2021, Volume 22
Singing Our Songs: Celebrating Australian Music Theatre Repertoire
Pat H. Wilson
ABSTRACT: Although live theatrical performances combining music, spoken dialogue, songs, acting and dance have existed since ancient times, modern Western musical theatre (colloquially, “musicals”) emerged in the 19th century. There is an increasing interest in analysing, understanding and researching American musicals. British and European music theatre is also gathering a stronger profile academically.
However, it is less well-known that Australia has a large and richly varied music theatre history. Singing teachers, vocal coaches and singers working in music theatre constantly seek to expand repertoire, especially solo material suitable for use
in auditions. Lack of research attention and a dearth of readily available published scores have resulted in few performances of solo songs from the growing canon of Australian music theatre. A serious investigation, interrogating suitability and availability of the scores of Australian music theatre works, is long overdue. This paper seeks, in some small way, to commence the process.
KEYWORDS: acting, auditions, Australian musicals, musical theatre, singing, vocal repertoire, voice performance