Young Australian Performer Maddie Featherby Lives the Dream at NYMF
Rising, 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.
The 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.