Opera Australia Artistic Director Lyndon Terracini, Australian theatre producer John Frost and leading UK theatre producer David Ian have announced that Australian icon, singer, songwriter and musical theatre star Tina Arena will play the role of Eva Peron in Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s EVITA.
It was announced last week that EVITA – one of the most celebrated classical musicals of all time, will return to Australia next year, playing at the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House, with tickets on sale from 31 August.
“We are thrilled that Tina Arena has agreed to return to the Australian musical theatre stage to play this pivotal role in this renowned production of EVITA,” said Lyndon Terracini and John Frost. “Tina is an extraordinary artist with a commanding stage presence.”
“She will leave an indelible impression with this demanding role, which has been played by Elaine Paige, Patti LuPone, Stephanie Lawrence, Elena Roger and, in the original Australian production, Jennifer Murphy.”
Throughout a stellar 40-year music career, theatre has been a constant presence for Tina, having starred in productions in Australia and internationally. Her theatrical work includes Cabaret, Nine, Dynamite and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Now ten years after Tina wowed critics on the West End as Roxie Hart in Chicago, she is back with her most challenging theatrical project to date, Evita.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be presenting the original West End and Broadway version of this truly iconic musical in Australia with Opera Australia and John Frost, with the incredible Tina Arena in the title role,” said David Ian. ? “Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice and Hal Prince are legends of musical theatre; it gets no better than this.”
After sell-out productions including South Pacific, The King and I and most recently the 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady, John Frost and Opera Australia will again re-create one of the greatest works of music theatre, the original West End and Broadway production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s EVITA, directed by Hal Prince.
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.
“I am absolutely thrilled that my wish that Hal Prince’s wonderful production of Evita should be seen again is to be fulfilled, and to renew my association with Tina Arena,” said Andrew Lloyd Webber.
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.
This musical captured the attention of the public when it was first staged in 1978 and in its 40th year and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 70th year, Opera Australia and John Frost are thrilled to bring this “modern masterpiece” (New York Post) to Australia in all its original glory.
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 Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, 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’.
EVITA will play the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House from 13 September 2018. Tickets on sale from 31 August 2017. For more information, visit: www.evitathemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Tina Arena (supplied)