parents were reluctant to fork out for 3 more years of further education, so she wrote to anyone she could think of who might help. Eventually, the fabled Jim Slater of Slater Walker stepped in with a scholarship and paid her tuition fees. Her defeated parents agreed to give her £100 per term towards living costs, and she was able to accept her place on the course.  Those three years were a thrilling ride. LAMDA was everything she hoped for and more, though trying to keep body and soul together was wonderfully crazy. She had a stall in the Portobello Road every Saturday, where she and a friend sold handmade shopping bags, aprons and second-hand clothes they’d collected from friends and strangers. She temped in the evenings and throughout the holidays, became an artist’s model, did bar work, biked everywhere in London and hitched everywhere else. She also played piano in various hotels, nightclubs and restaurants, and looking back she thinks she must have cut an odd figure with her homemade clothes and Cole Porter songs. Two summer months in Sweden playing piano in a Stockholm nightclub hardened her for the life to come.  Acting jobs followed. Then the songs started popping out. And with the acting jobs, new friends who also sang and were willing to sing her songs. And with all that came the gigs and the birth of Fascinating Aïda.  The Adelaide Festival Centre presents FASCINATING AÏDA - THE 40th ANNIVERSARY SHOW! Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, Friday June 7th, Saturday June 8th and Sunday June 9th. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 4
41 min
‘The Soldier Tir'd of War's Alarms’ - Veteran Actor; Robert van Mackelenberg
Extensive experience throughout Australia in theatre, film, radio and television, over several decades, established Robert van Mackelenberg as one of our leading actors.Studying in New Zealand, Robert’s journey through the theatre was as a stage manager first but he soon found his true place was in assuming the great roles in classical and contemporary theatre.He has worked with many companies throughout Australia and New Zealand in over 150 productions, including leading roles in such modern classics as The Elephant Man, Amadeus, Equus, Chinchilla, Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, and Break of Noon.His formidable list of leading roles in the great classics of world theatre include Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, The Country Wife, The Recruiting Officer, and Romeo and Juliet.Modern Australian classics include Emerald City, Sons of Cain, Away, and The Man from Muckinupin. The list of musicals to his credit include Hello Dolly, Pal Joey, Company, Cole, and Happy End.Television and film work includes Carson’s Law, Cop Shop and Haydaze.It is a career that has gifted much anecdote and wisdom. These are elements that will enthral in this compelling episode of the STAGES podcast.The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 3
1 hr 20 min
‘If They Could See Me Now’ - STAGES 5-Year Catch-Up; Alexander Berlage & Todd Jacobsson
The STAGES podcast is now in its Seventh year. Over that time we’ve garnered a vast number of insightful and glorious conversations with a broad range of artists.Some of these have recorded fascinating histories with the elders from various disciplines - theatre, dance, opera, musical theatre, television - the list goes on.We’ve also been able to record reflection and story from various younger talents, commencing careers in an industry that can often be precarious.One of the delightful opportunities in entering our seventh season is catching up again with some of those emerging creatives and performers …. A re-cord record STAGES intends to pursue in coming seasons.This could be considered STAGES ‘7-up’ series of discussions. A unique chance to check in with young artists at 5 -year intervals perhaps?In 2019, STAGES recorded with Lighting Designer and Director, Alexander Berlage. He was in rehearsal for the musical - AMERICAN PSYCHO. We also spoke to Music Theatre performer Todd Jacobsson, who was about to commence a tour of West Side Story, playing the iconic role of Tony.And of course, in 2019, we had no idea that a pandemic was looming - set to strangle the Globe.So how have these artists navigated the past 5 years? What was the impact of Covid for THEM? Has anything changed. Where have the respective careers of Alex and Todd taken them? What are they doing now?It was my great privilege to catch up with these artists again, and record a new instalment of their creative journey. Enjoy this ‘5-UP’ episode of the STAGES podcast! The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages). www.stagespodcast.com.au
Jun 1
1 hr 13 min
Vale Keith Robinson (1958-2024)
As one of our finest actors, Keith Robinson carved a career on stages around the country. As a  wit and treasured talisman, he kept us informed and in stitches with his regular postings on social media.Keith’s repertoire of characters included the great clowns of Shakespeare. He was admired for his tremendous physicality in realising these endearing fools and jesters …. and for his dependability in affecting an audience.As a member of the ensemble at Belvoir Theatre, he contributed to the success of milestone productions such as Hamlet, The Tempest, The Alchemist, Night On Bald Mountain and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Keith’s extensive theatre credits also included the Dickensian epic Nicholas Nickleby with the Sydney Theatre Company ……  and ventures into musical theatre with the premiere Australian production of Les Miserables. As performer and playwright -  Keith co-authored (with Tony Taylor) the silly, comic romp The Popular Mechanicals - a fond valentine to the determined amateur acting troupe of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 2006 his life upon the boards looked like being snatched away when he was diagnosed with a neurological condition, called Guillain-Barre syndrome. His personal expression as an actor became compromised with limited mobility and the necessity of a wheelchair. But Keith was a determined thespian …. and in 2016 he returned to the Belvoir stage as a wise and moving Feste …. in a production of Twelfth Night. As well as a phenomenal talent, Keith was immensely entertaining and terrific company. Passionate, funny and tremendously informed, Keith traversed an eventful life on and off the stage. His legacy of compelling screen performances are fortunately preserved in television productions such as the anthology series Summer Love, season 2 of The Twelve and in a much discussed TVC for Australia post, where we may still be able to find him at various point of sale.This conversation, recorded for the STAGES podcast, took place in May 2021 when Keith was preparing to play Leonid Gayev in The Cherry Orchard at the Belvoir street theatre. It was to be the final time we would see Keith light up a stage. I hope this return episode brings you some comfort - and joy - relishing in Keith’s wonderful anecdote, insightful wisdom - and that enormous laugh that instantly embraced it’s listener.Vale Keith Robinson - you will be greatly missed. The STAGES podcast is available to access and subscribe from Spotify and Apple podcasts. Or from wherever you access your favourite podcasts. A conversation with creatives about craft and career. Follow socials on instagram (stagespodcast) and facebook (Stages).www.stagespodcast.com.au
May 29
1 hr 4 min
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