Tag Archives | ‘Kevin Purcell”

Breaking News: Madeleine Featherby Cast As Sofia Duarte for NYMF Production

Young Australian Performer Maddie Featherby Lives the Dream at NYMF

Maddie FeatherbyRising, young Australian performer Madeleine Featherby has been cast to play the leading role of Sofia Duarte in the new Australian musical, The Mapmaker’s Opera.  The show will premiere at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) in July of this year as one of only ten official selections chosen by a Grand Jury of Broadway professionals for full production.

Maddie, who has just turned 23, will be the only Australian performer in an Actors Equity cast of thirteen.  Maddie is thrilled to have the opportunity to work closely with American performers, most of whom are seasoned Broadway and Off-Broadway actors.

Maddie has just completed an engagement with Victorian Opera, performing in La Traviata.  She will travel to New York on 9 June to begin rehearsals for The Mapmaker’s Opera, which opens Off-Broadway, at The Pearl Theatre Performance Space, 555 West 42nd Street, on 9 July.

Stage Whispers LogoThe Mapmaker’s Opera is an original work written by Australians, Kevin Purcell (Music) and Victor Kazan (Book & Lyrics).  Selected from hundreds of submissions worldwide, the show is the first Australian large-scale musical, adapted from a best-selling novel, to appear in the decade old festival.  NYMF, presented in the heart of New York’s theatre district, is the largest, and most prestigious annual Musical Theatre festival in the world. It provides a unique opportunity for writers to have their shows seen by the leading Broadway and professional regional theatre producers.

The Mapmaker’s Opera, adapted from the novel by Béa Gonzalez, is set in 1909, on the eve of the Mexican Revolution.  The story’s young Spanish hero, Diego Clemente arrives on the Yucatán Peninsula to help create a guide to the region’s wild birds. He finds himself in a world that is as precarious as it is beautiful, and where opulent estates are built on the backs of slave labour. Diego meets and falls in love with Sofia, a young woman who longs to be as free as the birds that they both love so dearly. This is a story of star-crossed passion, a pair of mysterious birds and undying love.

“It is a thrill to be taking part in such a prestigious festival, and a privilege to be playing the leading role of Sofia in such an emotional and powerful show,” said Maddie who hails from Melbourne.  And she is delighted to be returning to the Big Apple, having performed at the famous Jazz venue, Birdland, in 2011 with John Bucchino, in his Revue, It’s Only Life.

NYMF is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Now celebrating its 11th year, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize musical theatre culture by discovering and promoting new musical theatre artists, producers and projects, nurturing a vibrant and innovative artistic community, and connecting one of America’s greatest art forms with a diverse, contemporary audience.

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Music I Listen To: Patricia Petibon

In the course of writing The Mapmaker’ Opera, I have listened to, and continue to listen to, a lot of different musics from both Spain (and surrounding areas – particularly Portugal for Fado) and, of course, Mexico.  The richness of the different types of music, and the plethora of wonderful musical artists from these countries is so vast that I don’t think I am likely to metaphorically run out rocks to look under. Continue Reading →

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Mayan Culture Festival 2013


I love this because, if nothing else, it is the longest promo trailer I’ve ever seen! No, seriously, this Festival ticks all the boxes for me – except for the soundtrack of using Beethoven to promote a Mayan cultural festival.  What is that about?  Why didn’t they use the music of great Mexican composers (Revueltas, Chávez et al)?

The Festival, an annual event in the Yucatán, runs from Oct 17 – Nov 3, 2013.  This year’s festival will include performances from artists from 30 different countries, including some of Mexico’s more notable entertainers including, Eugenia León, Tania Libertad and Guadalupe Pineda.  Also scheduled are appearances by Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Rigoberta Menchú and Hindu humanist, Deepak Chopra. Continue Reading →

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New Song: Dark Night Of The Soul

Audio-128Hi Folks.  So we finished a new audio demo yesterday of a song from Act I of The Mapmaker’s Opera entitled, ‘Dark Night of The Soul‘.

We were privileged to have Michael Lampard sing the role of Edward Nelson for us again, and we introduce to you on this track, the young Australian music theatre tenor, Luigi Lucente, in the role of Roberto Duarte.

The song is male duet for the characters of Nelson and Duarte.  It is now “..next week” as Very Useful has uttered in the closing dialogue of the song previous to this (‘Under Her Spell’) and we are relocated to the Duarte hacienda.  It is early evening.  Nelson and Roberto are in Roberto’s study.  Nelson expresses his growing tiredness and struggle to find the strength to complete his task of mapping the bird population native to the Yucatán peninsula.  The world, as he recognises, is changing and his ability to adapt to it becoming ever more difficult to reconcile.  He is also starting to question whether any of his previous accomplishments have really amounted to anything of lasting value (“I remember the first time I approached the coast of Alaska…”).  Roberto gently remonstrates with Nelson, suggesting he need only a short respite from his workload to reinvigorate himself. Continue Reading →

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Updates on the Resources (Books) Page

Ruins_Chichen_Itza_1910-13Hi Folks, I have been updating the Resources (Books) page on this website of late.  I’d forgotten that I had planned to include all the books that Victor and I have read that have become inspiration for different parts of our musical adaptation of Béa’s novel, The Mapmaker’s Opera.  Anyway, the page is seriously more populated now.  Thanks to Chris for fixing my artwork (he really doesn’t like it when I hold a book up and photograph with my iPhone, only to have my thumb in the image!) Continue Reading →

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