Songs of heartbreak for your Valentine’s Day Eve. Be enticed into the Hares & Hyenas salon by Mama Alto & Miss Chief for an evening of intoxicating songs evoking complicated love and uncomplicated loss.
This will be the first Mama Alto public performance in 2016, after a prolific year of local, interstate and international engagements throughout 2015, and sees the cabaret diva return to iconic queer venue Hares & Hyenas for the first of many appearances this year.
Drawing on the legacies of vintage torch singers and from her own identity as a queer person of colour, Mama Alto’s vocal and visual aesthetic – described by various critics as haunting, ethereal and intoxicating – transcend gender, disrupting and discomforting societal constructions of dichotomous boundaries.
“Opening my mouth, singing with my voice, is an act of transgression against traditional gendered vocal roles, and indeed, of traditional expectations of gender constructed by society,” says Mama Alto. “The voice of Mama Alto – my voice – is a voice that defies gender, the (ascribed to be) female voice of the contralto or mezzo-soprano within the body of what is (ascribed to be) male.”
Highlights of her career thus far include performing to sold out audiences at the Melbourne Recital Centre, becoming a featured performer in the Chamaco 2015 award-winning Finucane & Smith tour to the Havana International Theatre Festival in Cuba, winning a Fringe Weekly award for Best Cabaret at Adelaide Fringe 2014, and garnering a nomination for Artist of the Year at the 2015 GLOBE Awards..
She has also been blessed to have given special on-the-spot performances such as sitting in with the house band at the iconic Birdland Jazz Club, New York City, an unrehearsed duet with Paul Capsis at the Finucane & Smith Blue Moon party, and an impromptu duet with Mary Wilson, founding member of the Supremes, during her 2015 Melbourne Recital Centre show.
“Mama Alto is an exceptionally talented singer, who makes the question as to whether it is a woman or a man singing obsolete. It is clearly an angel.” – The Conversation
Mama Alto: The Anti-Valentine Show
Hares & Hyenas, 63 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Performance: Saturday 13 February 2016 – 8.00pm
For more information, visit: www.mamaalto.com for details.
Image: Mama Alto – photo by Trent Pace