Australian-grown international star and soprano Anna O’Byrne will reveal the story of working with Dame Julie Andrews and perform Andrews’ iconic songs in the world premiere of Becoming Eliza, at the Sydney Opera House from 9 – 12 June 2022.
In this new Australian concert evening, audiences will be transported to the set of Opera Australia’s 60th anniversary production of My Fair Lady in 2016, where Dame Julie Andrews directed O’Byrne in her Helpmann-award winning portrayal of Eliza Doolittle.
Anna O’Byrne reveals an intimate story about overcoming her fears and stepping into an icon’s shoes in this heartfelt celebration of Eliza Doolittle’s enduring legacy. It leaps to life with songs from Julie Andrews’ extensive repertoire including Wouldn’t It Be Loverly and My Favourite Things, spanning Mary Poppins to The Sound of Music and Camelot.
“Being directed by Dame Julie Andrews in the iconic role she made famous was an experience beyond anything I could have dreamed. Julie showed me such warmth, wisdom, wit, and above all, generosity of spirit. It is a little of this spirit which I hope to share with the audiences of Becoming Eliza,” said Anna O’Byrne.
“Becoming Eliza reveals an honest and personal story alongside captivating musical performances that will leave you feeling uplifted,” said Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott.
“Presented at a time when the original story’s themes of gender, class and overcoming adversity still resonate as powerfully as they did in 1956, Becoming Eliza fixes the spotlight firmly on the powerful stories of women.”
This generation’s classic leading lady, O’Byrne is best known for her role as Christine Daaé in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, and the original Australian production of its sequel Love Never Dies, for which she was nominated for a Green Room Award, as well as the English National Opera’s Sweeney Todd, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White.
Becoming Eliza is produced by Enda Markey and with musical direction by Guy Simpson and direction by Sharon Millerchip: “Anna O’Byrne’s beautifully crafted script, had me turning the pages eagerly,” she said.
“With humour and candour Anna tells of her intriguing relationship with Julie Andrews and the challenges of inhibiting her own Eliza Doolittle. Add to this Anna’s glorious soprano and I’m sure the audience will be spellbound. I can’t wait,” said Millerchip.
Playhouse – Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney
Season: 9 – 12 June 2022
UKARIA Cultural Centre, 119 Williams Road, Mt Barker Summit (Adelaide)
Performance: Saturday 19 June 2022
For more information, visit: www.becomingeliza.com for details.
Image: Anna O’Byrne – photo by Daniel Boud